Pro bono first
Pro bono is a shortened form of a Latin phrase that means “in the public good.”
In the legal world it refers to donated legal expertise and services. At Her Justice, pro bono is our priority. Whereas legal services organizations typically take on clients assuming they are going to represent as many of those people as they can, Her Justice recruits volunteer attorneys from top law firms across the City to represent our clients.
About a dozen Her Justice lawyers mentor and train over 1,500 lawyers each year to provide legal representation in 80% of our cases. With our approach, we are able to ensure that thousands of women are assigned a lawyer to help with their high-stakes legal needs – more than 3,400 women in 2017 alone.
As a ‘pro bono first’ organization, we spend the majority of our effort focused on how best to mentor and train volunteers. Our legal volunteers receive top-notch training and support, learning not only the law, but becoming better lawyers and more engaged private citizens. And our clients receive the best legal services in the City, at no cost to them.
At a time when there are simply not enough lawyers to meet the demand, Her Justice fills a unique gap in NYC – providing legal assistance to women living in poverty facing high-stakes legal needs, who cannot get help elsewhere.
Kim Koopersmith, Chairperson, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, and Her Justice Board Member, speaks to the power of pro bono –“part of our mission as lawyers.”
Listen here to Executive Director Amy Barasch introducing the Her Justice ‘pro bono first’ model and more on the Pro Bono Institute’s Happy Hour podcast.
Read more: Court reform