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Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee
2001-2002 Annual Report

The Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee's charge is to encourage the involvement of lawyers in the delivery of legal assistance through local volunteer attorney programs and to support programs throughout the state that provide civil legal assistance to people who would otherwise be unable to afford such assistance. The MSBA works in a close partnership with volunteer attorney programs and other civil legal services providers throughout Minnesota including the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition. The Coalition comprises the seven regional programs that serve all 87 Minnesota counties. Through contracts with the MSBA, the Coalition programs pay a significant percentage of the salary and fringe benefits costs of the MSBA's Access to Justice Director as they have since 1982. The Committee also works closely with the Courts, the Legislature, other funders, and lawyers throughout the state. During the past year key LAD Committee activities included the following:

Funding for Civil Legal Services including Volunteer Attorney Programs: MSBA President Kent Gernander made increasing funding for legal services his top priority for 2000-2001. The key elements of the initiative, which continued in 2001-02, were to: (1) Support significantly increased legislative funding for civil legal services programs by energizing and mobilizing the bar and community. Work with the Minnesota Supreme Court to ensure that their message to the Legislature emphasizes that the provision of civil legal services for the disadvantaged is an essential part of the justice system. Civil legal services funding is part of the Supreme Court budget. (2) Conduct a targeted educational campaign among trial lawyers, judges and others about awarding cy pres funds (undistributed class action proceeds) and other windfalls to civil legal services. (3) Work to enhance IOLTA revenue by encouraging banks to increase interest rates and eliminate service charges and transaction fees on IOLTA accounts. (4) Begin to plan for and build an endowment for long-term stable funding using the new Minnesota Legal Aid Foundation Fund at the Minnesota Foundation as the vehicle. This fundraising would be targeted not to compete with any current annual giving campaigns.

State Legislature Funding: The MSBA has consistently supported adequate funding for civil legal services in Minnesota by advocating for such funding with members of Minnesota's congressional delegation and with the state legislature. The 2002 session was very challenging because of the need to balance the budget in light of significant shortfalls. In Phase I early in the session, despite an increase in the civil filing fee from $122 to $135 and an increase in the Conciliation Court filing fee of $10 which helped limit cuts to the Court's budget, legal aid's base funding, a line item in the Court's budget, was cut $175,000 for each year, 2003, 2004 and 2005. There were no cuts to the judiciary and legal aid beyond the ones in Phase I. Legal Aid was successful in preventing deeper cuts because of extraordinary work by the bar, the bench, community groups, and the legal aid providers. Minnesota's statewide legal aid partnership; range of services; political support; and bench, bar and community support are exceptional. The campaign was truly a concerted, creative and effective team effort. Everyone on the committee pitched in to help.

IOLTA Interest Rates: As noted above, the LAD Committee and the Lawyer Trust Account Board (LTAB) have a joint working group that continues to track IOLTA revenues and to work on increasing the yield wherever possible. In 2001-2002 IOLTA revenues were down dramatically due to the fall in interest rates, necessitating cuts to grantees for 2002-2003 of 31.5% with similar cuts projected for 2003-2004. In 1994-95 in response to similar circumstances, many Minnesota banks responded favorably to an MSBA request that service charges and transaction fees on IOLTA accounts be waived and that favorable interest rates be applied to IOLTA accounts. In 2001-2002, the working group, led by LAD Committee co-chair and LTAB chair Tom Mielenhausen, continued to explore with major banks ways to possibly enhance revenues by using products such as REPOs and/or sweep accounts. That work will continue in the coming year.

Cy Pres: A working group has been planning for a targeted educational campaign among trial lawyers, judges and others about awarding cy pres funds (undistributed class action proceeds) and other windfalls to civil legal services. This year a manual was assembled and copies printed to use in this campaign. "Lunches with Litigators" are planned for early fall of 2002.

Federal Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Funding: The MSBA continues working closely with Minnesota's congressional delegation to support adequate federal legal services funding and to prevent additional restrictions on legitimate activities of legal services attorneys and programs. For 2001, Congress increased funding for LSC from $305 to almost $330 million. That level was maintained in 2002. Unfortunately onerous restrictions, placed on all money received by programs that receive any LSC funds, were continued. The MSBA continues to work with Minnesota's Congressional delegation to encourage future funding increases and to remove restrictions.

LSC State Planning: The Legal Services Corporation requires each state to engage in statewide planning about its legal services delivery system. Then-MSBA President Mark Gehan asked that the LAD Committee work with the LSC-funded programs and other providers to prepare the initial report submitted in October of 1998. Issues addressed included technology, providing a full range of legal services to low-income clients, private bar involvement, intake and advice systems, coordination and cooperation among providers, addressing concerns of pro se litigants, and configuration of the delivery system. In July of 1999, LSC sent a consultant to Minnesota for a week to review state planning. Her report became the basis for a strongly supportive feedback letter from LSC and approval in 2000 of three-year funding for Minnesota's six LSC-funded programs. An extensive report, termed a self-evaluation, was submitted in September of 2001 and can be found at http://www2.mnbar.org/committees/lad/lsc-self-evaluation.pdf An expected visit in July 2002 by an LSC team was cancelled and may be rescheduled in the coming year. State planning is an ongoing process with the LAD Committee playing an important role.

Violence Against Women Act Legal Assistance for Victims Funding: Several Minnesota programs receive funding under this program which is managed by the Violence Against Women Office in the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs. The programs' experience is that management of Legal Assistance to Victims grants does a disservice to victims and undermines the very purpose of VAWA. Most problematic are the timelines for grant consideration and awards. For the last three funding cycles, grants have been for 18 months, yet programs are only permitted to apply for funding approximately every 24 months. This has resulted in large gaps in funding and interruptions in services to victims. MSBA and program staff are working with Congressional offices to try to alleviate the most severe problems.

Pro Bono Initiatives: One of the LAD Committee's major roles is to encourage and support pro bono. In 2001-2002, the Committee undertook a major review of pro bono programs and began work on reinvigorating pro bono. Several meetings were held including a joint meeting with local volunteer attorney program coordinators from around the state. A draft report includes listing of areas of law in which clients have unmet needs that pro bono attorneys might be able to address. Work will continue next year beginning with a focus group in St. Cloud of current volunteers and some lawyers who are not now volunteering.

