MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT ROD SNOW
Lend a "Learned" Hand
We know that thousands of Utahns face significant legal issues impacting their personal and professional lives on a daily basis and in some instances face real harm to their safety and welfare. Ranging from domestic tragedies to employment threats and housing risks, too many are simply not financially able to get the legal assistance that they sorely need when they need it.
In our recently completed survey of Bar membership, we were thankful to learn that 70% of our lawyers are providing pro bono services on a monthly basis and 36% of you are making financial contributions to And Justice for All and other critical legal service organizations. We appreciate the great work being done by so many. While our economy has strained many of us since the middle of 2008, we have not felt the pain many of our citizens who are just above the poverty line have felt when they needed competent legal assistance,
The Bar’s Pro Bono Committee is nearing completion of its study of how legal services in the state can be better coordinated and how opportunities for pro bono work can be more directly identified and directed to attorneys who have volunteered to take a pro bono case. Our survey also suggested some of you felt you were not able right now to do more pro bono work. Many identified the pressures of billable hours as the greatest obstacle in keeping you from doing pro bono work. In the months to come, the Bar will be announcing our comprehensive statewide plan to get more pro bono help to more needy Utahns. We are excited about our work and hope it will help you find it easier to lend a “Learned” hand.
To quote from current ABA President, Bill Robinson, “Pro bono work helps our communities grow stronger, and it makes us better lawyers. We learn about fields outside our expertise. We develop new skills and sharpen those we already have. Then there are intangible things we learn, like leadership, judgment and empathy. When we volunteer time and expertise to assist the most vulnerable in our society, we help fulfill the promise of justice for all.” We also give real meaning to the phrase engraved on the front of our United States Supreme Court building, “Equal Justice Under the Law.”
Thank you for your service to those in need.
Postscript: The recent Bar Journal included a President’s Message on the important topic of diversity and inclusion. A photograph of Judge Raymond S. Uno was attached to the article, with a caption which should have stated that Judge Uno, “was interned at the Heart Mountain, Wyoming concentration camp.” Judge Uno is alive and well. We apologize for the error.