Allegheny County Bar Foundation (PA)
Pro Bono Pardons Program
"Service is the rent we pay for living. It is not something to do in your spare time; it is the very purpose of life."
-Marion Wright Edelman, founder, Children's Defense Fund
Through the Pro Bono Pardons Program, PBA members screen matters and handle cases in their areas of practice or expertise for Pennsylvania’s poor, free of charge. The PBA Pro Bono Office and Legal Services to the Public Committee coordinate the program.
Chief Justice Max Baer and PBA President Silberblatt ask lawyers to support pro bono
Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Max Baer joined with PBA President Jay Silberblatt to encourage all lawyers to make a commitment to provide pro bono service through direct representation and financial support and to thank those already heading the call to such service. Read the letter directed to nearly 75,000 Pennsylvania registered lawyers.
Welcome to the Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Program . . .
The 2022 NCBF/Lexis-Nexis Partnership for Success Award was presented to the Allegheny County Bar Foundation (Pittsburgh, PA.), for its Pro Bono Pardons Program, which is literally changing the lives of hundreds of Pennsylvanians with low incomes whose non-violent criminal records have prevented them from gaining access to jobs, housing, and public benefits and have kept them and their families in a cycle of poverty. By helping to obtain a pardon for these individuals, the Pro Bono Pardons Program is opening up innumerable opportunities for these individuals. Lorrie Albert, Associate Executive Director for the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, and Barbara Griffin, the designer of this program, were in Kansas City with us to receive the award. Ms. Griffin spoke at length about the program and gave us all invaluable insight into how the program works, the difficulties they’ve encountered as well as the successes they’ve achieved. Ms. Griffin also said she would be happy to share any of the details for this program with any Bar Foundation that would like to replicate it. The NCBF congratulates the Allegheny County Bar Foundation on this spectacular program.
Through this program, PBA members screen matters and handle cases in their areas of practice or expertise for Pennsylvania’s poor, free of charge. The PBA Pro Bono Office and Legal Services to the Public Committee coordinate the program.
For the client:
Clients in need of free legal services assistance can find help in several ways:
For the volunteer lawyer:
In addition to taking advantage of pro bono opportunities like PA Free Legal Answers, PAprobono.net and PAlawhelp.org, lawyers should promote access to justice in these ways:
- Partner with local legal aid providers
- Be concerned about the lack of access to justice
- Promote access to justice as a benefit to society as a whole
- Let others—friends, representatives, media—know of your concern!
- Use banks that offer highest interest on IOLTA accounts and encourage others to become Platinum Leaders!
- Donate to Legal Aid