Directory of Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys: The MSBA Directory of Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys is distributed to new admittees, made available at continuing legal education programs, and sent to any attorney requesting a copy. In May of 2001, a new edition was published. Tailored excerpts have been printed in various MSBA section newsletters and inserted in materials for selected CLE courses. Over 15,000 copies of the directory have been distributed. Financial support is provided by the Lawyer Trust Account Board, the Legal Services Advisory Committee, and the Minnesota State Bar Foundation.

Probono.net/mn: One of the LAD Committee's major efforts has been launching the first statewide probono.net initiative! The goal is to provide powerful web-based resources to support the thousands of volunteer and judicare attorneys and legal aid staff throughout Minnesota who are advising and representing low-income and disadvantaged Minnesotans in civil cases. The MSBA is pleased to host this statewide project with major assistance from the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney. Probono.net/mn was developed through the generosity of probono.net in New York and their grants from The Open Society Institute; Dorsey & Whitney; the MSBA's Impact Fund; the Minnesota State Bar Foundation; and grants to the MSBA's Minnesota Volunteer Attorney Program from the Lawyer Trust Account Board and Legal Services Advisory Committee.

For the past two years, Minnesota lawyers and law students have had access to four practice areas: Civil Law (hosted by the MSBA), Minnesota Justice Foundation (hosted by MJF especially for MN law students), Asylum (co-hosted by MN Advocates for Human Rights), and Death Penalty (hosted by the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project). A fifth, Civil Rights (hosted by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in Washington DC), was launched in spring of 2002. Each password-protected practice area gives members access to news, a calendar of CLE programs and other events, and online libraries including extensive poverty law materials and links to other useful sites for pro bono lawyers. There is also a public calendar and public news available on the Minnesota main page.

Law School Initiatives Subcommittee: The subcommittee includes representatives of students and faculty from all four Minnesota law schools, the Minnesota Justice Foundation, legal services providers, law firms and other segments of the LAD Committee. The Subcommittee worked closely with MJF and the three existing law schools to formally launch the Law School Public Service Program in fall of 1999. The law schools and several local foundations support the Program financially.

In 2001-2002, the Law School Public Service Program saw another increase in volunteer services provided by law students. Thanks to the participation of the legal services community, law students filled volunteer opportunities throughout the state; opportunities in both the metro area and greater Minnesota are increasing. A significant indicator of the success of the program is the number of students entering the legal profession having completed at least 50 hours of law-related public service. In the spring of 2000, 43 students had completed the Program. Just one year later, 95 students completed the Program by graduation; in 2002, 136 students completed the Program. The long-term goal is 80% participation.

The newest aspect of the Program, Legal Scholarship for Equal Justice (LSEJ), hopes to transform poverty law scholarship and practice by joining the creative thinking and research of Minnesota's law schools with the experiences and insights of the state's lawyers for the disadvantaged. Lawyers for the poor often lament the lack of time and resources to do complex legal research, writing, analysis, and creative thinking. At the same time, law students and faculty often express feelings of isolation from the world of practice and a desire to achieve "real-world" results in their own communities. Legal Scholarship for Equal Justice (LSEJ) proposes to help both law schools and poor people by increasing collaboration between the schools and the poverty law practitioners. The LSEJ Project is planning a colloquium in January 2003. The keynote speaker is James Liebman, a Columbia University Constitutional Law Professor. He led a study that seeks to explain why 68% of all death penalty cases are overturned for serious error. The LSEJ Project is also sponsoring a new course offered by Eric Janus at William Mitchell in fall of 2002. Three students from each of the four law schools will do applied research on poverty law topics teamed with legal aid or volunteer lawyers. An article related to this project appeared in Bench & Bar in the May/June 2002 issue. (http://www2.mnbar.org/benchandbar/2002/may-june02/scholars.htm) .

Bernard P. Becker Awards: The LAD Committee sought and screened applications for the Bernard P. Becker Legal Services Staff and Volunteer Law Student Awards. The most recent awards were presented at the MSBA's April 2002 Board of Governors meeting. Staff awards were presented to Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota Moorhead paralegal Sherry Gruenhagen and Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services Albert Lea paralegal Ted Hinnenkamp. The law student award went to Reid Goldetsky of Hamline University School of Law, an active volunteer with Volunteer Lawyers Network in Minneapolis.

Tom Mielenhausen and Susan Curry, 2001 - 2002 Co-Chairs


Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee
2000-2001 Annual Report

The Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee's charge is to encourage the involvement of lawyers in the delivery of legal assistance through local volunteer attorney programs and to support programs throughout the state that provide civil legal assistance to people who would otherwise be unable to afford such assistance. The MSBA works in a close partnership with volunteer attorney programs and other civil legal services providers throughout Minnesota including the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition. The Coalition comprises the seven regional programs that serve all 87 Minnesota counties. Through contracts with the MSBA, the Coalition programs pay a significant percentage of the salary and fringe benefits costs of the MSBA’s Access to Justice Director as they have since 1982. The Committee also works closely with the Courts, the Legislature, other funders, and lawyers throughout the state. During the past year key LAD Committee activities included the following:

Funding for Civil Legal Services including Volunteer Attorney Programs: MSBA President Kent Gernander made increasing funding for legal services his top priority for 2000-2001. The key elements of the initiative, which will continue in 2001-02, are to: (1) Support significantly increased legislative funding for civil legal services programs by energizing and mobilizing the bar and community. Work with the Minnesota Supreme Court to ensure that their message to the Legislature emphasizes that civil legal services is an essential part of the justice system. Civil legal services funding is part of the Supreme Court budget. (2) Conduct a targeted educational campaign among trial lawyers, judges and others about awarding cy pres funds (undistributed class action proceeds) and other windfalls to civil legal services. (3) Work to enhance IOLTA revenue by encouraging banks to increase interest rates and eliminate service charges and transaction fees on IOLTA accounts. (4) Begin to plan for and build an endowment for long-term stable funding using the new Minnesota Legal Aid Foundation Fund at the Minnesota Foundation as the vehicle. This fundraising would be targeted not to compete with any current annual giving campaigns.

