In Law firm steers needy through legal system, for free, Poughkeepsie Journal writer Larry Fisher-Hertz tells about the pro bono work of the Kingston, N.Y., law firm Moran & Gottlieb. To make themselves accessible to people who cannot afford to pay, partners Andrea D. Moran and Steven I. Gottlieb maintain a free telephone hotline to field questions from anyone who cares to call them. And once a week, Gottlieb sets up shop at a local homeless shelter and dispenses free legal advice.

We all know that “dog bites man” is not big news, while “man bites dog” is. Newspapers are more likely to cover extraordinary events than ordinary ones. Moran & Gottlieb deserve credit for their pro bono work. But it reflects poorly on the legal profession as a whole that their efforts are seen as extraordinary. It would be great if “lawyers help needy” were as commonplace as “dog bites man.”

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Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.