Steven Schulman Pens Column Responding to Sotomayor’s Call for Universal Pro Bono

The National Law Journal has published the article “A Key Element is Missing from Sotomayor’s Pro Bono Vision,” an opinion column written by Akin Gump pro bono partner Steven Schulman regarding a recent speech by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in which she expressed a desire to see pro bono service made a requirement for all lawyers.

Schulman said Sotomayor’s comments were “refreshing and a needed message of leadership.” He also described her dream of universal pro bono as “commendable.” At the same time, however, he said her vision is incomplete because of a lack of funding for the legal aid lawyers who make pro bono service possible.

Schulman proceeded to describe the situation as “quite dire.” He praised Sotomayor “for bringing attention to the plight of the poor who cannot afford legal services,” while also pointing out what he described as a more critical imperative: “the obligation of all citizens to ensure that the foundation for quality free legal services for the poor — funding for full-time legal aid lawyers — is taken as seriously as our obligations of common defense.”

To read all of Schulman’s column, please click here.