Supreme Court to recognize pro bono work

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- In an effort to prod more attorneys to provide free legal assistance to people who can't afford a lawyer, the Tennessee Supreme Court has announced that it would begin giving special recognition to lawyers who spend at least 50 hours doing pro bono work.

Lawyers who donate 50 hours of their time to either the poor, or organizations that serve people who cannot afford an attorney, will be honored and receive certificates signed by members of the Supreme Court.

Nearly 20 percent of Tennesseans cannot afford to pay for the most basic legal services. Through its Access to Justice program, the Supreme Court has been working to get these people some relief, either by encouraging more lawyers to provide free representation or by providing tools to help represent themselves

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