County Council celebrates Pro Bono week

King County Council proclaimed Oct. 21-27 as Pro Bono Week.

To honor those who volunteer their time pro bono to provide legal services to individuals and families in need, the King County Council proclaimed October 21-27 as “Pro Bono Week” in King County.

According to the Washington Supreme Court, seven in 10 low-income households in Washington face at least one significant civil legal problem each year. The average number of legal problems per household has more than tripled since 2003.

The proclamation noted that nearly “5,000 attorneys across the state have provided close to 346,000 hours of volunteer legal help to individuals and families,” in 2017 alone. King County has stepped up to support legal services in recent years due to the declining federal support and inactive state funding.

“Nearly three in four Washington residents face urgent civil legal issues each year, including issues related to health care, consumer and financial services, domestic violence, divorce, child custody, foreclosure, eviction, and abuse; but less than 25 percent receive legal assistance,” reads the proclamation.

Through the county’s role, legal aid organizations have leveraged support through unique partnerships.

“Time committed to pro bono work is invaluable to both the attorney and the people they help, “ said county councilmember and proclamation sponsor Reagan Dunn in a release. “Pro bono week is a true chance to give back to the community and provide assistance to those who can’t afford legal services.”

The proclamation noted that equal justice for all is a fundamental and essential right in a democratic society.

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