The Care Campaign: Supporting Attorneys in Pro Bono Service
The State Bar of Texas is committed to fostering a culture of pro bono service in our state. As part of this commitment, the bar is launching the Care Campaign to empower attorneys who want to serve the millions of low-income Texans who need legal help.
While nearly six million Texans qualify for legal aid, the Texas legal community only meets 20 percent of the need. The Care Campaign will focus on removing barriers to pro bono services and supporting attorneys in meeting the growing demand for civil legal aid.
After speaking with legal aid providers and pro bono attorneys about their needs, the bar is focusing on the following initiatives that you will see unfold in the coming year:
• Practical training programs that offer CLE credit. The bar is developing “nuts and bolts” training programs that will provide attorneys with practical skills for the types of cases legal aid providers most frequently encounter. These CLE programs will be offered at no charge in exchange for a commitment to do pro bono.
• Mentorship program that shares experience and advice. The bar is creating a pool of experienced attorneys who are willing to serve as mentors to lawyers taking on pro bono cases. The mentor matching system will connect pro bono attorneys in need of guidance on a pro bono case with mentors who can provide advice, share practical expertise, or potentially serve as second chair on a case.
• Language assistance to reach underserved populations. The bar is establishing a bank of volunteer interpreters and negotiating lower prices for paid interpreter services so that pro bono and legal aid attorneys can communicate with clients who have limited English language abilities.
• Malpractice insurance for pro bono and reduced-fee cases. The State Bar provides malpractice insurance for legal aid providers and pro bono programs through its Malpractice Insurance Network Exchange. This offers malpractice coverage to attorneys volunteering through these programs. Attorneys who accept cases through a reduced fee panel at a local lawyer referral service are also covered.
The Care Campaign launches this fall. This site will provide up-to-date information about related resources.
Want to get involved? Connect to legal aid providers and pro bono organizations in your community at Texas Lawyers Help.
The State Bar has developed a Care Kit to enable local bar associations and legal organizations to easily hold legal advice clinics. The Care Kit contains all of the resources necessary to publicize and conduct a clinic. An accompanying tool kit offers additional resources. To view the contents of the Care Kit, the tool kit, and a video demystifying the legal clinic process, click here. Request a Care Kit or tool kit by contacting Lindsey Ratcliff at email@example.com, or (512) 427-1517.
Legal Access Division
800.204.2222 (ext. 1855)