Montana attorneys set pro bono hour contribution record

The Montana Supreme Court today released the 2018 Annual Pro Bono Report showing that more than 1,900 Montana attorneys donated 164,909 hours in free and reduced-fee legal services in 2017. The hours contributed in 2017 set a new record for Montana attorneys in providing pro bono services to people of limited means, at a value of nearly $25M.

“Montana’s legal professionals know that our court system is the cornerstone of political and economic success for the modern world. Our Constitution ensures that the rule of law presumes the equality of all,” said Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike McGrath. “The civil justice system only works

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Volunteer services help address the substantial number of civil legal problems facing low income households—often in family law matters—including adoptions, guardianships, dissolutions of marriage, parenting plans, and child support issues. Attorneys regularly provide these services to people with hardships and challenges, including the elderly, disabled veterans, and victims of domestic violence.

“In addition to the extraordinary efforts of Montana’s lawyers who have volunteered nearly $25M in legal services, individuals involved in access to justice issues have developed creative and alternative legal service delivery models that encourage attorneys to help others,” said State Bar of Montana President Leslie Halligan. “While Montana’s unmet legal needs are real and aren’t going away, it is gratifying to see so many attorneys and colleagues doing their part to address these issues and work for the public good.”

The full pro bono report is available at