The MSBA has consistently supported adequate funding for civil legal services in Minnesota by advocating for such funding with members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation and with the state legislature. The 2001 session very challenging, especially with the extraordinary special session. There was fierce competition for limited funding. Legal aid was successful because of extraordinary work by the bar, the bench, community groups, and the legal aid providers. Minnesota’s statewide legal aid partnership; range of services; political support; and bench, bar and community support are exceptional. The campaign was truly a concerted, creative and effective team effort. MSBA President Kent Gernander and MSBA lobbyist Lloyd Grooms played significant roles along with LAD Committee members Bruce Beneke and Jerry Lane and Coalition lobbyist Peg Larsen.

State funding for legal aid was increased by $1.25 million/year, from $6.48 million per year to $7.734 million. In the current political climate this increase is a fabulous. This money will help volunteer attorney programs and will help other legal aid providers stave off staffing cuts and, in some areas, allow for improvements in compensation and restoration of positions lost because of stagnant funding. This translates into more and better services for clients that are, of course, the critical concern.

Probono.net/mn: One of the LAD Committee's major efforts in 2000-2001 was devoted to launching the first statewide probono.net initiative! The goal is to provide powerful web-based resources to support the thousands of volunteer and judicare attorneys and legal aid staff throughout Minnesota who are advising and representing low-income and disadvantaged Minnesotans in civil cases. The MSBA is pleased to host this statewide project with major assistance from the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney. Probono.net/mn was developed through the generosity of probono.net in New York and their grants from The Open Society Institute; Dorsey & Whitney; the MSBA's Impact Fund; the Minnesota State Bar Foundation; and grants to the MSBA's Minnesota Volunteer Attorney Program from the Lawyer Trust Account Board and Legal Services Advisory Committee. Effective in July of 2000, Minnesota lawyers and law students have access to four practice areas: Civil Law (hosted by the MSBA), Minnesota Justice Foundation (hosted by MJF especially for MN law students), Asylum (co-hosted by MN Advocates for Human Rights), and Death Penalty (hosted by the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project). Each password-protected practice area gives members access to news, a calendar of CLE programs and other events, and online libraries including extensive poverty law materials and links to other useful sites for pro bono lawyers. There is also a public calendar and public news available on the Minnesota main page.

Federal Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Funding: The MSBA continues working closely with Minnesota's congressional delegation to prevent further cuts in federal legal services funding and additional restrictions on legitimate activities of legal services attorneys and programs. For 2001, Congress increased funding for LSC from $305 to $330 million. Unfortunately onerous restrictions, placed on all money received by programs that receive any LSC funds, were continued. The MSBA continues to work with Minnesota’s delegation to try to encourage future increases. Once again, Representative Jim Ramstad was one of the key co-sponsors of a successful amendment to restore LSC funding on the House floor after the Appropriations Committee once again proposed dramatic cuts.

LSC State Planning: The Legal Services Corporation requires each state to engage in statewide planning about its legal services delivery system. Then-MSBA President Mark Gehan asked that the LAD Committee work with the LSC-funded programs and other providers to prepare the initial report sibmitted in October of 1998. Issues addressed included technology, providing a full range of legal services to low-income clients, private bar involvement, intake and advice systems, coordination and cooperation among providers, addressing concerns of pro se litigants, and configuration of the delivery system. In July of 1999, LSC sent a consultant to Minnesota for a week to review state planning. Her report became the basis for a strongly supportive feedback letter from LSC and approval in 2000 of three-year funding for Minnesota's six LSC-funded programs. State planning is an ongoing process. Another report is due in September of 2001.

Law School Initiatives Subcommittee: The subcommittee, led by Professor Steve Befort, includes representatives of students and faculty from all four Minnesota law schools, the Minnesota Justice Foundation, legal services providers, law firms and other segments of the LAD Committee. The Subcommittee worked closely with MJF and the three existing law schools to formally launch the Law School Public Service Program in fall of 1999. The law schools and several local foundations support the Program financially. MJF also received a two-year National Association of Public Interest Law (NAPIL) fellowship funded by the three law schools in collaboration with the MSBA and matched by the Open Society Institute.

The second launch year of the Law School Public Service Program, 2000-2001, saw another increase in volunteer services provided by law students. Thanks to the participation of the legal services community, over 500 law students filled over 650 volunteer opportunities throughout the state. A significant indicator of the success of the program is the number of students entering the legal profession having completed at least 50 hours of law-related public service. In the Spring of 2000, 43 students had completed the Program. Just one year later, 95 students completed the Program by graduation. Based on participation numbers by both of these classes, which began law school before the institutional emphasis on and reward of public service, MJF expects to see a dramatic rise in participants from the classes entering law school after the

Program launch. Opportunities in both the metro area and greater Minnesota are increasing.

The newest aspect of the Program, the Legal Scholarship for Equal Justice, which will bring together legal services practitioners with academics to challenge the legal barriers to a

just society, plans to host its first summit in 2002.

IOLTA Interest Rates: As noted above, the LAD Committee continues to track IOLTA revenues and to work on increasing the yield wherever possible. As in most other states, Minnesota’s Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA) program suffered substantially declining funds in the early 1990s. The revenue available for IOLTA grants shrunk by over 50% largely due to the fall in interest rates. In 1994-95, many Minnesota banks responded favorably to an MSBA request that service charges and transaction fees on IOLTA accounts be waived. Then the MSBA worked to encourage Minnesota banks to restore the interest rates on IOLTA accounts. LAD Committee members, led by IOLTA board member Roger Stageberg, were responsible for these efforts. In 2000-2001, we continued to work closely with US Bank and Wells Fargo and Marquette Bank, The Bremer Banks, and Highland Bank responded favorably to requests to enhance revenues.

Judges and Pro Bono: The LAD Committee continues to work with on implementation of a Minnesota Supreme Court report on how judges can encourage lawyers to participate in pro bono programs and otherwise support access to legal services. MSBA President Gernander and District Court Judge Paul Nelson (Montevideo) conducted a workshop at the annual judicial training conference in December of 2000 on how judges can support pro bono.

Bernard P. Becker Awards: The LAD Committee sought and screened applications for the Bernard P. Becker Legal Services Staff and Volunteer Law Student Awards. The most recent awards were presented at the MSBA’s April 2001 Board of Governors meeting. Staff awards were presented to Minnesota Disability Law Center attorney Luther Granquist and Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services Winona volunteer attorney program coordinator Mary Stoos. The law student award went to Brian Geis of Hamline University School of Law, an active volunteer with SMRLS in St. Paul among many other volunteer activities.

