|AALS Section on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities|
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Welcome to the Website of
the AALS Pro Bono Project
Handbook on Law School Pro Bono Programs now available.
This website and the staffing for the AALS Pro Bono Project is made possible by a grant from the Open Society Institute. This grant was obtained by the AALS Commission on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities, whose members served from November 1997 to July 1999.
The Commission was the first systematic effort by the Association of American Law Schools to address the role of pro bono and public service in legal education. The Commission was established by Deborah L. Rhode, President of the Association of American Law Schools, 1997-1998.
The AALS Commission on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities has left three legacies: 1) a report setting forth the Commission's findings and conclusions regarding the state of pro bono in law schools entitled Learning to Serve¸ 2) the AALS Pro Bono Project, and 3) a Section of AALS dedicated to issues of pro bono and public service.
In 1999, the President of the United States had this to say about these efforts of AALS:
"I want to thank the Association of American Law Schools for pledging to help more schools incorporate community service in their curriculum-- something I strongly believe in- so that more law graduates will come out of law schools predisposed to do volunteer work and pro bono work."
Remarks by the President to the Legal Profession on a new "Call to Action", The East Room at the White House, July 20, 1999.
In that same speech, President Clinton called every sector of the bar, including law schools, to recommit "to fighting discrimination, to revitalizing our poorest communities and to giving people an opportunity to serve in law firms who would not otherwise have it." In response to his call, AALS has joined other sectors of the bar in the collaborative effort called "Lawyers for One America". On September 25, 2000, LFOA submitted its report to President Clinton. Titled Bar None, the report calls for dramatic reforms in every section of the profession, including law schools, to help increase diversity and access to legal services. To view these recommendations and other information on the LFOA effort, visit http://www.lawyersforoneamerica.com.