To the Editor:
Lawyers sometimes get a bad rap, but here's news that will turn that stereotype on its head.
In its just-released 2009 annual report, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission reported an increase in both the number of lawyers providing pro bono legal services as well as the hours donated. Lawyers answered the call to help those who were caught in the vortex of foreclosures and unemployment receive free legal representation in civil matters.
Here are the facts. In 2009, 27,200 attorneys indicated they provided 2.1 million pro bono legal service hours, including 1.1 million hours directly to persons of limited means. At a time when the state legislature has slashed funding to organizations that provide legal services to the poor, the ARDC news is all the more welcome.
I am so proud of the lawyers in this state, and I commend them for honoring their professional duty. But more needs to be done, and I encourage our lawyers to continue with and even increase their pro bono efforts so that there is truly equal justice for all. I am confident that lawyers will answer this call.
John G. O'Brien