Fourteenth Annual Summer Associate Pro Bono Program: In July of 2000, the Committee sponsored the fourteenth annual Summer Associate Pro Bono Program at St. Paul's Landmark Center. Associate Justice Joan Lancaster, MSBA President Kent Gernander, SMRLS attorney Hargwayne Gegziabhre, probono.net executive director Michael Hertz from New York, and three volunteer attorneys spoke to over 300 law students and attorneys.

Directory of Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys: The MSBA Directory of Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys is distributed to new admittees, made available at continuing legal education programs, and sent to any attorney requesting a copy. It is also in the Resources Folder of the probono.net/mn Civil Law Library. In May of 2001, a new edition was published. Tailored excerpts have been printed in various MSBA section newsletters and inserted in materials for selected CLE courses. Over 15,000 copies of the directory have been distributed. Financial support is provided by the Lawyer Trust Account Board, the Legal Services Advisory Committee, and the Minnesota State Bar Foundation. The directory is available on request from the MSBA.

Bricker Lavik and Jean Lastine, 2000 - 2001 Co-Chairs

 

Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee
1999-2000 Annual Report

The Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee's charge is to encourage the involvement of lawyers in the delivery of legal assistance through local volunteer attorney programs and to support programs throughout the state that provide civil legal assistance to people who would otherwise be unable to afford such assistance. The MSBA works in a close partnership with volunteer attorney programs and other civil legal services providers throughout Minnesota including the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition. The Coalition comprises the regional programs that serve all 87 Minnesota counties. Through contracts with the MSBA, the Coalition programs pay a significant percentage of the salary and fringe benefits costs of the MSBA's Director of Volunteer Legal Services as they have since 1982. The Committee also works closely with the Courts, the Legislature, other funders, and lawyers throughout the state. During the past year key LAD Committee activities included the following:

Probono.net/mn: The LAD Committee's major efforts in 1999-2000 were devoted to launching the first statewide probono.net initiative! The goal is to provide powerful web-based resources to support the thousands of volunteer and judicare attorneys throughout Minnesota who are advising and representing low-income and disadvantaged Minnesotans in civil cases. The Minnesota State Bar Association is pleased to host this statewide project with major assistance from the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney. Probono.net/mn was developed through the generosity of probono.net in New York and their grants from The Open Society Institute; Dorsey & Whitney; the MSBA's Impact Fund; the Minnesota State Bar Foundation; and grants to the MSBA's Minnesota Volunteer Attorney Program from the Lawyer Trust Account Board and Legal Services Advisory Committee. Effective in July of 2000, Minnesota lawyers and law students have access to four practice areas: Civil Law, Minnesota Justice Foundation (for law students), Asylum, and Death Penalty. Each password-protected practice area gives members access to news, a calendar of CLE programs and other events, and online libraries including extensive poverty law materials and links to other useful sites for pro bono lawyers. There is also a public calendar and some public news available on the Minnesota main page. The Committee extends its thanks to Jim Patterson for chairing the implementation committee.

State Funding for Civil Legal Services: The MSBA has consistently supported adequate funding for civil legal services in Minnesota by advocating for such funding with members of Minnesota's congressional delegation and with the state legislature. In the 2000 Legislature, legal services funding was almost cut. Fortunately, the Senate recommended a $100,000 increase; so despite a cut of $234,000 approved by the House, level funding was agreed to in the final conference report. Increased legislative funding will be a high priority for the MSBA in the 2001 session.

Federal Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Funding: The MSBA continues working closely with Minnesota's congressional delegation to prevent further cuts in federal legal services funding and additional restrictions on legitimate activities of legal services attorneys and programs. While there was a $5 million overall increase in LSC funding for 2000, earmarking for special projects meant that local programs actually received a .38% cut in their funding. Unfortunately onerous restrictions, placed on all money received by programs that receive any LSC funds, were continued. The MSBA continues to work with Minnesota's delegation to try to encourage future increases. Representative Jim Ramstad was one of the key co-sponsors of a successful amendment to restore LSC funding on the House floor after the Appropriations Committee proposed dramatic cuts. Ramstad spoke eloquently during the House floor debate on LSC funding.

LSC Board Meeting in Minnesota: The LSC Board held one of its regular meetings in the Twin Cities on June 25 and 26. A panel of representatives from the Minnesota legal services providers made a presentation to the Board's Provisions Committee. Presentations highlighted McKnight Foundation-funded domestic abuse and child support work, farm advocacy and Indian Law. The collaboration in delivery of services by the Minnesota legal services programs impressed the visitors. A number of dignitaries spoke before the full Board including Supreme Court Associate Justice Russell Anderson, MSBA President Kent Gernander, Representative Tom Pugh and Senator Dave Knutson. These speakers highlighted the importance of civil legal services and the bipartisan nature of the support for civil legal services, in Minnesota. Representative Jim Ramstad was also able to speak briefly to the Board on Congressional funding issues. The Bush Foundation Senior Program Officer Jane Kretzmann, 3M Senior Vice President for Legal Affairs John Ursu and Lawyer Trust Account Board Executive Director Judy Rehak spoke about funding and community support for legal services.

LSC State Planning: The Legal Services Corporation requires each state to engage in statewide planning about its legal services delivery system. Then-MSBA President Mark Gehan asked that the LAD Committee work with the LSC-funded programs and other providers to prepare the initial report due in October of 1998. Issues addressed included technology, providing a full range of legal services to low-income clients, private bar involvement, intake and advice systems, coordination and cooperation among providers, addressing concerns of pro se litigants, and configuration of the delivery system. In July of 1999, LSC sent a consultant to Minnesota for a week to review state planning. Her report became the basis for a strongly supportive feedback letter from LSC and approval in 2000 of three-year funding for Minnesota's six LSC-funded programs. State planning will be an ongoing process. Another report is due in October of 2000.

Law School Initiatives Subcommittee: The subcommittee, led by Angela McCaffrey, includes representatives of students and faculty from all four Minnesota law schools, the Minnesota Justice Foundation, legal services providers, law firms and other segments of the LAD Committee. The Subcommittee worked closely with MJF and the three existing law schools to formally launch the Law School Public Service Program in fall of 1999. The faculties at all three law schools endorsed the Program and pilot projects began during the summer of 1998. The Bremer, General Mills, St. Paul and Williams Steel Foundations made grants for the Program. MJF also received a two-year National Association of Public Interest Law (NAPIL) fellowship funded by the three law schools in collaboration with the MSBA and matched by the Open Society Institute. Results of the first two semesters in the 1999-2000 school year were impressive: 430 students provided over 10,000 hours of pro bono service to over 4,700 low-income clients through 132 agencies. This is more than double previous years and well beyond the goals set for the first year of the program.

