Cardozo Society Legal Services
Justice Benjamin Cardozo once remarked:
"Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions. [An attorney is] received into that ancient fellowship for something more than private gain. He [becomes] an officer of the court, and, like the court itself, an instrument or agency to advance the ends of justice." People ex rel. Karlin v. Culkin, 162 N. E. 487, 489 (1928).
This statement has long been used as a rallying cry to urge lawyers to perform pro bono work. The Washington Supreme Court and the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) have taken up this call.
"Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to assist in the provision of legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least thirty (30) hours of pro bono public service per year." Washington Rules of Professional Conduct 6.1.
Pro Bono and Jewish Teaching
Jewish lawyers can draw from an even older source urging pro bono work. Our sages teach us that donating one’s time and professional skill is even greater than giving charity, for while charity can only be done with money, chesed, acts of kindness, can be done with one’s whole person (Talmud Tractate Sukkah 49B). The Washington State Cardozo Society's Pro Bono Program enables Jewish lawyers to follow this path.
About the Pro Bono Program
The Cardozo Society works with local non-profit organizations on specific pro bono initiatives. To learn more, please email Cassie Garvin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the WSBA Online Directory of Pro Bono Opportunities.