Oregon State Bar Bulletin — DECEMBER 2009

Helping Hand
How You Can Help
By Melody Finnemore

There are plenty of ways to help support Oregon’s legal aid services and other nonprofit groups founded by attorneys. Now more than ever, these groups need financial donations, offers of pro bono assistance, and volunteers to help coordinate fundraising drives and other events.

Oregon Law Foundation
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to support local legal aid services is to select a bank with this in mind: The Oregon Law Foundation (OLF) receives its funding from the interest banks pay on lawyer trust accounts.

“The only rule is that it has to be an interest-bearing account, so the banks can pretty much pay any interest they want. It can be as low as 0.1 percent,” says Judith Baker, the foundation’s executive director.

OLF has worked with several area banks to obtain a 1 percent IOLTA rate. It lists these “leadership banks” on its website, www.oregonlawfoundation.org.

”We try to tell lawyers that where you bank matters. Where you put and maintain your IOLTA account makes a big difference in how much revenue the foundation makes,” Baker says.

Campaign for Equal Justice
The Campaign for Equal Justice maintains a listserve for lawyers seeking cases or individuals in need of pro bono assistance. Financial support also is appreciated. To learn more about how to help CEJ, visit http://www.cej-oregon.org.

Disability Rights Oregon
Along with financial support, DRO invites people to raise awareness by hosting an event, inviting a disability rights expert to speak at a meeting, volunteering or talking with policymakers. To learn more, visit www.disabilityrightsoregon.org.

Immigration Counseling Services
There are many opportunities to volunteer at ICS. Two of the biggest needs are for people who have different office skills and people who can provide translation. Additionally, the organization has opportunities for law students in a variety of different areas of immigration law.

To volunteer, contact Barbara Babcock at (503) 221-1689, ext. 103 or at bbabcock@ics-law.org. Financial donations may be made by visiting the organization’s website, www.immigrationcounseling.org.

Juvenile Rights Project
To volunteer for JRP’s HelpLine, contact JRP HelpLineattorney Whitney Hill at (503) 232-2540, ext. 223 or WhitneyH@jrplaw.org. JRP also appreciates financial support for its SchoolWorks program, the HelpLine and its legislative advocacy. To learn more, visitwww.jrplaw.org.

Oregon Lawyer Assistance Foundation
Donations may be sent to OLAF board chair David Culpepper, at Thede Culpepper Moore Munro & Sullivan LLP, 3675 US Bancorp Tower, 111 S.W. Fifth Ave., Portland, OR 97204, or to Barbara S. Fishleder, OLAF Treasurer, P.O. Box 231600, Tigard, OR 97281-1600.

Oregon Lawyers Against Hunger
Donations may be made on the Oregon Food Bank’s website, http://www.oregonfoodbank.org. Members of the legal community can check a box that indicates the donation is being made in response to OLAH’s request to support the food bank.

Oregon Women Lawyers
To learn more about OWLS and how to get involved in its community service efforts, visit http://www.oregonwomenlawyers.org.

– Melody Finnemore


© 2009 Melody Finnemore

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