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Today is a day of service.

Many lawyers provide pro bono service, but there is still a need. Sometimes this can be difficult because not for profit charitable organizations are not open to it. Considering the need this may seem confusing, but employees need to train people and often don’t have the time or initiative. In other cases, large law firms have supplied staff to do work for the organization and the organization feels its need is supplied and does not consider lawyers from outside the firm. They would probably have geometrically improved results if one or two of the lawyers from that firm trained lawyers from outside the firm whose pro bono work would not be covered by that firm’s malpractice insurance. There is a suprising insularity to some charitable organizations.

I have been volunteering for a number of charities. Like any organization, some are well run and some are not. A well run organization is Medicare Rights, which provides counseling to individuals who are having problems understanding Medicare or obtaining benefits. They provide an extensive ongoing training program and volunteers have substantive roles. Also rewarding, but not pro bono, is Achilles International. This is a track/cycling organization for those with disabilities. Those with disabilities are amazing. Always upbeat.

I will be participating in UNICEF’s Tap Project which aims to bring fresh water to people throughout the world. It is a big problem. Bigger and more immediate than global warming. In addition, I will be doing pro bono work for NYC City Bar Justice Center’s Veterans Assistance Project. This will help veterans obtain disability benefits from the VA.

Hope you will volunteer this year as well. Let’s make a dream a reality.