FLORIDA BAR RULE 4-6.1 PRO BONO PUBLIC SERVICE (a) Professional Responsibility. Each member of The Florida Bar in good standing, as part of that member's professional responsibility, should (1) render pro bono legal services to the poor and (2) participate, to the extent possible, in other pro bono service activities that directly relate to the legal needs of the poor.
The Private Attorney Involvement (PAI) Program, also known as the PAI Volunteer Lawyers Project, was initiated as a pilot project in 1982 by the Volunteer Lawyers Project of The Florida Bar. Currently, LSNF provides service through a mixed delivery system including staff and pro bono program. LSNF's pro bono program consists of over 600 volunteers and supporter who contribute money and/or provide legal assistance. We work closely with private attorneys throughout the sixteen county service area to provide representation to low-income individuals. Effective economical delivery of PAI legal assistance to LSC eligible clients mirrors the standards set by LSNF. Through the Private Attorney Involvement Program coordination takes several forms. The PAI Program coordinates volunteer attorneys who agree to provide direct representation by accepting one to four income eligible clients free of charge (pro bono) annually in most areas of civil law. Alternatively, government and private attorneys participate in legal clinic programs as well as on a variety panels and in other activities and projects. Attorneys may also become members of the Partners in Service Program. The "Partners" Program gives government or private attorneys and law firms an opportunity to contribute money annually to support LSNF activities while fulfilling The Florida Bars' Pro Bono Rule.
Recognition may not be the reason most attorneys volunteer, but LSNF takes seriously giving credit where credit is due. Among other ways it recognizes volunteers, LSNF advertises each year the names of its volunteer attorneys in the four major newspapers within its service area.
2013 PRO BONO VOLUNTEERS AND SUPPORTERS
The First Step, Learning about Pro Bono Clients
Volunteer attorneys soon learn about helping the disadvantaged client once becoming involved in pro bono work.
(click on the screen below first, click here if video does not open)
(please take the full 6 minutes or so to view this important video)
(time commitment, up to 5 to 10 hours per case)
- LSNF volunteer lawyers generously donate their time by providing direct representation to eligible clients. LSNF refers eligible clients to attorneys with expertise in, experience with, or special interest in the particular client’s type of legal problem. Participating attorneys specify the legal areas in which they will accept referrals and this information is used when linking an applicant with an attorney. SIGN ME UP
- Lawyers participating in any of the legal clinic or alternative volunteer programs may also agree to accept any advice, brief service case or ongoing LSNF staff attorney case for extended representation.
- Lawyers may also make client referrals to LSNF and request the eligible cases be assigned to them for full representation.
- Lawyers within LSNF’s service area may receive case referral requests by email from time to time asking for help on cases for which LSNF either lacks the resources or expertise to handle.
- Lawyers can also review and accept pro bono cases online. REVIEW AND ACCEPT A CASE NOW
(time commitment, up to 1 to 3 hours per session)
TELEPHONE LEGAL ADVICE HELPLINE
Tallahassee - Volunteer lawyers call back individuals from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday (excluding holidays) who have been pre-screened eligible for legal assistance or who have been referred to the helpline because their application for legal representation was accepted for legal advice only or those individuals signed up to attend the First Saturday Legal Clinic in Panama City did not appear. The helpline serves income eligible clients in civil legal matters specific to family, consumer and housing law from the following north Florida counties: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Leon, Monticello, Wakulla and Washington. An advocacy manual provides volunteers with a comprehensive legal tool to help them advise clients on wide range of legal topics. SIGN ME UP
Government lawyers, under the State of Florida Mentoring Partnership Program, may take up to five hours of administrative leave per calendar month to participate in community service programs that meet child, elder or human needs that includes volunteering for LSNF’s Legal Advice Helpline during regular business hours. SEE SAMPLE DOE MENTORING POLICY
