First-ever ABA Giving Day addresses COVID-19 and racial justice

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Pro Bono

ABA Giving Day is Oct. 29

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A new ABA initiative is encouraging lawyers to invest in projects that “counter the impact of COVID-19 and champion racial justice across America.”

The inaugural ABA Giving Day, scheduled for Oct. 29, aims to inform members of the association’s work to address the legal needs arising from these challenging issues and inspire them to get involved.

“Giving Day promotes multiple ways to help ensure a just society by giving lawyers an opportunity to donate their time and their charitable dollars to address the urgent social issues of today,” ABA President Patricia Lee Refo said in a statement to the ABA Journal. “A gift of time or money will support efforts to address race inequities, domestic violence, housing insecurities, the plight of migrants and so much more.”

ABA Giving Day was organized by the Fund for Justice and Education, the ABA’s charitable arm, and encourages donors to give directly to these eight programs through its special online platform:

  • Race Equity and Justice Fund, which addresses bias and prejudice in the justice system and society
  • Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to racial and ethnic minority law students
  • Judicial Intern Opportunity Program, which helps underrepresented law students obtain paid judicial internships
  • Commission on Women in the Profession, which supports ongoing research and programs to help female lawyers overcome barriers to equality
  • Commission on Homelessness and Poverty, which supports technical assistance to lawyers who serve individuals and families living in low-income housing, shelters and on the streets
  • Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence, which helps survivors by providing training to lawyers on protection orders and virtual litigation
  • Commission on Immigration, which supports due process and fair treatment for immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees through direct representation
  • Free Legal Answers, which ensures that individuals and families receive online legal advice from pro bono lawyers

ABA Giving Day will be held in conjunction with this year’s National Celebration of Pro Bono, which runs Sunday through Oct. 31 and highlights the need for assistance with legal challenges related to COVID-19. An ABA press release is here.

“This was a perfect week to do this because it harmonizes the message of the many important programs that the ABA has and the opportunities for charitable giving, particularly now with respect to all the uncertainties and issues impacting not only lawyers, but everyone in society as a result of the pandemic,” says Roberta “Bobbi” Liebenberg, chair of the Fund for Justice and Education.

For more information about ABA Giving Day, visit givingday.americanbar.org.

See also:

ABA Journal: “Vanderbilt Law Review members donate fees to support minority students with ABA diversity scholarship”

ABA Journal: “Looking to volunteer? National Celebration of Pro Bono is next week”



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