Q. As in-house counsel, can I do pro bono work?
A. Yes. The Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct (S.J.C. Rule 3:07) state that a lawyer should provide annually at least 25 hours of pro bono publico legal services for the benefit of persons of limited means. In the alternative, the lawyer should contribute from $250 to 1% of the lawyer’s annual taxable, professional income to one or more organizations that provide or support legal services to persons of limited means.
S.J.C. Rule 4:02 (9) specifically states that in-house counsel may provide pro bono publico legal services under the auspices of an approved legal services organization.
Q. What if my employer does not have a pro bono program or policy?
A. The Lawyers Clearinghouse can assist corporations to create a pro bono program and draft appropriate policies.
Q. I don’t have malpractice insurance. Can I still participate?
A. The Lawyers Clearinghouse provides malpractice insurance for all of its pro bono attorneys.
Q. What pro bono opportunities does the Lawyers Clearinghouse offer?
A. We have a wide variety of opportunities including representing nonprofit organizations on a case by case basis; participating in a clinic-type, half-day session serving nonprofits; leading educational programs; advising and representing the homeless; and serving as a Fellow to ensure access to justice.
Q. What is the time commitment required to participate?
A. Depending on the pro bono matter and program, the time commitment can be as little as 3 hours.
Q. What support is available if I take on a pro bono matter?
A. The Lawyers Clearinghouse can provide training, mentoring, and supervision for its pro bono attorneys as needed.
Q. Can I work on pro bono cases with other lawyers?
A. Yes. We have pro bono opportunities for in-house counsel to partner with other lawyers in their legal department or lawyers from our partner law firms.