SENIOR LEGAL ADVICE CLINICS
Tallahassee - Volunteer lawyers interview individuals 60 years of age or older from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. each Wednesday (excluding holidays or scheduled building closings) who are pre-scheduled and have completed and signed the clinic intake form at the Tallahassee Senior Center (aka Old Armory) on the 3rd floor of the Charlotte Brayer room located at 1400 North Monroe St. Individuals may receive advice only, brief service or extended representation as determined by the lawyer at the time of the meeting. Any cases involving brief service or extended representation will be limited to low-income seniors. Participants must sign and submit to LSNF an Affidavit of Compliance certifying that they are a member in good standing with The Florida Bar. SIGN ME UP
Crawfordville - Volunteer lawyers interview individuals 60 years of age or older from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the 2nd Monday of each month (excluding holidays) who are pre-scheduled and have completed and signed the clinic intake form at the Wakulla County Senior Center at 33 Michael Dr. in Crawfordville. Individuals may receive advice only, brief service or extended representation as determined by the lawyer at the time of the meeting. Any cases involving brief service or extended representation will be limited to low-income seniors. Participants must sign and submit to LSNF an Affidavit of Compliance certifying that they are a member in good standing with The Florida Bar. SIGN ME UP
Tallahassee – At the Thursday Night Clinic volunteer lawyers interview individuals from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. the 2nd and 4th Thursday during the months of Feb., Apr., Jun., Aug., Oct., Dec., and every 4th Thursday during the months of Jan., Mar., May, Jul., Sep., and Nov. who are pre-scheduled and have completed and signed the clinic intake form at LSNF’s main office in Tallahassee at 2119 Delta Blvd. Individuals may receive advice only, brief service or extended representation as determined by the lawyer at the time of the meeting. SIGN ME UP
Tallahassee – At the Hope Community Legal Clinic volunteer lawyers interview up to six individuals from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. the 3rd Monday of each month (excluding holidays) who are pre-scheduled and have completed and signed the clinic intake form at the Hope Community main campus in Tallahassee at 2729 West Pensacola St. Individuals may receive advice only, brief service or extended representation as determined by the lawyer at the time of the meeting. SIGN ME UP
Panama City – At the First Saturday Legal Advice Clinic volunteer attorney members of the Bay County Bar Association interview individuals from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Gulf Coast Community College Panama City Campus, Student Union West Building, Third Floor, Room 347 the first Saturday of each month who are pre-scheduled and have completed and signed the clinic intake form at LSNF’s Panama City office at 211 E. 11th St. Walk-ins are also accepted from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m. only. Individuals may receive advice only, brief service or extended representation as determined by the lawyer at the time of the meeting. SIGN ME UP
Tallahassee and Pensacola - Legal advice clinics are conducted randomly throughout the year during weekends and weekdays to help meet the legal needs of the community provided resources are available at the time. Volunteer lawyers may also work with LSNF to design and conduct clinics and workshops. SIGN ME UP
Crawfordville – At the Wakulla County Legal Advice Clinic volunteer lawyers interview up to six individuals from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. the 1st Wednesday of each month (excluding holidays) who are pre-scheduled and have completed and signed the clinic intake form at the Wakulla County Clerk’s office in the Wakulla County Courthouse at 3056 Crawfordville Highway in Crawfordville. Individuals receive advice only by the lawyer at the time of the meeting. SIGN ME UP
SELF HELP CLINIC
Tallahassee – At the Small Claims and Landlord Tenant Information Clinic a volunteer lawyer assists the general public in answering questions about how to file small claims actions and landlord tenant issues in Leon County starting at 6:00 p.m. four times each year (Feb, Apr, Jul, and Oct.) at the Leon County Traffic Court Annex at 1920 Thomasville Rd. Judges, clerk staff and other lawyers may be available to answer participant’s questions. SIGN ME UP
HELPING CLIENTS IN OTHER WAYS
(time commitment, up to 1 to 3 hours per session)
