Pro Bono Texas Campaign
The Pro Bono Texas Campaign: Supporting Attorneys in Pro
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 launched the Pro Bono Texas 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 Pro Bono Texas Campaign is focusing on removing barriers to pro bono services and supporting attorneys in meeting the growing demand for civil legal aid.
The bar is focused on the following initiatives:
Pro Bono Mentor Match: Mentorship is a critical part of training new pro bono volunteers and ensuring pro bono clients receive excellent representation. For that reason, Pro Bono Texas developed the Pro Bono Mentor Match to help connect pro bono attorneys who need a mentor with experienced attorneys who are willing to mentor them on a pro bono case. Through mentoring, volunteer attorneys who lack experience in a particular legal area rely on the advice and counsel of more experienced attorneys to ensure competent representation of pro bono clients.
Pro Bono Mentor CLE: This Mentor CLE program provides up to 5 hours of MCLE credit including 1 hour of ethics to attorneys participating as a “mentor” or “mentee” when handling a pro bono case for an approved legal aid or pro bono service program.
New Opportunities Volunteer Attorney (NOVA) Pro Bono Program: The program enables attorneys to continue doing pro bono work after they retire even if their license is no longer active and even if they are licensed in a state besides Texas. NOVA is governed by Article XIII of the State Bar Rules and replaces the prior Emeritus Attorney Pro Bono Participation Program. NOVA differs in the following ways: 1) Inactive members of the State Bar of Texas and lawyers licensed in other states who are in good standing may participate. Under the prior Emeritus Program, only retired Texas and out-of-state licensed attorneys were able to do so; and 2)Attorney participants must complete 3 hours of MCLE annually.
Sections Challenge: The bar challenges its sections to report all of the great pro bono work that they do. Two trophies are presented annually to the section with the highest total number of reported pro bono hours and the section with the highest percentage of its members participating in the challenge. The winning sections will also be recognized at Council of Chairs and acknowledged within Pro Bono Texas’s social media sites. Visit My Bar Page to report your pro bono hours now.
Pro Bono Pledge: Lawyers who perform 5, 10, and 15 hours of pro bono can now earn the Pro Bono Texas badge which will appear by their name on the State Bar website on the popular “Find a Lawyer” page. The Pro Bono Pledge is intended to encourage lawyers to perform a base level of pro bono and inspire them to strive towards the State Bar’s aspirational goal of performing at least 50 hours of legal services to the poor each year. Join your colleagues make your Pro Bono Pledge today by visiting the My Pro Bono tab on your My Bar Page. You’ll be glad you did!
Language Access Fund: Through the Language Access Fund, the bar provides access to free interpretation and translation services for legal aid and pro bono attorneys representing clients that have limited English proficiency.
Find pro bono support and connect to legal aid providers and pro bono organizations in your community on ProBonoTexas.org.
Legal Access Division
Pro Bono Department
800.204.2222 (ext. 1855)