The concept of helping those in need has long been an essential part of being a lawyer in Maine. It is captured in the Latin phrase pro bono publico, "for the good of the public," and is built on a simple premise: equal access to justice for all. Pro bono service makes legal representation and recourse available to people who are unable to pay for legal services. The Maine State Bar Association and its philanthropic arm, the Maine Bar Foundation, create opportunities for Maine lawyers to volunteer pro bono work, and instill in its members a sense of responsibility to the legal profession and to the people living in Maine communities. Traditionally, Maine lawyers have ranked at the top of the nation in donating legal services to people unable to afford them.