- Substantive Law Panel (Expert Legal Panel/Mentor Project) - government and private lawyers provide legal support to other volunteer attorneys and LSNF staff in consumer, landlord/tenant, wills and probate, bankruptcy and family law. SIGN ME UP
- Family/Housing/Children LSNF Client Mediation Assistance Project - government and private lawyers represent LSNF clients at mediation hearings primarily in the 2nd Judicial Circuit. SIGN ME UP
- Domestic/Sexual Violence Panel - government and private lawyers provide legal support to LSNF staff and other pro bono attorneys on all legal issues related to domestic and sexual violence including case handling. SIGN ME UP
- Tax Law Panel - government and private lawyers provide legal support to LSNF staff and other pro bono attorneys on all legal issues related to the practice of tax law including case handling. SIGN ME UP
- Oil Spill Claims Panel - government and private lawyers provide legal support to LSNF staff and other pro bono attorneys on all legal issues related to the BP Oil Spill claims process including settling claims. SIGN ME UP
- Children’s Legal Panel - government and private lawyers provide legal support to LSNF staff and other pro bono attorneys on all legal issues related to children including case handling. SIGN ME UP
- Advocacy Manual Legal Editing Team – government and private attorneys are assigned to a legal section of LSNF’s pro bono attorney legal advice advocacy manual to help update and maintain the document on an ongoing basis. SIGN ME UP
- All Other Activities – government and private attorneys provide consulting or co-counseling, legal research, assistance on appeals, developing substantive legal brochures and pleading forms, community legal education, CLE training and generally anything any attorney can suggest and provide that would assist LSNF on an as needed basis. SIGN ME UP
- Experienced substantive legal support through LSNF staff or Substantive Law Expert Panel.
- Experienced professional clerical support for government and unemployed lawyers.
- Access to Westlaw online.
- Malpractice insurance for LSNF eligible clients.
- Invitation to regular LSNF and other legal aid sponsored CLE trainings.
- Collect and keep attorney fees from adverse party when appropriate.
- Involvement in annual Law Day recognition activities.
- Publication of name on Law Day in local newspaper, thanking you for service to LSNF and your community.
- Additional recognition through pro bono newsletters published by LSNF and circulated throughout Florida.
- Limited litigation fund support.
VOLUNTEER SUPPORTER THROUGH PARTNERS IN SERVICE PROGRAM
- The same as above.
- Certificate of Compliance (with The Florida Bar Pro Bono Rule) mailed upon receipt of payment of $350.00 or more.
- Section 501 (c) (3) income tax deduction for funds contributed.
- Choice of which LSNF project to contribute towards.
- Know that contribution will provide an Opportunity for Justice and access to legal services for all citizens of the community.
- 2013 Private Attorney Involvement Plan TAKE SURVEY ABOUT PLAN – Annual plan for involvement of the private attorney community as required by Legal Services Corporation (LSC).
- Volunteer Attorney Orientation Manual – The first step at volunteering for LSNF to help answer basic questions about investing and getting involved, including valuable resources to help succeed in handling pro bono cases.
- Volunteer Attorney Memorandum of Understanding – All Case Handling
- Volunteer Attorney Memorandum of Understanding – First Saturday Legal Clinic
- Volunteer Attorney Retainer Agreement – To be used, signed by client and attorney, to determine the limits of client representation.
- LSNF Staff and Pro Bono Volunteer Substantive Expert Contacts – Comprehensive list of contacts volunteers may call upon for help with pro bono cases.
- LSNF Advocacy Manual – The single source for all volunteer attorneys to use at all LSNF legal clinics to help with answers to questions raised by most LSNF clients.
- CLE Training Sources - FloridaProBono.org, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association.
- Other Volunteer Attorney Opportunities in Florida – Go to FloridaProBono.org, sign-up and learn about other pro bono opportunities throughout Florida. Links to CLE training opportunities are also available on this site.
- Volunteer Application Form – Get the ball rolling. Download, complete and send volunteer form to LSNF today.
- Partners in Service Membership Form – Invest in LSNF and fulfill The Florida Bar Pro Bono Rule each year.
- Volunteer Attorney Time Report Form – Form to use to report time worked on pro bono cases submitted each quarter to firstname.lastname@example.org .