The Washington Council of Lawyers seeks not only to promote pro bono practice by law firm lawyers, but also government pro bono work. Executive Order 12988, issued by President Clinton on February 5, 1996, provides that “all Federal agencies should develop appropriate programs to encourage and facilitate pro bono legal and other volunteer service by government employees to be performed on their own time, including attorneys, as permitted by statute, regulation, or other rule or guideline.” Over the years, the Council has engaged a variety of activities designed to help facilitate implementation of this directive.
In 2003, the Council initiated a new Government Pro Bono Award, to be presented each November at the Council’s Annual Awards Reception. This award recognizes the invaluble pro bono work performed by government attorneys.Government Pro Bono Awards Presented in Recent Years:
2007 James Yoon
2006 Mark Pletcher
2005 Julie Abbate
2004 Laura Klein
2003 Claire McGuire
The Council has also created a Government Pro Bono Committee, which is working on additional strategies to promote government pro bono work. We recommend the resources on government pro bono that may be found at Pro Bono Net, including advice on creating a pro bono program at your federal agency, sample agency pro bono policies, and answers to commonly asked questions.