Where To Find A Pro Bono Attorney?

What Is A Pro Bono Attorney?

The term pro bono, shortened from the Latin "pro bono Publico," means "for the benefit of the public." A pro bono attorney handles all or part of your case without charging you or any other source. Free pro bono assistance is available to those who can't afford a lawyer.

Benefits Of Retaining A Pro Bono Attorney

For those who seek a pro bono attorney, the benefits include, but are not limited to the following:

Getting professional assistance in legal cases, especially in cases where the other party has financial resources

Saving a huge amount of legal fees

Getting justice and fairness where one would be forced to settle due to the lack of legal representation

Where Can You Find A Pro Bono Attorney?

You can retain a pro bono attorney through any of the following organizations:

1. National And State Bar Associations

To find a pro bono lawyer in your area, check the American Bar Association's pro bono directory map and click on your state. You'll find a list of local pro bono services, including case types and counties served. You can also visit your state's bar association directly, which also maintains a list of pro bono lawyers. 

2. Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit Organizations help low-income people who can't afford a lawyer contact local legal aid programs and lawyers who volunteer to provide free legal services.

If you don't qualify for free legal aid, the organization can also help you find private lawyers who are willing to help you at a significant discount.

3. Local Law Schools

Many law schools require their students to engage in pro bono services as a condition of graduation. The students deal with legal cases under the supervision of law professors or practicing attorneys. Call your local law schools to see if they have a pro bono program that can help resolve your particular legal issue.

4. Law Firms

Many law firms offer pro bono services as part of their corporate social responsibility programs. They usually display their practice areas on their websites and leave phone numbers for you to call for more information.

How To Cooperate With Your Pro Bono Attorney

Pro bono attorneys are there to help you, but to serve you as best as they can, they need your cooperation. You should pay attention to the following factors when working with them:

1. Make Sure That You Are Well-Prepared

Be well-prepared before meeting your volunteer lawyer. You should respect the time of your pro bono attorney, as the attorney could have spent it handling other paid cases. You are expected to write down all your questions about your case and schedule an appointment to discuss them, rather than call your lawyer each time you think of a question.

2. Make Sure That You Are Well-Behaved

Conduct yourself appropriately when interacting with your pro bono lawyer. Inappropriate behaviors, such as profanity, threats, harassment, and any threatened or actual physical or verbal abuse, may terminate your cooperation.

3. Make Sure That You Keep Your Words

For example, keep scheduled appointments. If you are not able to make it, inform the people involved as soon as possible.

4. Make Sure That The Communication Is Effective

Communicate your needs to your pro bono volunteer as quickly as possible. He or she may not be able to satisfy last-minute requests.

5. Make Sure That You’ll Notify Your Pro Bono Attorney Immediately If:

  • You have found legal help elsewhere

  • You have changed your contact information

  • Your living arrangements or other circumstances have changed in any way, including your losing your job or getting pregnant, which may affect your household income or legal issue.