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The Pro Bono Requirement An On-line Orientation. Overview. Part I - Introduction to Pro Bono Service Part II - Summary of Florida State Law’s Program Part III - Professionalism: The Florida Bar’s Guidelines for Professional Conduct Part IV - Getting Started. Part One.

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The pro bono requirement an on line orientation
The Pro Bono RequirementAn On-line Orientation


Overview
Overview

  • Part I - Introduction to Pro Bono Service

  • Part II - Summary of Florida State Law’s Program

  • Part III - Professionalism: The Florida Bar’s Guidelines for Professional Conduct

  • Part IV - Getting Started


Part one
Part One

Introduction to Pro Bono Service


What is Pro Bono Service?

  • Pro bono service is defined as legal work designed to present a position on behalf of the public at large on matters of public interest.

  • Pro bono service does not include the direct representation of litigants in actions between private persons, corporations, or others in which the financial interests at stake would warrant representation from private legal sources.


The importance of pro bono service
The Importance of Pro Bono Service

The legal profession is, at its foundation, about service: service to individuals, to organizations, and to private and public entities. "Public service" however has a special meaning for the legal profession. This meaning may be debatable around the edges, but at its core is the responsibility of the profession to insure access to justice for all by meeting not only the legal needs of those who can afford a lawyer but also the legal needs of those individuals and communities that cannot.

http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/lawschools/


Law Schools and Pro Bono Service

FSU College of law is not unique in its recognition of the importance of pro bono service by its students.

In recent years, more than 100 law schools throughout the nation have implemented structured school-wide pro bono programs and/or pro bono opportunities for their law students.


A sampling of law schools with pro bono requirements
A Sampling of Law Schools with Pro Bono Requirements

  • Columbia University

  • Florida State University

  • Georgetown University

  • Northeastern University

  • University of Maryland

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • University of Washington

  • Valparaiso University

  • William & Mary College


Why Is Pro Bono Required?

  • The American Bar Association (ABA) has set forth a lawyer’s pro bono responsibility in Model Rule 6.1, which encourages lawyers to aspire to render at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services per year without fee or expectation of fee to persons of limited means or to organizations designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means.

  • In Florida, Rule 4-6.1 of the Florida Bar Rules provides that pro bono service is part of the lawyer’s professional responsibility.


How Pro Bono Service Benefits Students

Increase knowledge

Gain practical experience

Develop fundamental skills and values

Explore alternative career opportunities

Establish mentorship relationships


Listing Pro Bono Service on Your Resume

  • For many students, pro bono experience may be the only legal-related experience they have at this early stage in their law school careers.

  • Include pro bono service on your resume, listing where you worked and the nature of the work you performed.


Mentorship opportunities
Mentorship Opportunities

  • Pro Bono service provides law students the opportunity to work closely with attorneys serving the public interest on a variety of interesting and important issues.

  • Many students develop strong working relationships with the attorneys they assist and these connections extend beyond the time they work on the pro bono project.


Part Two:

Summary of

Florida State Law’s

Pro Bono Program


Pro bono service is a graduation requirement
Pro Bono Service is aGraduation Requirement

  • In order to graduate from the College of Law, students are REQUIRED to complete 20 hours of pro bono service.

  • Students who elect to complete 40 or more hours receive a certificate of Outstanding Pro Bono Service.


Students must be in their second or third year to receive credit for pro bono hours
Students must be in their second or third year to receive credit for pro bono hours.

First Year Students

  • For the purposes of the pro bono program, you will be considered a 2L after you take your last final exam this Spring.

  • Many students choose to do their pro bono the summer after their first year.

2L

3L


How pro bono work is defined by the college of law
How Pro Bono Work is Definedby the College of Law

To qualify as pro bono work, it must meet

these conditions:

  • Cannot receive compensation for work

  • Work must be completed under supervision of an attorney

  • Nature of work must be on behalf of the public interest and civil in nature*

    *with limited exceptions


Receive no compensation
Receive No Compensation

In order to qualify as pro bono service, you cannot receive any compensation in connection with the work you perform.


