Pushing Pro Bono for the Incarcerated and Those Reentering Society
The State of Criminal Justice 2018 (American Bar Association 2018)
6 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2018
Date Written: July 19, 2018
This chapter focuses on the work of the Corrections Committee of the ABA Criminal Justice Section, which is pushing to provide greater assistance for those under lock-and-key, and those reentering society. Perhaps like no other group in the country, incarcerated individuals face multiple disadvantages when it comes to legal representation. Most tend to be indigent and cannot afford a lawyer, and even if they could, their incarcerated status makes legal representation challenging work. One current project seeks to address this gap in a resolution calling for action among multiple stakeholders. The resolution focuses on the practicing bar and law schools, and urges the two to develop and increase educational initiatives, clinics, and other experiential courses that provide legal assistance to pre-trial detainees, immigration detainees, incarcerated individuals, and those reentering society. The call includes more empirical and qualitative inquiry to determine the scope, scale, and content of existing partnerships between the practicing bar and law schools that provide legal assistance in this area. At its core, the resolution is a push for law schools, practitioners, scholars, and bar associations to collaborate in developing increased opportunities for pro bono representation. As pro bono representation is a centerpiece of the ABA’s own mission, this push aligns the resolution with this and other interests, including existing ABA policy, the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, and ABA Model Rules of Professional Responsibility.
Keywords: Pro bono, American Bar Association, Corrections, Law School, Experiential Education, Reentry, Prison
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