Pro Bono Participation FAQ’s

Click topics below to expand for more information.

The aspirational goal for pro bono public service espoused by the Florida Bar in Rule 4-6.1 of the rules regulating Florida Bar members states that attorneys should provide 20 hours of legal service per year to low-income persons. JALA welcomes you to contribute as many hours as your schedule allows.

Please note that JALA tracks the number of hours of service performed by its volunteers. These records are available to volunteer attorneys upon request for use in annual reporting to the Florida Bar.

Cases summaries are sent to attorneys who have indicated a wilingness to assist in the area of law involved. The summaries are sent to the pro bono attorney for review via email or fax. After an initial review, the attorney may request to review the full case file. The file is sent to the attorney by email, fax, or U.S. Mail, if preferred. The attorney may also schedule a consultation with the client prior to accepting the case. A volunteer attorney is never obligated to take a case sent to him/her for review. If the attorney accepts the case, the attorney and client are free to proceed, and Pro Bono JALA is available to assist with the case, as needed.
To be eligible for legal assistance, a client must be considered working poor. The Florida Supreme Court has approved a definition of clients who cannot afford to pay for the legal services in question. This involves a case-by-case determination. All cases are evaluated for legal merit and the impact of the legal problem on the client’s life. Clients referred to pro bono attorneys have been interviewed by JALA Intake staff, and have been determined eligible for services. Clients sign a JALA Retainer Agreement which states that the client may be served by a pro bono attorney. Click here to view JALA Retainer Agreement.
JALA supports pro bono attorneys in many ways. JALA provides professional liability coverage to all volunteer attorneys who handle JALA cases. This includes both intake attorneys involved in intake and outreach programs and, also, attorneys who represent clients. The coverage is secondary to other coverage the attorney might have.

Volunteers receive resource materials to enable them to represent indigent clients. JALA has many online CLE courses that have been developed specifically with pro bono attorneys in mind. Go to the “Training and Support for Pro Bono Attorneys” section of this site. These CLE courses are offered free of charge in exchange for pro bono assistance for at least one pro bono client within a year of requesting the CLE materials.

JALA staff attorneys and private attorneys are available as expert resources to assist with pro bono cases.

Volunteers are reimbursed for reasonable and necessary costs of litigation and other case-related costs.

Participation in a pro bono project or pro bono case representation gives the attorney valuable experience and new skills in various areas of law. It also provides a very rewarding experience and the opportunity to help stabilize a person or family in need.

Administration of the pro bono case is very simple. At the close of the case, pro bono attorneys are asked to report their total number of hours spent on the case. (JALA does not require a detailed description of how the attorney spent his/her time on the case, just a total number of hours.) Also, at the close of the case, the pro bono attorney will provide a brief statement of the outcome of the case, and copies of any case closing documents.
Your tax-deductible contributions are always welcome. Rule 4-6.1 of the rules regulating Florida Bar members states that attorneys may discharge their aspirational duty to provide 20 hours of legal services to low-income persons by making an annual contribution of at least $350 to a legal services organization. Donations to JALA help us provide funds to reimburse volunteer attorneys for litigation and transactional costs incurred in cases, as well as providing funds for operating costs. Click here to donate online.

Get Involved with JALA’s Pro Bono Unit

Attorneys who would like to get involved in pro bono case representation and/or would like to participate in pro bono outreach, intake, and projects are encouraged to contact Kathy Para, Esquire, Pro Bono Director, at kathy.para@jaxlegalaid.org, 904-356-8371, ext. 363 or fill out the Attorney Interest Form below.

Pro Bono Attorney Interest Form
Cases Awaiting Placement with Pro Bono Attorneys
Pro Bono Resource Library