Share your commitment to pro bono by making the Pro Bono Pledge on MyBarPage. The Pledge encourages lawyers to make pro bono an integral part of their legal practice. The Pledge is intended to encourage all lawyers to perform a basic level of pro bono and inspire them to strive towards the State Bar’s aspirational goal of at least 50 hours of free legal services to the poor each year.
Those who fulfill the Pro Bono Pledge will have the Pro Bono Pledge badge displayed next to their name on the highly viewed “Find a Lawyer” page of the State Bar website and will be listed in the State Bar LegalFront newsletter.
A lawyer may earn the Pro Bono Pledge badge once he or she has provided at least one of the following in a calendar year:
- Five (5) hours or more of pro bono service on a contested case; or
- Ten (10) hours or more of pro bono service on an uncontested case; or
- Fifteen (15) hours or more of other pro bono legal services such as mentorship, CLE, or other legal related pro bono work (e.g., intake clinic, research, manual preparation).
To earn the Pro Bono Pledge badge, pro bono services must be law-related and be provided:
- Within a calendar year;
- To a low income client;
Lawyers are encouraged to use their best judgment regarding who is “low income.” For reference, many civil legal aid programs use 200% of the federal poverty guideline (FPG) as the upper income limit to qualify for services. View a chart of 200% FPG income levels based on family size here.
- Without expecting, requesting, or receiving any compensation for the services rendered.
Services provided with the expectation of receiving a fee that was not paid (“bad debt”), or otherwise did not materialize, do not qualify as pro bono.
Share your commitment to pro bono by making the Pledge today!