Pennsylvania chief justice seeks lawyers’ help with civil legal aid crisis

Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille is asking the state’s 70,000 lawyers to volunteer more of their time and money to help address Pennsylvania’s “civil legal aid crisis.”

“Pennsylvania lawyers have a proud tradition of pro bono service,” wrote Castille in a Jan. 7 letter to the state’s 70,000 lawyers, “but now is the time to do more.” He notes that half the qualified people seeking help from a legal aid program are turned away due to a lack of resources and that only 10 percent of the state’s lawyers do pro bono work each year.

Castille urges every Pennsylvania lawyer to take at least one new pro bono case, continue working on an ongoing case or make a donation to a civil legal aid or pro bono program.

“The resources that would be available to those with the inability to access legal services in our Commonwealth if every lawyer stepped forward are staggering,” he wrote.

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