Friday, March 27, 2009

D.C. Federal Courts Honor Pro Bono Work in Washington

The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times : D.C. Federal Courts Honor Pro Bono Work in Washington, March 26, 2009:

The economic crisis may be taking its toll on law firms across Washington, but that hasn’t stopped 26 firms from logging a record-setting number of pro bono hours.

In recognition of that effort this morning, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia hosted the sixth annual “Forty at Fifty Judicial Pro Bono Recognition” breakfast to honor firms that had 40 percent of their lawyers contribute 50 or more hours of pro bono work.
Chief Judge David Sentelle (D.C. Cir.) said:
There is nothing wrong with making money, and I wouldn’t besmirch that for attorneys at all. But at the end of your career, when you’re talking to your children and your grandchildren, is it enough to say you made a lot of money or that you made your billable hours? Or would you rather say you helped a widow stay in her home, or kept an innocent person out of jail?
Good point! But it could be a little stronger. Widows and innocent defendants are the cliches of deserving people to help. Pro bono should also include helping a mother who was never married stay in her home and helping a guilty defendant get a fair trial and a reasonable sentence.

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