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Pro Bono

Find a variety of pro bono related resources, including a Pro Bono Toolkit for judicial officers to assist them in encouraging attorneys to provide pro bono services, California and national resources for judicial officers to encourage pro bono in their communities, and resources for self-help center volunteers. Expand each topic below for links and information.


Pro Bono Toolkit

This Toolkit, prepared by the Judicial Council's Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants in consultation with the State Bar's Commission on Access to Justice, provides resources for judicial officers to assist them in encouraging attorneys to provide pro bono services.


General Information

Talking Points

Sample Speeches

National Resources


General Information

Judicial Council Resolution Recognizing Pro Bono Week
Recognizes October 25-31, 2009 as Pro Bono Week in California.
Approved by the Judicial Council of California, Aug. 14, 2009.

Impact of Recession on Funding for Legal Services
Highlights the particularly significant role of pro bono in providing legal services as legal services funding decreases dramatically during the current recession.
Prepared by the Judicial Council's Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants.

A Few Key Things Judges Can Do to Encourage Pro Bono
Provides some key suggestions for judicial officers in their efforts to encourage increasing pro bono involvement by attorneys.
Approved by the Judicial Council of California, Aug. 14, 2009.

Frequently Asked Questions for Lawyers about Pro Bono
Includes links to pro bono opportunities, awards, and resources. Prepared by the State Bar of California.

Pro Bono Benefits Everyone
Provides key talking points about the benefits of pro bono service. Prepared by the State Bar of California.

Campaign for Justice
Created by a network of legal aid organizations, private lawyers, the Office of Legal Services of the State Bar of California and the Legal Aid Association of California, the Campaign consists of four key components: educating key policymakers about the importance of legal aid, encouraging banks to maximize interest and waive fees on IOLTA accounts to preserve this source of legal aid funding, increasing individual contributions to the Justice Gap Fund, and encouraging pro bono services to leverage legal aid resources.

Talking Points

Talking points
Intended for judicial officers when speaking to attorneys at a variety of events regarding the need for the private bar to provide pro bono legal services.
Approved by the Judicial Council of California, Aug. 14, 2009.

Sample Speeches

Remarks by Chief Justice Ronald M. George. Pro Bono Awards, Bench/Bar/Judicial Administration Convention (September 28, 2007).
Pro bono work is lawyer’s duty by Chief Justice Ronald M. George (October 2001).
Remarks by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Pro Bono Reception Awards, State Bar Convention (September 7, 2001).
Letter from Chief Justice Ronald M. George to Bar Leaders.

National Resources

The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service as well as the Center for Pro Bono have collected a variety of resources from throughout the country to assist judicial officers to encourage pro bono service. This includes sample speeches and articles by judges and court-based pro bono program descriptions.

The American Bar Association has also developed a variety of resources for National Pro Bono Week – October 24 – 31, 2009 for Judicial Officers. These include sample letters sent by judicial officers to encourage pro bono.

Encouragement of Pro Bono by Judicial Officers

California

National

Additional Resources

Articles


California

Judicial Council Resolution Recognizing Pro Bono Week.
Approved by the Judicial Council of California, Aug. 14, 2009.

Judicial Council Resolution on Pro Bono (Unanimously endorsed by the Judicial Council of California, May 17, 1996).

Remarks by Chief Justice Ronald M. George. Pro Bono Awards, Bench/Bar/Judicial Administration Convention (September 28, 2007).

Pro bono work is lawyer’s duty by Chief Justice Ronald M. George (October 2001).

Remarks by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Pro Bono Reception Awards, State Bar Convention (September 7, 2001).

Letter from Chief Justice Ronald M. George to Bar Leaders.


National

ABA Recommendation 121C , Adopted by the House of Delegates in August 2006, delineating policy promoting judicial support and promotion of pro bono.

Resolution VII: Encouraging Pro Bono Services in Civil Matters, Conference of Chief Justices (adopted in 1997).

Resolution 23: Leadership to Promote Equal Justice Conference of Chief Justices (adopted 2001).


Additional Resources

ABA – Standing committee on Pro bono and Public Service and the Center for Pro bono and the Courts (with links to a clearinghouse, judges’ speeches, information on other states, etc.)

Action Plan for Justice, A Report by the California Commission on Access to Justice (April 2007).

Pro Bono.Net in California. Website dedicated to promoting pro bono legal services in California and providing links to regional pro bono sites.


Articles

"A Rule to Show Cause On the Courts: How the Judiciary Can Help Pro Bono" Part I and Part II, in past issues of Dialogue that describe various activities suitable for the judiciary to help pro bono.

Big State, Big Crisis, Big Leadership With California’s poverty population swelling, Chief Justice George sets bold course (Spring 2003), LSC’s Equal Justice Magazine.

"Expanding Pro Bono: The Judiciary's Power to Open Doors" in Dialogue, Spring 1998, Vol. 2, no. 2, by The Honorable Judith Billings and Jenny M. McMahon.

Volunteers in Self-Help Centers

Volunteer Resources

Volunteer Program Training Materials

Self Help Center Staff Resources (navigates to another page)


Volunteer Resources

ABA Pro Bono Materials (prepared by the ABA)

Renewing our Commitment to Pro Bono: Tools for Local & Specialty Bar Associations

Directory of Volunteer Centers (prepared by the Points of Light Foundation)

Your CASA Volunteers (prepared by CASA)

Virtual Volunteering Resources (prepared by ServiceLeader.org)

JusticeCorps (Funded through an AmeriCorps grant)

 

Volunteer Program Training Materials

Domestic Violence Calendar Protocol for Volunteers (prepared by the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo)

Ventura Self-Help Legal Access Center Volunteer Training Manual (rev. 2/08/2006) (prepared by the Ventura Courts Self-Help Legal Access Center)

Volunteer Handbook - San Francisco Superior Court Assisting Court Customers with Educational and Self-Help Services (ACCESS) Center (prepared by the San Francisco ACCESS Center)

Family Law Facilitator Office Rules (prepared by the Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino)

A Guide for volunteers and interns (prepared by the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County).

Paralegal Manual, San Francisco Probate Court, Self-Represented Guardianship Program (prepared by the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco)

Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) Training Manual (prepared by the Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino)

Advanced Guardianship Training Manual (prepared by the Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino)

San Francisco's Unlawful Detainer Settlement Conference Project

LARC Attorney Memorandum Tiela Chalmers