Pro Bono Mentor Program
Mentoring has long played an integral
role in the success of Texas pro bono programs. 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.
A mentor can help by:
- Reviewing documents
- Discussing professional and ethical issues
- Providing procedural and legal advice
- Assisting in court or depositions
Attorneys participating in the Pro Bono Mentor Program can earn up to 5 hours of participatory MCLE credit, including one hour of ethics, annually, for time spent in consultations between the mentor and the mentee.
Individual attorneys who receive MCLE credit under this program must serve as a pro bono mentor or mentee under the auspices of a provider of legal services to the poor, which meets at least one of the following criteria:
(a) a Texas recipient of Legal Services Corporation funds;
(b) a recipient of Texas Access to Justice Foundation funds; or
(c) a Texas non-profit, governmental entity, or bar association that provides civil legal services if at least 50 percent of the services provided are free and benefit Texans whose income is 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines or less.
To claim MCLE credit for serving as a pro bono mentor or mentee an attorney must also complete an MCLE-approved training consisting of substantive legal training that helps to prepare him or her to handle pro bono cases or to manage professional responsibility challenges.
The Pro Bono Mentor Program Application must be submitted by the eligible pro bono program or by the mentor/mentee seeking MCLE credit to the Legal Access Division of the State Bar of Texas (LAD). LAD will determine the eligibility of the pro bono program and the attorney applicant. LAD will award credit to applicants that fulfill all requirements. Incomplete forms will not be accepted.