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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Introduction to 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.
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.
Gain practical experience
Develop fundamental skills and values
Explore alternative career opportunities
Establish mentorship relationships
Florida State Law’s
Pro Bono Program
First Year Students
To qualify as pro bono work, it must meet
*with limited exceptions
In order to qualify as pro bono service, you cannot receive any compensation in connection with the work you perform.
All pro bono service must be supervised
by an attorney, who then verifies that you have
completed your hours by signing a Pro Bono
To receive credit for your pro bono service, the
work must be on behalf of:
The pro bono service generally must be civil
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.
There are a variety of opportunities available to
you, including but not limited to:
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.
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:
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.
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.
Some of the most popular pre-approved sites
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
The types of work students perform depends on
the chosen site. Generally students are involved in:
Once you have completed your
hours at a location, you need to
submit the green Pro Bono
The form can be found in Room 206 or online at
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.
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.
Rules of Professional Conduct
A lawyer shall provide competent representation
to a client. Competent representation requires
the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and
preparation reasonably necessary for the
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.
A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence in representing a client.
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.
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
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
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
False Evidence: Duty to Disclose
A lawyer shall not knowingly:
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.
In the course of representing a client a
lawyer shall not knowingly:
Each member of the Florida Bar in good standing,
as part of that member’s professional responsibility,
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.