Certain lawyers, however, may be limited by constitutional, statutory, rule, or other regulatory prohibitions and are deferred from participation under the rule. It should be noted that the Standing Committee on Pro Bono is currently considering revisions to the Pro Bono Rule which would remove the "deferred" category thus clearing the way for increased pro bono participation from government lawyers. These lawyers would include judges and their staffs, government attorneys, and members of the bar who are retired, inactive or suspended.
Other attorneys may find that direct case representation of clients is not appropriate for other reasons. For example attorneys may:
- be more interested in or better qualified for other work;
- require volunteer work with a definite, predictable time frame;
- possess expertise limited to areas not in great demand by indigent clients.
In Palm Beach County, a number of innovative and creative methods for providing pro bono service have been developed to answer the needs of these attorneys.
Please click on a project to view details:
Domestic Assault Project
Café Joshua Legal Panel
Community Education Panels
AIDs Pro Bono Project
Drug Court Projects
Non-Profit Organization Panel
Sadowski Legal Fellowships
Pro Bono Misdemeanor Panel
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Program
Small Claims Mediation Panel
Family Mediation Panel
The foregoing examples represent a few alternatives to attorneys who find themselves constrained from direct client representation for various reasons. There are certainly others. Some other areas suggested by the Supreme Court ((see Rule 4-6.5 (d)) are:
- acting as co-counsel on cases or matters with legal assistance providers and other pro bono lawyers;
- providing consultation services to legal assistance providers for case reviews and evaluations;
- participation in policy advocacy;
- providing training to the staff of legal assistance providers and other volunteer pro bono attorneys;
- making presentations to groups of poor persons regarding their rights and obligations under the law;
- providing legal research; and
- providing guardian ad litem services.
Lawyers and the organizations they work for are, to a large extent, limited only by their imaginations in creating and initiating innovative ways to provide pro service.