Reporting of Pro Bono: Unfortunately, in December of 1999, while strongly endorsing the importance of pro bono service, the Minnesota Supreme Court decided not to approve the MSBA's petition asking the Court to require every lawyer admitted to practice in MN to report the number of hours spent providing pro bono legal services and financial contributions to legal services organizations as contemplated by Rule 6.1. The Committee extends its thanks especially to Tom Mielenhausen for his years of research, writing and advocacy on this effort.

ABA Ethics 2000 Commission: The ABA Ethics 2000 Commission asked the MSBA to comment on proposed amendments to Rule 6.1. The LAD committee worked with the MSBA's Rules on Professional Conduct Committee and submitted comments that reported the MSBA's positions on mandatory pro bono service (against) and required reporting of pro bono (in favor --with recognition that the Minnesota Supreme Court declined to implement a reporting program). The Rules of Professional Conduct Committee prepared and filed the final comments on behalf of the MSBA.

IOLTA Interest Rates: The LAD Committee continues to track IOLTA revenues and to work on increasing the yield wherever possible. As in most other states, Minnesota's Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA) program suffered substantially declining funds in the early 1990s. The revenue available for IOLTA grants shrunk by over 50% largely due to the fall in interest rates. In 1994-95, many Minnesota banks responded favorably to an MSBA request that service charges and transaction fees on IOLTA accounts be waived. Then the MSBA worked to encourage Minnesota banks to restore the interest rates on IOLTA accounts. LAD Committee members, led by IOLTA board member Roger Stageberg, were responsible for these efforts. The Lawyer Trust Account Board was able to increase grants for 1999-2000 by approximately 12 percent. Interest income declined slightly in 1999-2000, so efforts will continue in 2000-2001 to improve yields.

Judges and Pro Bono: The LAD Committee continues to work with individual judicial districts on implementation of a Minnesota Supreme Court report on how judges can encourage lawyers to participate in pro bono programs and otherwise support access to legal services. A proposal has been submitted to conduct a workshop at the annual judicial training conference in December of 2000 on how judges can support pro bono.

Bernard P. Becker Awards: The LAD Committee sought and screened applications for the Bernard P. Becker Legal Services Staff and Volunteer Law Student Awards. The most recent awards were presented at the MSBA's September 1999 Board of Governors meeting. Staff awards were presented to Sandra Moore, Minnesota Disability Law Center and Mike Hagedorn, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services. The law student award went to Sothea Phea Poch of Hamline University School of Law, now on the SMRLS Immigration and Citizenship Project staff.

Thirteenth Annual Summer Associate Pro Bono Program: In July of 1999, the Committee sponsored the thirteenth annual Summer Associate Pro Bono Program at St. Paul's Landmark Center. Associate Justice Russell Anderson, MSBA President Wood Foster, Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance Litigation Director Abigail Turner, University of Minnesota Law School Assistant Dean Meredith McQuaid, and three volunteer attorneys spoke to over 275 law students and attorneys.

Directory of Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys: The MSBA Directory of Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys is distributed to new admittees, made available at continuing legal education programs, and sent to any attorney requesting a copy. It is also in the Resources Folder of the probono.net/mn Civil Law Library. In January of 2000, a new edition was published. Tailored excerpts have been printed in various MSBA section newsletters and inserted in materials for selected CLE courses. Over 15,000 copies of the directory have been distributed. Financial support is provided by the Lawyer Trust Account Board, the Legal Services Advisory Committee, and the Minnesota State Bar Foundation. The directory is available on request from the MSBA.

Bricker Lavik and Jean Lastine, 1999-2000 Co-Chairs


Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee
1998-99 Annual Report

The Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee's charge is to encourage the involvement of lawyers in the delivery of legal assistance through local volunteer attorney programs and to support programs throughout the state that provide civil legal assistance to people who would otherwise be unable to afford such assistance. The MSBA works in a close partnership with volunteer attorney programs and other civil legal services providers throughout Minnesota including the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition. The Coalition comprises the regional programs that serve all 87 Minnesota counties. Through contracts with the MSBA, the Coalition programs pay a significant percentage of the salary and fringe benefits costs of the MSBA’s Director of Volunteer Legal Services as they have since 1982. During the past year key LAD Committee activities included the following:

Reporting of Pro Bono: In June, the MSBA's Board of Governors and General Assembly approved the LAD Committee's recommendation to petition the Minnesota Supreme Court to require every lawyer admitted to practice in MN to report the number of hours spent providing pro bono legal services and financial contributions to legal services organizations as contemplated by Rule 6.1. The recommendation is that the report shall accompany the annual renewal of the lawyer's registration and be anonymous. Institutional support included: MTLA; MN Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; MSBA Public Law Section Council; VLN; MN Women Lawyers; 12th District Bar Association. The MSBA will file the petition with the Court. Preceding the report to the Board of Governors, Tom Mielenhausen and Charles Krekelberg authored an article on reporting that appeared in the March issue of Bench & Bar. This multi-year effort was one of the Committee’s Impact Fund projects. The Committee extends its thanks to Mielenhausen for his years of research, writing and advocacy on this effort.

Funding for Civil Legal Services: The MSBA has consistently supported adequate funding for civil legal services in Minnesota by advocating for such funding with members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation and with the state legislature. The MSBA House of Delegates approved LAD resolutions supporting increased state and federal funding for legal services. Unfortunately, in the 1999 Legislature, legal services funding was, in effect, cut for the first time. The Legislature failed to renew the 1998 one-time increase of $375,000 in the state appropriation for civil legal services. LAD will be exploring what to do about funding in the 2000 session.

