WINCHESTER, Virginia – Attorney Doug McCarthy, CEO, and co-founder of McCarthy & Akers, PLC, was recently recognized by the Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court and the Virginia Access to Justice Commission (Commission), for his outstanding contributions to the community by providing pro bono legal services to those who could not otherwise afford legal representation.
As part of this recognition by the Commission, McCarthy will have his name included on the Pro Bono Service Honor Roll list to be published in the Virginia Lawyer magazine. He will also be publicly recognized at the upcoming Chief Justice’s Pro Bono Summit on June 9, 2022. McCarthy was previously recognized by Virginia Business magazine as one of Virginia’s Legal Elite for his pro bono contributions.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Commission for my pro bono work contributions for the 2020 to 2021 bar year. Giving back to my community has always been important to me, and representing individuals who may not have the resources to hire an attorney is just one of the ways that I can do this. Unfortunately, statistics from the Virginia State Bar indicate that over 80% of the civil legal needs of the poor in Virginia and nationwide go unmet, and that one in eight Virginians is eligible for free legal services from Virginia’s legal aid programs. As attorneys, we are aware that those who are represented by counsel are twice as likely to obtain a favorable outcome than those who are unrepresented, making pro bono legal services essential.
Although the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct state that every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence, has a personal obligation to devote 2% of their professional time (approximately 40 hours per year) to pro bono legal services, a disproportionate number of Virginia attorneys fail to fulfill this obligation. Virginia lawyers only provide 80,000 hours of pro bono service per year rather than the 900,000 hours that would be provided if there was compliance. I am confident that we can do a better job of serving our fellow Virginians. Pro bono service gives the community access to essential legal resources that would otherwise be unavailable. In addition to helping someone in need of legal assistance, pro bono work also enriches you through service to others,” says McCarthy.
For more information about McCarthy & Akers, PLC, visit their website: https://mccarthyakers.com/. To schedule a free consultation, complete their online form. or call them at 540) 277-9865.
Virginia Access to Justice Commission
The Supreme Court of Virginia established the Virginia Access to Justice Commission (Commission) by issuing an Order Establishing the Virginia Access to Justice Commission on September 13, 2013, to ensure that a body actively coordinates and promotes access to justice efforts throughout the Commonwealth. The Commission focuses on the civil legal needs of Virginians while continuously assessing and responding to access to justice issues. The Commission aligns with Vision 3 of the current Strategic Plan for Virginia's Judicial System, which states that Virginia's courts will "maintain human dignity and provide effective access to justice for all individuals."
To promote equal access to justice in Virginia, the Commission brings together judges, attorneys, legal aid and social services representatives, and other stakeholders. The Commission coordinates access to justice activities among various groups, mobilizes legal professionals to provide legal services to low-income individuals, promotes the development of supplementary resources for underserved populations, and makes the courts more accessible to all citizens.
The Commission carries out its mission via its standing committees on self-represented litigants, judicial education, outreach and education, pro bono services, and a consortium for coordinating pro bono services.
About McCarthy & Akers, PLC
The lawyers at McCarthy & Akers, PLC, endeavor to be the best in their areas of expertise. Each team member represents you with great care to give you the expert legal services you deserve to accomplish both your personal and professional goals. No one lawyer is an expert in all matters, however, so our attorneys work closely with each other and take advantage of each other’s strengths. While other law firms may see you as just a number or another case, we take the time to get to know you and understand your legal needs. We will craft a solution that works best for you.