Philadelphia VIP's Summer Pro Bono Program Introduces Law Students to Pro Bono Service in Philadelphia

Top Quote This Summer Law Students Learn about Importance of Pro Bono Work from Legal Pro Bono Service Organization Philadelphia VIP. End Quote
  • Philadelphia, PA-NJ (1888PressRelease) June 28, 2012 - Philadelphia VIP, the hub of pro bono legal services in Philadelphia, hosted its annual Summer Pro Bono Program at the Philadelphia Bar Institute on June 8, 2012. The program was hosted to educate law students about the importance of pro bono service, which is the bedrock of Philly VIP's mission.

    More than 100 law students attended the program with informational panels featuring attorneys from a number of law firms and legal agencies. The first panel was comprised of distinguished Philly VIP volunteer attorneys including Jennifer Kates, Esq., Office of Councilwoman Sanchez; Janet G. Perry, Esq., Adjunct Professor at Temple University Beasley School of Law and the University of Pennsylvania Law School; Markita Morris-Louis, Esq., Associate, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP; Brian S. Chacker, Esq., Associate, Gay Chacker & Mittin, PC; and Ethan D. Fogel, Esq., Partner, Dechert LLP. The panelists focused on Rule 6.1 of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which states that every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. The attorneys also discussed the positive impact that providing volunteer service to low-income clients has had on their careers.

    A second panel, consisting of representatives from VIP's partner agencies including Education Law Center, Homeless Advocacy Project, Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Philadelphia Legal Assistance and SeniorLAW Center, addressed the many volunteer opportunities available to lawyers in Philadelphia. Each agency is sponsoring a summer project for law students, coordinated by VIP, providing them with a first-hand experience of pro bono service in the region.

    The half-day program concluded with a lunch with judges from The First Judicial District and VIP board members. Students talked informally with the judges and board members about the importance of providing pro bono service and the unique opportunities and responsibilities that come along with being a lawyer.

    The Philadelphia Bar Institute has been a trusted partner of Philadelphia VIP since its founding more than 30 years ago.

    Philadelphia VIP ( was founded in 1981 by the Philadelphia Bar Association and Community Legal Services to meet the legal needs of low-income Philadelphians by recruiting and training attorneys to provide pro bono legal services. Since that time, the organization has recruited and trained thousands of private attorneys to create a pool of attorneys to provide consistent, high-quality representation to low-income clients with critical legal needs. VIP continues to implement creative and effective ways to bridge the gap between marginalized individuals, families and communities with legal needs and lawyers possessing the skills and ability to meet those needs. Today, VIP's diverse volunteers serve more than 3,000 clients annually with legal issues that affect basic human needs. Philadelphia LawWorks, a project of Philadelphia VIP, is a pro bono referral program that serves nonprofits, small businesses and homeowners.

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