Minnesotans for Legal Services: The MSBA is working closely with Minnesota's congressional delegation to prevent further cuts in federal legal services funding and additional restrictions on legitimate activities of legal services attorneys and programs. The MSBA provides all staff support for Minnesotans for Legal Services, an organization of people who are concerned about the effect on the justice system if funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is reduced or eliminated. The organization includes lawyers and judges, business, government and social services representatives, former legal services clients and others. Its goals include educating a broad range of Minnesotans about the unmet needs for civil legal services and the delivery system in Minnesota and encouraging them to contact the congressional delegation in support of the legal services programs.

Because of strong efforts by legal services supporters, LSC’s 1999 funding increased slightly from $278 to $300 million. Unfortunately onerous restrictions, placed on all money received by programs that receive any LSC funds, were continued. The MSBA continues to work with Minnesota’s delegation to try to encourage future increases. Representative Jim Ramstad was one of the key co-sponsors of a successful amendment to restore LSC funding that was proposed to be cut dramatically by the Appropriations Committee. Ramstad and Representative David Minge spoke eloquently during the House floor debate on LSC funding.

LSC State Planning: The Legal Services Corporation required each state to submit a plan about its legal services delivery system by October 1, 1998. MSBA President Mark Gehan asked that the LAD Committee work with the LSC-funded programs and other providers to prepare the report. After seeking input from providers and committee members, the MSBA’s Access to Justice Director Nancy Kleeman drafted the report which was approved by the Committee before it was submitted. Issues addressed include technology, providing a full range of legal services to low-income clients, private bar involvement, intake and advice systems, coordination and cooperation among providers, addressing concerns of pro se litigants, and configuration of the delivery system. State planning will be an ongoing process.

Law School Initiatives Subcommittee: The subcommittee led by Peter Knapp, including representatives of students and faculty from all three Minnesota law schools, legal services providers, law firms and other segments of the LAD Committee, worked with the Minnesota Justice Foundation and the three law schools to prepare to formally launch the new Law School Public Service Program in fall of 1999. The faculties at all three law schools have endorsed the Program and pilot projects began during the summer of 1998. MJF is working with the schools collectively and individually to develop approaches to public service. The MSBA’s Director of Volunteer Legal Services spent considerable time in 1998-99 working with MJF on fundraising for the Program. The Bremer, General Mills, St. Paul and Williams Steel Foundations made grants for the Program. MJF also received a two-year National Association of Public Interest Law (NAPIL) fellowship funded by the three law schools in collaboration with the MSBA and matched by the Open Society Institute. The LAD subcommittee will continue to work with MJF on implementation. These efforts were one of the Committee’s Impact Fund projects this year.

IOLTA Interest Rates: As in most other states, Minnesota’s Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA) program suffered substantially declining funds until recently. The revenue available for IOLTA grants shrunk by over 50% largely due to the fall in interest rates. In 1994-95, most Minnesota banks responded favorably to an MSBA request that service charges and transaction fees on IOLTA accounts be waived. The MSBA has been working to encourage Minnesota banks to restore the interest rates on IOLTA accounts. Effective July 1, 1996, First Bank raised rates by close to 2.75% on certain IOLTA accounts with a daily balance over $20,000. Effective January 1, 1997, Norwest Bank raised rates on all IOLTA accounts by comparable amounts. Firstar , Marquette and a number of smaller banks also raised their rates. LAD Committee members led by Roger Stageberg were responsible for these efforts. The Lawyer Trust Account Board was able to increase grants for 1999-2000 by approximately 12 percent.

Judges and Pro Bono: The LAD Committee continues to work with individual judicial districts on implementation of a Minnesota Supreme Court report on how judges can encourage lawyers to participate in pro bono programs and otherwise support access to legal services.

Bernard P. Becker Awards: The LAD Committee sought and screened applications for the Bernard P. Becker Legal Services Staff and Volunteer Law Student Awards. The 1999 awards were to be presented at the MSBA’s September Board of Governors meeting. Staff awards were presented Sandra Moore, Minnesota Disability Law Center and Mike Hagedorn, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services. The law student award went to Sothea Phea Poch of Hamline University School of Law.

Twelfth Annual Summer Associate Pro Bono Program: In July of 1998, the Committee sponsored the twelfth annual Summer Associate Pro Bono Program at St. Paul's Landmark Center. Minnesota Court of Appeals Chief Judge Edward Toussaint, MSBA President Mark Gehan, SMRLS Managing Attorney Martha Eaves, and three volunteer attorneys spoke to over 250 law students and attorneys.

Directory of Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys: The MSBA Directory of Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys is distributed to new admittees, made available at continuing legal education programs, and sent to any attorney requesting a copy. In November 1997 a new edition was published. Tailored excerpts have been printed in various MSBA section newsletters and inserted in materials for selected CLE courses. Over 10,000 copies of the directory have been distributed. Financial support isprovided by the Lawyer Trust Account Board, the Legal Services Advisory Committee, and the Minnesota State Bar Foundation. The directory is available on request from the MSBA.

Retired Attorneys and Pro Bono: The proposed Emeritus Attorney Rule that LAD brought to the Board of Governors and General Assembly in June of 1998 was tabled. The Committee determined that other priorities required all of the Committee’s energy in 1998-99.

Bricker Lavik and Jean Lastine,
1998-99 Co-Chairs


MSBA Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee
1997-98 Annual Report

The Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee's charge is to encourage the involvement of lawyers in the delivery of legal assistance through local volunteer attorney programs and to support programs throughout the state that provide civil legal assistance to people who would otherwise be unable to afford such assistance. The MSBA works in a close partnership with volunteer attorney programs and other civil legal services providers throughout Minnesota including the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition. The coalition comprises the six regional programs that serve all 87 Minnesota counties. Through contracts with the MSBA, the coalition programs pay a significant percentage of the salary and fringe benefits costs of the MSBA's director of volunteer legal services as they have since 1982. During the past year key LAD Committee activities included the following:

Rule 6.1/How to Measure Pro Bono/Recognition of Pro Bono: The committee continued to work on implementation of Rule 6.1 and is pleased with increased voluntary donations of legal services by attorneys and increased financial support of legal services providers by attorneys throughout the state. Funders, including legislators, and others continue to ask for details about how many attorneys do pro bono and much pro bono attorneys actually do. Little concrete data is available in Minnesota. A LAD subcommittee led by Tom Mielenhausen and Bonnie Hyde conducted an extensive study of how pro bono is measured in other states and prepared an interim report, the summary of which was presented at the June MSBA convention. The study will conclude in 1998-99 with recommendations covering whether to attempt to measure pro bono and, if so, how. Any recommendations about statewide recognition of pro bono will flow from the other recommendations. This study was one of the committee's Impact Fund projects.

