Minnesota Celebrates National Pro Bono Week - October 19th - 25th

The National Pro Bono Celebration, sponsored by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, is scheduled for the week of October 19-25, 2014. It is a coordinated effort to showcase the work and impact of pro bono lawyers across the country. The week is also dedicated to encouraging pro bono service by lawyers to meet the increasing need for representation of low-income and vulnerable clients in civil legal matters.

As part of the National Pro Bono Celebration, the Minnesota State Bar Association is coordinating a series of civil legal clinics, continuing legal education programs, statewide celebrations to honor the work of Minnesota lawyers who provide pro bono representation,  and to highlight opportunities for pro bono service to those who cannot afford legal assistance.

Following are just some of the offerings available during Pro Bono Week. For a full listing of legal education opportunities, clinics, and more, visit the Pro Bono Week tab on ProJusticeMN.org.

  • On Monday, October 20th, join State Support for Tech Tools for Pro Bono Attorneys, an online seminar on leveraging technology to find the right pro bono opportunity for your busy schedule, and to make your volunteer service more efficient.  State Support staff attorneys will train participants to use the ProJusticeMN.org website to find cases and organizations in need of pro bono attorneys.  In addition, participants will go "on a tour" of the new Minnesota Legal Advice Online website. This is a FREE CLE. Click here for more information and to register.
  • Registration is now available for the Minnesota State Bar Association's Pro Bono CLE – the headline event for Pro Bono Week 2014.  Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions will be held on Tuesday, October 21st from Noon-1:30 PM at the Stinson Leonard Street law firm in downtown Minneapolis. The focus will be on the collateral consequences of criminal convictions and the new criminal expungements law. Speakers will include Justice Wilhelmina Wright, Judge Theresa Warner, State Senator Bobby Joe Champion and Josh Esmay from the Council on Crime and Justice (CCJ). Click here for more information and to register.
  • Following the MSBA event at Stinson Leonard Street, Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN) and the Council on Crime and Justice (CCJ) will present Criminal Expungement Basics from 2-3:30 PM.  Participants will learn the basics of criminal expungements representation and receive a client file to begin work.  This is an excellent opportunity for groups interested in working on individual cases with the opportunity to share and learn from each other.  There will be at least one additional session later this fall to prepare participants for filing petitions and hearings.  There is no charge to attend the training session.  Please contact Chris Hanrahan at VLN to sign up – chris@vlnmn.org.
  • Volunteer Lawyers Network, Communication Across Barriers, Metropolitan State University, and Century College will present a two-day Poverty Law Institute on Monday and Tuesday, October 20th and 21st in Saint Paul. Participants will:
    ‌    •   Learn to communicate more effectively with those living in poverty (e.g., bridging print and oral cultures).
     ‌   •   Use role play, activities, modeling and dialogue to understand and practice the core concepts.
    ‌    •   Come away with concrete strategies and materials that you can use right away to make a difference.
    Click here to view the agenda. 12 Elimination of Bias CLE credits have been approved for this training. Register here.
  • On Wednesday, October 22nd, Legal Services State Support will present The ACA and Family Law - Basics and Strategies, both online and in person at William Mitchell College of Law. The Affordable Care Act changed more than just how we handle health care. With the changes created by the ACA, family law negotiations have changed regarding tax credits and how insurance is carried for children and soon-to-be ex-spouses. This training will provide family law attorneys with an understanding of who is a household, why household size matters, and strategies for negotiating a settlement with the ACA changes. Register here.
  • On the evening of Wednesday, October 22nd, the Volunteer Attorney Program of Duluth will host its Second Annual Northeast Minnesota Pro Bono Social. Attendees are invited to a social hour and panel discussion focusing on the importance of pro bono in Northeast Minnesota. The social hour begins at 4:00 p.m. and the program begins at 5:00 p.m. for more information, contact Leah Fisher at 218- 336-1394 or leah@volunteerattorney.org.