Katahdin Counsel Commission Launches Recognition Program

Dear Maine Attorney,

The Kathadin Counsel Commission wants to be sure that you are aware of the new Katahdin Counsel Recognition Program which is being launched in 2012. The Katahdin Counsel Recognition Program was created by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, in response to a proposal by the Justice Action Group to focus the public's attention on the critical role that pro bono publico plays in maintaining a vibrant civil justice system.

Maine lawyers are among the most generous in the nation in donating their time to pro bono representation for people who cannot afford an attorney and by donating money to support legal aid. The purpose of the Katahdin Counsel Recognition Program is twofold. First, to establish an annual process for recognizing and honoring the pro bono work of Maine's lawyers. Second, to encourage more lawyers to provide such services for Maine's low-income residents to help to meet their growing unmet legal needs.

The pro bono service to be recognized tracks Maine Rule of Professional Responsibility 6.1(1) and (2). Qualifying legal services are those provided without fee or expectation of fee to (1) persons of limited means; or (2) charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means.

Maine lawyers need simply to certify when they have personally completed 50 or more qualifying pro bono hours in a year. They will then receive the acknowledgement and gratitude of the Supreme Judicial Court, and the right to use the designation "Katahdin Counsel" on their letterhead and publications.

To find out more about the Katahdin Counsel Recognition Program please go to: http://www.courts.state.me.us/citizen_help/attorneys/katahdin/overview.html
Here you will also find a link to FAQs which explain how the program works and how to self report your qualifying pro bono hours. The Commission encourages you to participate in this program and thanks you for your service to Maine citizens.

Sincerely,
The Katahdin Counsel Commission