Bar Associations


Chief Justice and PA Bar President Encourage Pennsylvania Lawyers to Support Access to Justice

PLAN, Inc. applauds Pennsylvania’s Chief Justice, Ronald Castille, for his pubic plea today to Pennsylvania’s lawyers, encouraging them to support civil legal aid programs by handling pro bono cases for those unable to afford legal representation and by making financial contributions to the legal aid programs that represent low income clients. We also applaud PBA President Forrest Myers for joining with the Chief Justice in making this plea.

The Chief Justice points out that today, only about one in ten low income individuals in need of civil legal aid are able to be represented through legal aid programs and through the pro bono efforts of Pennsylvania attorneys.

PA Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Public Hearing on Civil Legal Representation of the Indigent

The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee held a Public Hearing entitled, Civil Legal Representation of the Indigent: Have We Achieved Equal Access to Justice? on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. in Room 8E-B in the East Wing of the Capitol Building in Harrisburg.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Stewart J. Greenleaf (R-Montgomery, Bucks) chaired the hearing.

The purpose of the public hearing was to explore and create awareness of the current state and scope of the unmet need for civil legal services by low-income Pennsylvanians confronting legal problems involving basic human needs.

Ensuring Access to Justice When It Really Counts: PBA President Thomas Wilkinson Jr. Weighs In

PBA Side BaarThe March-April issue of the Pennsylvania Lawyer magazine, a publication of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, features an insightful "Side Bar" by PBA President Thomas G. Wilkinson Jr. entitled, Ensuring Access to Justice When It Really Counts.

American Bar Association President Visits MidPenn Legal Services Commends Efforts of Legal Aid and Private Lawyers

On Wednesday, November 09, 2011, American Bar Association President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III visited the Harrisburg office of MidPenn Legal Services, the legal aid program providing vital legal services in the 18 county area of central Pennsylvania.

Judge John E. Jones III, Federal Judge of the Middle District of Pennsylvania also attended the meeting, with representatives of MidPenn, including its Executive Director, Rhodia Thomas, the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Executive Director, Samuel Milkes, and the Executive Director of the Supreme Court’s Pa. IOLTA program, Al Azen. Jim DeAngelo participated as a member of the board of MidPenn and PLAN, Inc. as Chair of the Dauphin County Pro Bono Program, and as a Past President of the Dauphin County Bar Association. David Trevaskis, pro bono staff and the Pa. Bar Association, and Sandy Ballard, pro bono staff person for the Dauphin County Bar Association also attended. Representatives of the Administrative office of the Pennsylvania Courts, including, Tom Darr, Deputy Court Administrator of Pennsylvania, also attended.

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Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Calls for Support for Legal Aid and Additional Public Service from Attorneys

Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille, in a letter dated January 7, 2011, has issued a call to the Commonwealth’s 70,000 attorneys to volunteer more of their time and money to help ensure Pennsylvanians with limited financial means receive needed civil legal representation.

Saying the Commonwealth is “dealing with a civil legal aid crisis,” the chief justice reminded Pennsylvania attorneys in the letter distributed through the cooperation of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) of their professional obligation to support services to citizens of limited financial means — otherwise known as pro bono service.

ABA Delegates Back Right to Counsel in Civil Legal Proceedings

Below is an excerpt of the American Bar Association House of Delegates resolution urging legal representation in certain high-priority civil proceedings to persons unable to afford an attorney presented by Earl Johnson, member of the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants. ABA House of Delegates, Annual Meeting 2010 (August 10, 2010).


Philadelphia Bar Association Wins 2009 Harrison Tweed Award

The Philadelphia Bar Association, along with co-winner North Carolina Bar Association, will each receive a 2009 Harrison Tweed Award for achievement in preserving and increasing access to legal services for the poor. The award winning activities of each of these bar associations demonstrate the wide range of activities that bars engage in to promote access to justice. 

Statewide Loan Assistance Program for Public Service Lawyers Expands Eligibility Criteria

The statewide Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) is launching its fourth year of helping lawyers employed in IOLTA-funded civil legal services organizations better manage their college and law school debts with expanded financial eligibility criteria. LRAP loans are available to repay loans incurred for undergraduate and law school educational costs and are forgiven at the end of each year if eligibility requirements are met.

Eligible attorneys will have until October 15, 2013 to submit the online application for loan assistance that will be available at starting on September 3, 2013.

Chief Justice Castille to Participate in 'Spring into Pro Bono Action' CLE Program

Pennsylvania Bar Association - Your Other PartnerThe 2013 Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Conference, entitled Spring Into Pro Bono Action, will be held via simulcast around the state on May 14, 2013. 

Earn six continuing legal education credits during the statewide pro bono conference and CLE program, which is sponsored by the PBA Legal Services to the Public Committee and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI). 

Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille will be participating in the May 14 program which highlights ways lawyers can improve access to justice by rendering legal service for the public good. The program will be presented in live from Philadelphia and Mencnaicsburg, and simulcast to multiple locations around Pennsylvania.

Applications Sought for PBA Bar Leadership Institute Class of 2013-2014

Pennsylvania Bar Association - Your Other PartnerApplications are currently being accepted for Pennsylvania Bar Association members interested in being part of the Bar Leadership Institute program for the 2013-14 bar year.

The Bar Leadership Institute is designed to provide emerging leaders, representing a broad crosssection of the diversity of the PBA membership, with an opportunity to learn about the PBA while actively participating in key meetings.

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