Pro Bono Week to be celebrated at Bowen
The third annual observance of National Pro Bono Week will be held Oct. 23 – 29 with events sponsored by the UALR Bowen Law School. Held in conjunction with the Central Arkansas Legal Services and the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission, these events are part of a nationwide effort to expand the availability of free legal representation for the country’s most vulnerable citizens.
“The goal of the local Pro Bono week celebration is to highlight the work that is currently being done by pro bono attorneys in central Arkansas,” said Associate Professor Kelly S. Terry, director of externship programs and pro bono opportunities, “while, at the same time, encouraging all others to readily adhere to the voluntary mandates of Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 6.1 which suggests that all licensed attorneys in Arkansas should render a minimum of fifty hours each year providing free legal services to economically underprivileged persons and/or to non-profit organizations.”
The week will be officially kicked off Monday, Oct. 24, at a panel discussion at the law school where proclamations from Gov. Mike Beebe and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola will be issued to recognize the role that Arkansas and Little Rock pro bono attorneys respectively play in ensuring that low-income citizens of Arkansas and residents of Little Rock have access to civil justice. Bowen professors and students will also teach a one-day street law seminar at Hall High School.
On Thursday, Oct. 27. the law school will host Free Lawyers for First Responders in Central Arkansas. The event will combine the efforts of several volunteer attorneys, legal assistants, notaries public and law students who will all be present to create free basic end-of-life legal documents including simple wills, advance directives and powers of attorney for health care and financial matters for firefighters, police officers and emergency health care workers.