Frequently Asked Questions about Pro Bono

How may I find pro bono opportunities in my area?

Find a pro bono opportunity here.

How do I sign up to do pro bono?

Please visit our searchable directory of pro bono programs. The directory will enable you contact the program(s) for which you would like to volunteer.

I am not experienced in the kinds of cases handled by legal aid. Is this a problem?

No. Training and continuing legal education (CLE) seminars are provided by every pro bono program, usually at no cost to the pro bono lawyer. Many pro bono programs also provide mentors who support volunteer lawyers in areas of law where they may be less experienced.

Will I have to provide my own malpractice insurance?

No. Legal aid malpractice insurance usually covers pro bono lawyers who volunteer at legal aid brief advice and information clinics or accept a case for extended representation. Bar associations with organized pro bono programs also usually provide malpractice insurance coverage for pro bono volunteers. Check with any pro bono program to verify malpractice insurance coverage before accepting a case or providing legal information and advice at a pro bono clinic.

I'm a judge. What can I do?

Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct rule 3.7(B) states that "A judge may encourage lawyers to provide pro bono publico legal services." The judiciary plays an essential role in the delivery of pro bono legal services. Judges help to set a tone within the legal community that pro bono is an expected and valuable contribution from members of the bar. Judges may assist in recruiting, training, and recognizing the achievements of volunteers. Judges may also be important partners by ensuring that scheduling and docketing are done in an efficient way that serves the needs of volunteers, clients, and the courts.

I'm a government or corporate attorney. What can I do?

Many companies and governmental entities have formal policies on providing pro bono legal services. Please consult your employer's policy for any conditions or restrictions that may apply. Pro bono programs usually have volunteer opportunities available for attorneys who may not be able to volunteer during the day or accept a case for extended representation. An attorney who is prohibited from providing pro bono legal services may fulfill the professional obligation to provide pro bono legal assistance by making a financial contribution to the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation or to a nonprofit organization providing pro bono legal services to persons of limited means.

How do I donate to an organization providing legal services to persons of limited means?

Make a donation here.

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