Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Attorneys Donate 81,000 Hours of Pro Bono Work in 2014

By volunteering their services to those in need, several thousand Ohio lawyers change lives across the Buckeye state.

The attorneys performed about 81,000 hours of volunteer legal services in 2014 to Ohioans who couldn’t afford an attorney. The Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation and the Ohio Supreme Court announced today the results from attorneys who voluntarily reported their pro bono activities.

Since 2007, the court has asked attorneys to report their pro bono activities to learn the extent and nature of pro bono work in Ohio. The information is used to identify gaps in the delivery of legal services in order to strengthen the network of legal services available to Ohioans in need.

Using an hourly rate of $135, it’s estimated that the pro bono services in 2014 was valued at $10.9 million. The attorneys also made about $275,000 in financial contributions to organizations that provide legal services to low-income Ohioans.

Attorneys are encouraged to perform pro bono work and may be eligible to receive up to six hours of continuing legal education credit each biennial compliance period for performing certain kinds of pro bono legal services.

The foundation’s Pro Bono and Communications Director Jane Taylor said while the total number of attorneys who reported legal services declined from the year before, attorneys increased the average number of pro bono work hours.

“Not only did the average pro bono hours increase, the average charitable contribution to Ohio organizations serving those with limited means also increased by 20 percent,” Taylor said. “We truly appreciate all attorneys who served and reported their pro bono legal services.”

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court sent an email to all Ohio attorneys registered as “active” with email addresses on file with the Office of Attorney Services. Attorneys were asked to report their pro bono activity from 2014 by answering questions at a reporting website.

All information voluntarily submitted was collected without identifiers, keeping the results anonymous.

On an annual basis, the foundation compiles and reports the information collected to the Supreme Court, bar associations, and legal services organizations throughout Ohio.