Tenn. lawyers providing more free services

April 28, 2014 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission says the number of hours Tennessee attorneys are devoting to free and reduced-rate legal services for the poor has increased dramatically.

According to the commission, 42 percent of the state’s 21,645 attorneys reported participating in pro bono activity in 2013. In 2010, only 18 percent of attorneys reported pro bono work. Reporting of pro bono services is not required, but it is encouraged.

The attorneys in 2013 reported an average of 73 hours of pro bono work each, well over the 50-hour aspirational goal set by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Getting more attorneys to do pro bono work has been one of the goals of the Access to Justice Commission, which tries to address the unmet legal needs of the state’s poor.