Fundraising has long been a difficult task for bigger law firms that provide many hundreds of hours of pro bono service each year. But the task is making gains, both because of new technologies and new support from the public and state and federal governments. Everyone understands that when the justice system fails, it’s often pro bono work that sets everything right. So how are law firms finally achieving their pro bono financial goals?
According to the OCHA Global Humanitarian Overview in 2021 predicted that 235 million people would require some kind of humanitarian aid over the next twelve months. This represents an enormous increase over the previous year.
But it might not be too much to handle.
Increasing implementation of remote working provided pro bono firms with critical decreases to expenditures. This came at an important time due to the increase in needed services. New systems like Remote Legal Connect were put into service in order to connect legal services with those who need them. This allowed new programs to be built in a streamlined fashion.
One client of the new engine said, “After I talked to the attorney, I left like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.”
An attorney who uses Remote Legal Connect added, “I went to law school, so I should be able to figure this [technology] out!”
And the technology is built to be simplistic to use, both for client and lawyer.
In other words, digital tools are being used more than ever. It’s easier for low-income individuals to find information directly on the Internet. This gives those in need with more choices when it comes to finding a law firm that can provide the right service for the right person.
The United States remains the nation with the highest worldwide incarceration rate. Over 2400 individuals have had sentences vacated since 1989. While that might not seem like a large number compared to the millions upon millions of convictions in the decades since, it’s startling to see why many of these occurrences happened in the first place. Usually, we find that it was due to misconduct or lying on the stand. More resources for lawyers means that more cases like those aren’t likely to happen at all.
Many criminal defense lawyers acknowledge that some defendants are probably innocent. An anonymous lawyer for Ronald Freeman Law said, “At the end of the day we’ll never know exactly how many of our clients are innocent or guilty. But you do get the sense that you can start to figure out how, why, and when someone is lying to you. We expect that a judge can figure out who’s telling the truth. But we forget lawyers have the same skill! I’ll say this much: I’ve defended clients who I thought were innocent. A few were convicted anyway. It’s my job to work to find a way to stop that from happening again. It’s all of our jobs.”
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