Attorney supervision
Attorney Supervision

All pro bono service must be supervised

by an attorney, who then verifies that you have

completed your hours by signing a Pro Bono

Completion Form.


Nature of the work
Nature of the Work

To receive credit for your pro bono service, the

work must be on behalf of:

  • Disadvantaged minority;

  • Victims of racial, sexual, or other forms of discrimination;

  • Those denied human and civil rights or;

  • Other work on behalf of the public interest


Civil in nature
Civil in Nature

The pro bono service generally must be civil

in nature.

There are limited exceptions to this rule:

You may receive pro bono credit for working with a

Public Defender’s Office or a State Attorney’s Office.


Identifying a pro bono site
Identifying a Pro Bono Site

There are a variety of opportunities available to

you, including but not limited to:

  • Private Law Firms

  • Non-Profit Organizations

  • Working with faculty members

    on special projects

Students are able to perform pro bono service

at countless locations. Service can be conducted

anywhere in the country, provided the nature of the

work falls within the parameters of the program.


Identifying a pro bono site1
Identifying a Pro Bono Site

For your convenience, the Student Affairs Office

maintains a list of pre-approved sites, most of which

are located here in Tallahassee. This list is available in

Room 206 and online at:

http://www.law.fsu.edu/current_students/

student_affairs/pro_bono.php


Identifying a pro bono site2
Identifying a Pro Bono Site

Students are able to perform pro bono service at countless

locations. Service can be conducted anywhere in the

country, provided the nature of the work falls within the

parameters of the program.


Pre approved sites
Pre-Approved Sites

The Pre-Approved Sites List contains contact information

about organizations that are familiar with the College of

Law pro bono program and have accommodated law

students in the past. Law students have had many

successful experiences at these sites.

It is your responsibility to contact the supervising

attorney at a particular site to inquire about available pro

bono opportunities. Keep in mind that not all locations

have opportunities at all times.


Pre approved sites1
Pre-Approved Sites

Some of the most popular pre-approved sites

include:

  • Family Law Assistance Program

  • Teen Court

  • Trust for Public Land

  • Guardian Ad Litem

  • Children’s Advocacy Center

  • EarthJustice

  • Legal Environment Assistance Foundation


Other locations
Other Locations

  • You are not limited to sites on the Pre-Approved Sites lists. If you identify an opportunity elsewhere, submit the Pro Bono Registration Form to the Student Affairs Office, Room 206, BEFORE you complete any hours.

  • We will ensure that the site is acceptable and sign-off that you will receive credit for hours performed at that location. We return the signed form to you. Save your copy for your records.


Other locations1
Other Locations

If you find a pro bono

opportunity at a site that is

not pre-approved, fill out

the yellow Pro Bono

Registration Form, found in

Room 206 and online at

http://www.law.fsu.edu/ current_students/student_affairs/pro_bono.php


Types of responsibilities
Types of Responsibilities

The types of work students perform depends on

the chosen site. Generally students are involved in:

  • Researching

  • Writing memoranda

  • Preparing for trial

  • Drafting documents

  • Investigating

  • Interviewing


Receiving credit
Receiving Credit

Once you have completed your

hours at a location, you need to

submit the green Pro Bono

Completion Form.

The form can be found in Room 206 or online at

http://www.law.fsu.edu/ current_students/student_affairs/pro_bono.php


Receiving credit1
Receiving Credit

If you work for multiple locations, you must

submit a separate form for each location.

The form requires your supervising attorney to

sign off on the total number of hours performed.

You do not need to submit a time-sheet.

Submit the form to the Student Affairs Office.

Within several days, you will receive a signed

copy of the form. Save your copy for your records.


Pro bono deadline
Pro Bono Deadline

Your 20 hours of pro bono

service must be completed

30 days before your graduation.

