Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

$10.3 Million in Pro Bono Legal Services Donated in 2016

Ohio lawyers continued in 2016 to donate their time and talent to offer free legal help for Ohioans in need, according to the results of the Ohio Supreme Court’s annual, voluntary pro bono reporting. The Supreme Court solicits pro bono reporting in conjunction with the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation.

“It’s no secret that Ohio legal aids must turn away about three people for every one person served,” said Foundation Pro Bono and Communications Director Jane Taylor, who compiled the report. “Even though overall funding has inched up, it hasn’t made up for the devastating drop during the recession. Pro bono help can’t take the place of the important work legal aid does every day, but it is a critical component for private practice lawyers to help leverage legal aid’s limited resources.”

More than 4,300 attorneys reported their pro bono activities for 2016, performing more than 76,000 hours of volunteer legal services to Ohioans who couldn’t afford an attorney. Using a $135 hourly rate, Ohio attorneys donated $10.3 million in pro bono services in 2016.

Since 2007, the Ohio Supreme Court has asked attorneys to report their pro bono activities to learn the extent and nature of pro bono work in Ohio. Taylor said the information is used to identify gaps in the delivery of civil legal aid in order to strengthen the network of free legal services.

“The court’s continued emphasis on access to justice and the importance of pro bono work as a core professional value both contribute to Ohio attorneys giving back,” Taylor said. “Because of that, many needy Ohioans benefit.”

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