Funding for Civil Legal Services/Attorney Registration Fee: The Minnesota Supreme Court adopted the Joint Legal Services Access & Funding Committee's recommendation, which was supported by the MSBA, to amend the Rules of the Minnesota Supreme Court for the Registration of Attorneys to increase the annual attorney registration fee by $50 for lawyers practicing more than three (3) years, and $25 for lawyers practicing three (3) years or less, with the increase going to the Legal Services Advisory Committee for allocation to legal services providers, including volunteer attorney programs. Following the MSBA's recommendation, the Court adopted a classification, similar to that used by the MSBA, which allows for a reduced fee for attorneys meeting low-income guidelines. The increase was effective July 1, 1997. In the first year, the fee raised over $850,000.

The MSBA has consistently supported adequate funding for civil legal services in Minnesota by advocating for such funding with members of Minnesota's congressional delegation and with the state legislature. In the 1998 legislature, the Joint Committee, the MSBA, the Court, and the Coalition programs worked together and the legislature approved a one-time increase of $375,000 in the state appropriation for civil legal services out of general revenues. The request will have to be renewed in the 1999 session.

Minnesotans for Legal Services: The MSBA is working closely with Minnesota's congressional delegation to prevent further cuts in federal legal services funding and additional restrictions on legitimate activities of legal services attorneys and programs. The MSBA provides all staff support for Minnesotans for Legal Services, an organization of people who are concerned about the effect on the justice system if funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is reduced or eliminated. The organization includes lawyers and judges, business, government and social services representatives, former legal services clients, and others. Its goals include educating a broad range of Minnesotans about the unmet needs for civil legal services and the delivery system in Minnesota and encouraging them to contact the congressional delegation in support of the legal services programs.

Because of strong efforts by legal services supporters, LSC's 1998 funding remained stable rather than being cut again. Unfortunately onerous restrictions, placed on all money received by programs that receive any LSC funds, were continued. The MSBA continues to work with Minnesota's delegation to try to encourage at least a slight increase for 1999.

Retired Attorneys and Pro Bono: The LAD Committee brought a proposed Emeritus Attorney Rule to the Board of Governors and General Assembly in June. The proposed rule would allow attorneys who have taken retired or inactive status with the Court to provide pro bono services to low-income Minnesotans through local volunteer attorney programs without paying attorney registration fees or meeting CLE requirements. Minnesota Women Lawyers and the MSBA's Senior Lawyers and Court Rules committees supported the LAD Committee's proposal. Because of opposition by the State Board of Continuing Legal Education to the CLE waiver proposal among other things, the LAD Committee offered and the MSBA endorsed the following resolution:

Resolved that the MSBA approves the elements contained in the proposed Emeritus Attorney Pro Bono Rule published in the May/June issue of Bench & Bar with the understanding and direction that (1) the LAD Committee will meet with representatives of the State Board of Continuing Legal Education following the MSBA convention to attempt to resolve as many of the issues raised by that Board as possible and (2) that the LAD Committee will return to the Board of Governors with revised specific proposed rule language for final approval by the Board of Governors before the MSBA files any petition for a rules change with the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Law School Initiatives Subcommittee: The subcommittee led by Steve Befort, including representatives of students and faculty from all three Minnesota law schools, legal services providers, law firms, and other segments of the LAD Committee, worked with the Minnesota Justice Foundation and the three law schools to begin implementation of the new Law School Public Service Program. The faculties at all three law schools have endorsed the program and pilot projects began during the summer of 1998. MJF is working with the schools collectively and individually to develop approaches to public service. The MSBA's director of volunteer legal services spent considerable time in 1997-98 working with MJF on fundraising for the program. By the end of June, over $100,000 had been raised in cash and in-kind for the first year of the program. The Bremer, General Mills, and Williams Steel Foundations made grants for the program; The Bush Foundation declined funding. Requests are pending before other foundations. The LAD subcommittee will continue to work with MJF on appropriate next steps including fundraising for implementation. These efforts were one of the committee's Impact Fund projects this year.

IOLTA Interest Rates: As in most other states, Minnesota's Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA) program suffered substantially declining funds until recently. The revenue available for IOLTA grants shrunk by over 50 percent largely due to the fall in interest rates. In 1994-95, most Minnesota banks responded favorably to an MSBA request that service charges and transaction fees on IOLTA accounts be waived. The MSBA has been working to encourage Minnesota banks to restore the interest rates on IOLTA accounts. Effective July 1, 1996, First Bank raised rates by close to 2.75 percent on certain IOLTA accounts with a daily balance over $20,000. Effective January 1, 1997, Norwest Bank raised rates on all IOLTA accounts by comparable amounts. Firstar, Marquette, and a number of smaller banks have agreed to raise their rates. LAD Committee members led by Roger Stageberg continue to work with other Minnesota banks to encourage them to also raise IOLTA interest rates. These efforts were one of the committee's Impact Fund projects this year.

Judges and Pro Bono: The LAD Committee continues to work with individual judicial districts on implementation of a Minnesota Supreme Court report on how judges can encourage lawyers to participate in pro bono programs and otherwise support access to legal services.

Bernard P. Becker Awards: The LAD Committee sought and screened applications for the Bernard P. Becker Legal Services Staff and Volunteer Law Student Awards. The 1997-98 staff awards were presented at the June MSBA convention to Mary Judd Scott, Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis; Judith Elwell, Legal Aid Service of NE Minnesota Brainerd; and Karen Ellingson, Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. The law student awards went to Morris Moon and Katherine Samsa, both of William Mitchell College of Law.

Eleventh Annual Summer Associate Pro Bono Program: In July 1997, the committee sponsored the eleventh annual Summer Associate Pro Bono Program at St. Paul's Landmark Center. For the first time it was a breakfast rather than a lunch. Attendance was slightly lower than in past years. US District Court Judge Ann Montgomery, MSBA President Sheryl Ramstad Hvass, Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis Managing Attorney Susan Carroll, and five volunteer attorneys spoke to over 250 law students and attorneys.

