Pro Bono Hours Reported Increases in Ohio
By Anne Yeager | June 15, 2018
The number of pro bono hours provided by attorneys to low-income Ohioans has gone up.
The Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation's latest voluntary pro bono report says the number of pro bono hours provided by the attorneys who reported has increased by 15%, even though fewer lawyers reported pro bono duty.
OLAF teamed up with the Ohio Supreme Court to find out how attorneys statewide stack up. According to the report, 3,543 attorneys participated in voluntary pro bono reporting in 2017, which was 18% less than the year before.
"Low-income Ohioans have challenges that people with more means may not have," said Angie Lloyd, executive director of OLAF. "They face legal risks to their safe and secure housing, they face legal risks as a result of domestic violence. They need legal help getting out of these relationships so pro bono attorneys can fix that."
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor encouraged attorneys to step up, as she told lawyers at a pro bono summit meeting.
"Limited resources mean that Ohio legal aids must turn away about three people for every one served," Chief Justice O'Connor said. "Ohio must rely on attorneys in our communities to give of their time and talent to that our state can meet these critical legal needs."
Despite the decrease in attorneys reporting, the amount of money attorneys are shelling out to help legal aid services has increased. Individual contributions from attorneys who reported are up by 41%.
"It is wonderful for them to be a part of making sure the American promise of justice for all, fairness, and the access to the legal system is a real promise for all Ohioans," Lloyd said.
To find a civil legal aid provider, call 1.866.LAW.OHIO (1.866.529.6446) or visit www.ohiolegalservices.org/.
Attorneys interested in pro bono work may search a pro bono opportunities guide at https://www.ohiolegalaid.org/pro-bono/.