You will not be certified to

graduate until you have met

the pro bono requirement.

Plan ahead!


Part three
PartThree

Rules of Professional Conduct


Florida bar rules
Florida Bar Rules

  • Familiarize yourself with some important rules relating to Professional Conduct before you begin your pro bono service.

  • The Florida Rules of Professional Conduct are located on the Florida Bar’s website at

    http://www.floridabar.org


Rules of professional conduct
Rules of Professional Conduct

  • The Florida Bar has established rules that govern the relationship between lawyers and their clients.

  • The following slides present an overview of some of those regulations that you should be familiar with when doing your pro bono work.


Rule 4 1 1 competence
Rule 4-1.1 Competence

A lawyer shall provide competent representation

to a client. Competent representation requires

the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and

preparation reasonably necessary for the

representation.


4 1 2 e scope of representation
4-1.2 (e)Scope of Representation

Limitation on Lawyer’s Conduct

When a lawyer knows or reasonably should know that a client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or by law, the lawyer shall consult with the client regarding the relevant limitations on the lawyer’s conduct.


Rule 4 1 3 diligence
Rule 4-1.3Diligence

A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence in representing a client.


Rule 4 1 4 a communication
Rule 4-1.4(a)Communication

Informing Client of Status of Representation

A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information.


Rule 4 1 6 confidentiality of information
Rule 4-1.6Confidentiality of Information

Consent Required to Reveal Information

A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to representation of a client (except under limited circumstances) unless the client consents after disclosure to the client.

Limited circumstances are set forth in subdivisions (b), (c) and (d) of the rule


Rule 4 1 7 conflict of interest
Rule 4-1.7Conflict of Interest

Representing Adverse Interests

A lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation of that client will be directly adverse to the interests of another client unless

  • The lawyer reasonably believes the representation will not adversely affect the lawyer’s responsibilities to and relationship with the other client; and

  • Each client consents after consultation.


Rule 4 2 1 adviser
Rule 4-2.1Adviser

In representing a client, a lawyer shall exercise

independent professional judgment and render

candid advice. In rendering advice the lawyer

may refer not only to law but to other

considerations such as moral, economic, social

and political factors that may be relevant to the

client’s situation.


Rule 4 3 3 candor toward the tribunal
Rule 4-3.3Candor Toward the Tribunal

False Evidence: Duty to Disclose

A lawyer shall not knowingly:

  • Make false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal

  • Fail to disclose a material fact

  • Fail to disclose legal authority in controlling jurisdiction known to be adverse to position

  • Permit any witness to offer testimony known to be false


Rule 4 3 4 fairness to opposing party and counsel
Rule 4-3.4Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel

Fair competition in the adversary system is secured by prohibitions against destruction or concealment of evidence, improperly influencing witnesses, obstructive tactics in discovery procedure, and the like.

See rule for specific prohibitions.


Rule 4 4 1 truthfulness in statements to others
Rule 4-4.1Truthfulness in Statements to Others

In the course of representing a client a

lawyer shall not knowingly:

  • Make false statement of material fact or law to a third person; or

  • Fail to disclose a material fact to a third person when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client unless disclosure is prohibited by rule 4-1.6.


Rule 4 6 1 pro bono public service
Rule 4-6.1Pro Bono Public Service

Each member of the Florida Bar in good standing,

as part of that member’s professional responsibility,

should

  • Render pro bono legal services to the poor and

  • Participate, to the extent possible, in other pro bono service activities that directly relate to the legal needs of the poor.


Part four getting started
Part Four: Getting Started


Receive credit for orientation hours
Receive Credit for Orientation & Hours

This online orientation should be completed BEFORE you start your pro bono.

When you complete your hours, you must certify on the form that you completed this online orientation prior to the start of your pro bono work.

You will not receive any pro bono credit until we

have received your signed certification form.


If you have any questions
If You Have Any Questions…

Contact:

The Office of Student Affairs

Room 206

644-7338

[email protected]


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