The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
September 14, 2011

9/11’s Pro Bono Promise

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the devastating September 11 attacks. The consequences of these traumatic events have had lasting effects in both the domestic and international arenas.

In this month’s edition of The Pro Bono Wire, PBI’s President and CEO Esther Lardent discusses some of the more positive changes that the law and the justice system have undergone in response to the impact of one of the worst attacks in American history. She commends the pro bono community for their outstanding efforts to initiate projects to aid the families who had either suffered a traumatic loss or had otherwise been affected by the events that took place on that day. She comments on what touched her the most, saying,

For me, as a life-long pro bono advocate, one of the most striking and moving aspects of the legal community’s response to Sept. 11 was the generosity of spirit and the sense of purpose that informed that response. When we re-opened the Pro Bono Institute’s offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., . . . we were flooded with calls and e-mails from lawyers and law firms all over the country demanding to know how they could help.

While she believes that the events of that fateful day “were a catalyst for the robust and creative pro bono culture we see today”, she urges the pro bono community to go further with their efforts. She applauds the groups who are currently working to transform September 11 into a day of service, but endeavors for more. Instead, she advocates for the full funding for the Legal Services Corporation, urging the legal community to “be the problem-solvers and peace-makers that we were on Sept. 11.”  Involving oneself in pro bono matters needs no specific date or time, but merely the will to come to the rescue of the poor and disadvantaged.

To read Lardent’s full letter click here.