Increasing Pro Bono Engagement Among Our Members
A series of interviews conducted by AHLA Young Professionals highlights the activities of several of our Pro Bono Champions. These interviews are a great starting point for those who want to learn more about how to incorporate pro bono practice into one's busy legal career, how to balance pro bono demands with other work obligations, and helps one understand the personal and professional benefits of engaging in pro bono work as a health care attorney. The first installment of our interview series features Justin Pitt of Community Health Systems in Franklin, TN; Bradley M. Thompson of Epstein Becker & Green PC in Washington, DC; and Professor Kathy Cerminara of Nova Southeastern University in Davie, FL. Look for our next set of interviews in February and May of 2014.
Now Accepting Pro Bono Champion Applications
The Pro Bono Champion Awards recognize lawyers who have provided significant pro bono legal services in the healthcare/health law field, helping to increase the availability and quality of healthcare or otherwise provide needed access to the legal system for those in need. Our awardees represent excellence in fulfillment of the volunteer tradition of the legal profession.
Now is your chance to become or nominate a Pro Bono Champion. We want to know how your or your colleague's pro bono services resulted in lightening the load for an individual or community that was least able to afford legal services but needed them the most.
AHLA is now accepting applications through March 31, 2014 to honor the Pro Bono Champions of 2013. Award recipients will be announced in May 2014 and recognized in AHLA's Top Honors issue of AHLA Connections. Awardees will also be recognized at the Association's annual meeting in New York City (June 29-July 2, 2014). Click here for nomination criteria.
AHLA's inaugural class of Pro Bono Champions and their inspiring stories were featured in the February 2012 issue of AHLA Connections. Twenty-six healthcare attorneys were honored for their significant contributions to pro bono work in the healthcare/health law field during calendar years 2010 and 2011. Last year, AHLA honored thirty-one of its members for their dedication to providing pro bono services in the health law field during 2012. Read their stories at 2012 Pro Bono Champions.
A Word from One of AHLA's Past Presidents
This terrific, user-friendly resource is your starting point in exploring options to provide healthcare-related pro bono services, from developing a pro bono program within your own organization, whether that's a law firm, provider, health system, or the like; partnering with a national organization to provide pro bono services; partnering with a local bar association; and more. Even if you only have a few hours each month to devote to pro bono work, this virtual handbook will help you make the most of your options.
Each of us knows how confusing, intimidating, and even scary healthcare coverage and reimbursement issues can be for non-healthcare lawyers. AHLA members can be a tremendous resource for individuals and organizations alike, in understanding the health delivery system, in accessing benefits, and in addressing countless other legal problems and issues. Please join me in exploring areas in which your time and your many talents in healthcare law can be used to benefit others.
-Elizabeth Carder-Thompson, 2009-2010 AHLA President
The AHLA Pro Bono Health Law Initiative provides access to resources, educational materials and networking information for health lawyers doing and seeking opportunities to do pro bono legal work.
From legal assistance for individuals facing obstacles to obtaining healthcare or health benefits, to pro bono corporate legal work for healthcare charitable organizations and major impact litigation on health access issues, there is great diversity in pro bono opportunities for AHLA members.
This website is a “virtual” handbook. It provides links to information on:
successful operation of pro bono health law programs in law firm, private corporation, and government agency settings.
connections to organizations doing pro bono work on key health law issues at the national level that are seeking to team with health lawyers;
and information on pro bono legal programs at the state and local level with which AHLA members may collaborate.
Many local bar organizations and non-profit legal services organizations maintain networks of volunteer attorneys and firms willing to screen and handle pro bono matters. AHLA members may wish to coordinate with these organizations to set up panels of local firms interested in screening or handling health law-related pro bono matters.
Over time, we hope to explore new ways to enhance and facilitate pro bono work in the health arena, to expand the initiative to include highlights of pro bono activity by AHLA members, to provide recognition for AHLA members and organizations making significant pro bono health law contributions, and to support clearinghouse and networking functions to help AHLA members find teaming opportunities in pro bono work.
Contact Katherine Wone with questions or ideas regarding AHLA's Pro Bono Initiative and website.