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The MSBA's Northstar Lawyer Program

by Steve Marchese

Steve MarcheseA little over three years ago, then MSBA President Bob Enger announced the creation of the North Star Lawyers program to recognize those MSBA members who provide essential volunteer legal services to Minnesota’s low income residents.  This program celebrates the work of members who meet or exceed 50 hours of pro bono service in a calendar year, as set forth in Rule 6.1(a), (b)(1) and (b)(2) of our state’s Rules of Professional Conduct.
 
The response over the first three years of the program has been huge – over 740 MSBA members were certified as North Star Lawyers for 2012 with an increase to 967 last year.  North Star Lawyers provided over 108,500 total volunteer hours of pro bono service with an estimated value of $21,700,000 during 2014.  The MSBA recognized North Star Lawyers with advertisements last spring in the Bench & Bar and Star Tribune listing the names of each participating member, in addition to press releases to news outlets statewide and a special electronic logo suitable for website, email or other usage.
 
Many MSBA members provided 50 or more hours of pro bono service during 2015 and we want to make sure all are included in this year’s program.  Now is the time for all MSBA members who meet the program requirements to certify their 2015 pro bono service, including members who previously participated in the program.  Please don’t delay – the deadline for submitting your information is February 29, 2016.  Full program information and the certification form can be found on the North Star Lawyers website at:  http://www.mnbar.org/NorthStar/ 
 
If you have questions about the North Star Lawyers program, please contact me at smarchese@mnbar.org or 612-278-6308. #NorthstarLawyer