National Pro Bono Week runs through October 31st — and the MBLA is sharing pro bono and volunteer opportunities through its Pledge Drive open until February 15th, 2021.
National Pro Bono Week is the last week in October (25 – 31). Pro bono work is an important aspect of career development, and taking action in alignment with our values is key to our individual and collective well-being. In a live online program on October 28th, the SJC will present the Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards to three attorneys and the inaugural Ralph D. Gants Award for Extraordinary Leadership in Pro Bono Service to a fourth attorney, and will recognize those who qualified for the SJC Pro Bono Honor Roll, as reported in an Oct. 16 press release from the SJC.
Volunteers are welcome to join the Walk in Solidarity for Social Change Pledge Campaign launched in association with the September 16th Walk for Solidarity at anytime between now and February. Those who registered for the Walk in Solidarity for Social Change were automatically enrolled to receive opportunities with the option to opt out. As explained on the MBLA website,
“The Pledge Campaign provides attorneys with the opportunity to take action and continue to use their knowledge of the law to help create change. We are asking for each attorney to agree to commit, at minimum, ten hours to pro bono or community service initiatives to help advocate and educate communities about their rights. While COVID-19 has impacted nearly every facet of our daily lives, it has disproportionately affected communities of color. We have witnessed repeated acts of racism, bias and lack of compassion with interactions between diverse populations (in particular, Black men and women) and the police. We continue to read stories where Black men and women are prosecuted, harassed and questioned for doing mundane actions like shopping, walking into an apartment building, gardening, bird-watching, flying first class, walking into a courtroom and being identified as everyone except the attorney.
Enroll in the Pledge Campaign here. You’ll receive updates about upcoming pro bono and volunteer opportunities as well as surveys to report your hours. One way to pledge your commitment this week is to volunteer for the 2020 Massachusetts Election Protection — apply here.
The deadline to complete the minimum 10 hours is February 15, 2021, and individuals are welcome to pledge more than 10 hours. The total hours donated will be announced at the end of February.
In addition to receiving updates on opportunities, participants are encouraged to partner with one of the organizations affiliated with the Walk for Solidarity for Social Change demonstration for trainings and resources you might need. Each organization hosts a number of trainings and volunteer opportunities on matters such as Housing, CORI sealing, Restraining Orders, and more. Each organization will have information about upcoming trainings on their websites for you to review at your convenience. Participants are encouraged to help in areas outside those they practice in by seeking the trainings and resources you need from partner organizations:
- Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association
- Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys
- Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys
- Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts
- Women’s Bar Association
- South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston
- Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association