A February report from the Montana Supreme Court and the State Bar of Montana featured the results of the State’s 2012 attorney pro bono activities, which shows a significant increase in the number of attorneys providing free legal services. The report indicates that almost 1,700 Montana attorneys volunteered over 140-thousand hours of pro bono services to low income Montanans across the state. That amounts to about $18-million worth of work.
Chief Justice Mike McGrath stated, “Each year, thousands of low-income Montanans gain meaningful access to our legal system because our attorneys fulfill the ideal that such access should be available regardless of economic condition. We highly commend Montana’s attorneys for advancing the goal of access to justice through volunteer service.”
According to a new release from the State Bar of Montana, pro bono services are most often provided to low-income clients in family law matters, including adoptions, guardianships, divorces, parenting plans and child support issues. However, attorneys provide pro bono services to many other qualifying clients, including the elderly, military veterans and organizations serving low-income individuals.
Listen to an interview with Chris Manos, State Bar of Montana Executive Director, as he explains the importance of pro bono work in the rural state.