Boston Bar Pro Bono Volunteers To Address Pro Se Crisis At Bankruptcy Court

Monday, April 5, 2010 - 00:00

The BBA Bankruptcy Section, in collaboration with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the BBA (VLP), issued an appeal for volunteer lawyers and law firms to take on pro bono Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. All cases will be prescreened by the VLP, and volunteers will be provided with mentoring assistance by both VLP and seasoned bankruptcy practitioners.

"Given what is going on in the broader economy, there is a substantial need for pro bono bankruptcy services," said Adrienne K. Walker, co-chair of the BBA Bankruptcy Section and an attorney at Mintz Levin. "You need not be a bankruptcy lawyer or insolvency expert to volunteer, given the quality of the mentoring provided. This is a great opportunity for litigators and real estate practitioners, and also for newer lawyers to do client counseling and, if the need arises, to argue before a bankruptcy judge."

Pro bono cases are expected to involve individuals who have recently lost their jobs, many of whom are living below the poverty level and need bankruptcy assistance to protect their ability to stay in their homes.

In response to this urgent need, the BBA Bankruptcy Section and VLP have already recruited more than 105 volunteer lawyers to assist debtors who would otherwise be pro se. Bankruptcy departments of many larger law firms have already agreed to take at least three such pro bono cases per bankruptcy lawyer.

For information about available CLE credits and fees, visit CLE Events on The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel website at www.metrocorpcounsel.com.

To register for the program, call (617) 742-0615 or visit www.bostonbar.org. For more information, please contact Doug Gooding at (617) 248-5277 dgooding@choate.com or Elaine Benkoski at (781) 461-0369 elainembenkoski@mindspring.com.