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Supreme Court calls for pro bono work to address racial divide

The Supreme Court of Virginia has responded to the country’s “racial divide” by urging equal treatment in the courts and a commitment to service to the public.

In a June 16 statement to the judiciary and the bar of Virginia, the court cited both the Virginia constitution and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on equality and the harms of injustice.

“As Judges, we must take all steps possible to ensure that in the courtrooms of the Commonwealth, all people are treated equally and fairly and with dignity under the law,” the court said. “It is a moral imperative that we do so,” the statement continued.

“As lawyers, members of the Bar of Virginia, we must provide legal services to those who otherwise would be unable to afford a lawyer. As judges and lawyers, we must encourage our brethren at the bar to make pro bono services a priority in our communities,” the court said.

“At this time, we face many challenges and uncertainties. We must join together to be a part of the solution to problems and difficult circumstances we face. The racial divide we experience in this country can only be bridged by personal efforts to develop new relationships in the communities where we live and work. We can do it – together,” the statement concluded.

The statement carries the names of all seven justices.