Directory of Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys: The MSBA Directory of Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys is distributed to new admittees, made available at continuing legal education programs, and sent to any attorney requesting a copy. In November 1997 a new edition was published. Tailored excerpts have been printed in various MSBA section newsletters and inserted in materials for selected CLE courses. Over 8,000 copies of the directory have been distributed. Financial support was provided by the Lawyer Trust Account Board, the Legal Services Advisory Committee, and the Minnesota State Bar Foundation. The directory is available on request from the MSBA.

Joseph Dixon, Jr and Mary Deutsch Schneider,
Cochairs

 


Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee
1996-97 Annual Report

The Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee's charge is to encourage the involvement of lawyers in the delivery of legal assistance through local volunteer attorney programs and to support programs throughout the state that provide civil legal assistance to people who would otherwise be unable to afford such assistance. The MSBA works in a close partnership with volunteer attorney programs and other civil legal services providers throughout Minnesota, including the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition. The coalition comprises the six regional programs that serve all 87 Minnesota counties. During the past year key LAD Committee activities included the following:

Rule 6.1: The committee continued to work on implementation of Rule 6.1 and is pleased with increased voluntary donations of legal services by more attorneys and increased financial support of legal services providers by attorneys throughout the state.

Joint Legal Services Access & Funding Committee/Funding for Civil Legal Services/Attorney Registration Fee: The Minnesota Supreme Court adopted the Joint Legal Services Access & Funding Committee's recommendation, which was supported by the MSBA, to amend the Rules of the Minnesota Supreme Court for the Registration of Attorneys to increase the annual attorney registration fee by $50 for lawyers practicing more than three (3) years, and $25 for lawyers practicing three (3) years or less, with the increase going to the Legal Services Advisory Committee for allocation to legal services providers, including volunteer attorney programs. Following the MSBA's recommendation, the Court adopted a classification, similar to that used by the MSBA, which allows for a reduced fee for attorneys meeting low-income guidelines. The increase was effective July 1, 1997.

The MSBA has consistently supported adequate funding for civil legal services in Minnesota by advocating for such funding with members of Minnesota's congressional delegation and with the state Legislature. In the 1997 Legislature, the Joint Committee, the MSBA, the Court, and the Coalition programs worked together and the Legislature approved an increase of $600,000 per year in the state appropriation for civil legal services out of general revenues. The increase was a little less than one-third of what the Joint Committee had requested, so the request will have to be renewed in the 1998 session.

Minnesotans for Legal Services: The MSBA is working closely with Minnesota's congressional delegation to prevent further cuts in federal legal services funding and additional restrictions on legitimate activities of legal services attorneys and programs. The MSBA provides all staff support for Minnesotans for Legal Services, an organization of people who are concerned about the effect on the justice system if funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is reduced or eliminated. The organization includes lawyers and judges, business, government and social services representatives, former legal services clients, and others. Its goals include educating a broad range of Minnesotans about the unmet needs for civil legal services and the delivery system in Minnesota and encouraging them to contact the congressional delegation in support of the legal services programs.

Because of strong efforts by legal services supporters, LSC's 1997 funding remained stable rather than being cut again. Unfortunately onerous restrictions, placed on all money received by programs that receive any LSC funds, were continued. The MSBA continues to work with Minnesota's delegation to try to protect against further cuts for 1998.

Law School Initiatives Subcommittee: The subcommittee, with student and faculty representatives from all three Minnesota law schools, worked with the three law schools to implement the circulating draft of the committee's Model Law School Public Service Policy. The schools are working collectively and individually to develop approaches to public service. The LAD subcommittee will continue to work with the three schools to determine appropriate next steps including fund raising for implementation.

IOLTA Interest Rates: As in most other states, Minnesota's Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA) program suffered substantially declining funds until recently. The revenue available for IOLTA grants shrunk by over 50 percent, largely due to the fall in interest rates. In 1994-95, most Minnesota banks responded favorably to an MSBA request that service charges and transaction fees on IOLTA accounts be waived. The MSBA has been working to encourage Minnesota banks to restore the interest rates on IOLTA accounts. Effective July 1, 1996, First Bank raised rates by close to 2.75 percent on certain IOLTA accounts with a daily balance over $20,000. Effective January 1, 1997, Norwest Bank raised rates on all IOLTA accounts by comparable amounts. Largely because of these increases, revenues available for distribution for 1997-98 were $600,000 greater than for 1996-97. LAD Committee members continue to work with other Minnesota banks to encourage them to also raise IOLTA interest rates.

Judges and Pro Bono: The LAD Committee continues to work with individual judicial districts on implementation of a Minnesota Supreme Court report on how judges can encourage lawyers to participate in pro bono programs and otherwise support access to legal services.

Retired Attorneys and Pro Bono: A LAD subcommittee prepared a circulating draft of a proposed Emeritus Attorney Rule which would allow attorneys who have taken retired or inactive status with the Court to provide pro bono services to low-income Minnesotans through local volunteer attorney programs. The draft will be circulated for comment and brought to the MSBA Board of Governors for approval so that the MSBA can petition the Supreme Court for a rules change.

Bernard P. Becker Awards: The LAD Committee sought and screened applications for the Bernard P. Becker Legal Services Staff and Volunteer Law Student Awards. The 1996-97 staff awards were presented at the January 1997 mid-year dinner to Laurie N. Davison, Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance (posthumously), and Luz M. Frias, Centro Legal. The law student award went to Christopher Rediehs, University of Minnesota Class of 1997.

Tenth Annual Summer Associate Pro Bono Lunch: In July 1996, the committee sponsored the tenth annual Summer Associate Pro Bono Luncheon Program at St. Paul's Landmark Center. Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Edward Stringer, MSBA President John Nys, Northwest Minnesota Legal Services Executive Director Mary Schneider, and five volunteer attorneys spoke to over 300 law students and attorneys.

Directory of Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys: The MSBA Directory of Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys is distributed to new admittees, made available at continuing legal education programs, and sent to any attorney requesting a copy. In March 1996 a new edition was published. Tailored excerpts have been printed in various MSBA section newsletters and inserted in materials for selected CLE courses. Over 6,000 copies of the directory have been distributed. Financial support was provided by the Lawyer Trust Account Board, the Legal Services Advisory Committee, and the Minnesota State Bar Foundation. The directory is available on request from the MSBA.

Joseph Dixon, Jr. and Mary Deutsch Schneider,
Chairpersons

- Last Updated 11/4/04 -