The CBA has donated $8,000 to the Connecticut Bar Foundation (CBF) to benefit their legal service grantees who provide pro bono civil legal services to Connecticut’s low-income residents. This donation will be beneficial to the legal service providers that anticipate an increase in the public’s need for pro bono services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The CBA is proud to support CBF in this initiative and the impact it will have on the legal service providers and our communities in which they serve,” said CBA President Amy Lin Meyerson.
The donation to the legal service provider is just one of the many initiatives the CBA has undertaken as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CBA has trained lawyers to take on pro bono cases, helped established a small business virtual legal clinic, answered questions through an anonymous online portal, and raised funds for local food banks.
“The economic impact of COVID-19 has greatly amplified the access to justice gap, creating significant anticipated increases in evictions, foreclosures, family and domestic violence matters, among other legal issues,” said CBA President-elect and Pro Bono Committee Chair Cecil J. Thomas. “This is a crucial time for the Connecticut legal profession to increase our pro bono engagement, and our support for our legal aid providers.”
CBA Pro Bono Connect
The CBA launched CBA Pro Bono Connect to pair volunteer attorneys with legal service providers that need assistance with pro bono cases and provide volunteers with training to take on a pro bono case.
COVID-19 Small Business Virtual Legal Clinic
The CBA, along with Robinson+Cole and other area law firms, sponsored a statewide COVID-19 Small Business Virtual Legal Clinic to help Connecticut’s entrepreneurs and small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing free, limited-scope legal guidance during 45-minute telephone or video calls with a volunteer attorney. More than 50 requests have been submitted by Connecticut business owners to be answered by the program’s 57 participating attorneys.
Connecticut Free Legal Answers
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, CBA members continued to provide legal services while social distancing measures and work from home executive orders were enacted by answering questions through the American Bar Association-supported online portal known in this state as Connecticut Free Legal Answers. More than 30 low-income, elderly, and disabled Connecticut residents have submitted more than 90 questions to be answered by one of the 80 program-participating attorneys.
Project Feed Connecticut
The CBA has partnered with over a dozen Connecticut professional associations to established Project Feed Connecticut to help feed Connecticut’s hungry residents. So far, the initiative has raised more than $30,000 for Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare, including the CBA’s $16,000 donation.
The CBA has long supported pro bono legal services through the work of its Pro Bono Committee. This past fall, the committee held a pro bono clinic in which 50 attorneys served 60 clients. The committee is planning to hold this year’s clinic virtually and details will be announced as they are available.
Learn more about the CBA’s pro bono efforts here