American Bar Association
Pro Bono Work

Pro Bono Work


Committee Charge: With the approval of Section leadership, to propose and implement pro bono projects for the membership of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law.

Join the Committee: Do you want to get involved in the Section's efforts to promote and support pro bono by Section members? The Committee meets via monthly conference calls, usually on the third Wednesday of each month. With participation of Committee members we will set up subcommittees to work on a number of interesting projects designed to educate Section members about pro bono work, recognize the extraordinary efforts of Section members who perform pro bono work through the Section's Frances Perkins Public Service Award, and support the efforts of the Section and its members who want to perform pro bono work.

To find out how you can participate, contact one of the Pro Bono Committee co-chairs.

More About the Committee and Its Projects


ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law Selects the Pro Bono Project of New Orleans for Francis Perkins Public Service Award

The ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law presented the 2008 Frances Perkins Public Service Award to the Pro Bono Project of New Orleans during their 2008 Annual CLE Conference in Denver. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Pro Bono Project of New Orleans established the Employment Law Program to address the needs of the immigrant construction workers, many of whom are non-English-speaking, who came to New Orleans to help rebuild that city. Many of these workers did not receive the minimum wage or overtime pay, and were otherwise subjected to illegal employment practices. Notwithstanding severe budgetary constraints, the decrease in the number of lawyers practicing in New Orleans and the significant damage to the practices of those lawyers who remained, the Pro Bono Project of New Orleans has had significant success in recruiting lawyers to represent abused workers and in obtaining redress for those workers. In its first year of operation, the Employment Law Program has served 332 clients and has developed working relationships with law schools and other organizations that are attempting to provide vital services to this population of workers.


The need for pro bono services in the labor and employment area is acute. Questions relating to labor and employment law account for more than a quarter of the issues raised in many pro bono programs. The American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law wants to acknowledge individuals, firms, corporate and union legal departments, government agencies, and other organizations who help meet this crucial need.

As a result, in 2003, the Section established the Frances Perkins Public Service Award (Award). The Award recognizes individuals or organizations that demonstrate a significant commitment to providing pro bono legal services primarily in the areas of labor and employment law to persons of limited means or to nonprofit, governmental, civic, community or religious organizations designed primarily to address the needs of individuals with limited means.

Click here to find out more about the Perkins Award, requirements for nomination, and profiles of past recipients.


The Section is sponsoring a project to address a problem in New Orleans. The project is aimed at establishing a network of lawyers throughout the country who will be available to provide notarial services out of state to those who face homelessness in in New Orleans, including those made homeless by Katrina. These individuals need to have proof of identity in order to be admitted to a shelter, the most common of which is a birth certificate. However, individuals born outside of Louisiana face additional obstacles in obtaining their birth certificates. For many years, New Orleans attorneys provided these services on a pro bono basis. Where an applicant was born outside Louisiana, a local attorney would locate a lawyer in the state of birth to assist them. Because of the substantial damage to their practices and lives, the New Orleans bar can use our assistance in meeting this need. Although the list of attorneys currently participating is growing, the project could use your participation. If you are interested in helping out, please contact one of the chairs through the links in the right panel or Section Assistant Jim Jones for more information.

Model Law Firm Pro Bono Policy

In order to assist members of the Section of Labor and Employment Law in formulating a pro bono policy for their law firms, the Pro Bono Work Committee has developed a model policy. The Committee urges all firms to adopt and implement a pro bono policy.

The model policy is consistent with ABA Model Rule 6.1, however, the views expressed herein have not been approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and, accordingly, should not be construed as representing the policy of the American Bar Association.

The Pro Bono Work Committee reminds Section members that they must also consult their state and local bar association's pro bono rules before instituting a pro bono policy. The web site of the ABA Center for Pro Bono (see in the right panel of this page) provides links to most states' pro bono rules.

The Committee recommends that each firm's pro bono policy be distributed to all attorneys at the time it is adopted and annually thereafter.

Read the complete model pro bono policy statement through the link in the right panel of this page.

Labor and Employment Law Pro Bono Resources

ABA Pro Bono Web Resources

Committee Leadership & Roster


Anglade, Woody

Committee Roster  

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Programs, Meetings and Events

Committee Events

    8th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference

    JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE
    Los Angeles

    Prominent speakers and exciting and balanced panelsA full years worth of CLE credit at a price that cant be beatA multi-tracked curriculum covering all aspects of your labor and employment law practiceA multilevel program that will be of value regardless of your degree of experienceOpportunities for ...

Modified by Dustin Peters on June 25, 2010

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