The Atlanta Lawyer March 2015 - Page 4

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Do You Really Know What Pro Bono Is? “ By Jacquelyn H. Saylor The Saylor Law Firm LLP “... a lawyer can choose to provide additional services by doing legal work for a substantially reduced price or through, “participation in activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession.” A ccording to Georgia Bar Rule 6.1, a Georgia lawyer is encouraged to, “provide at least fifty (50) hours of pro bono services each year and contribute financially to legal aid and pro bono programs.” 1 This expectation can be met in two ways. On the one hand, a lawyer can provide legal work to the less fortunate on a volunteer basis. Alternatively, a lawyer can choose to provide additional services by doing legal work for a substantially reduced price or through, “participation in activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession.” 2 Some actions that qualify as profession improvement activities include, serving on boards of pro bono or legal services programs, sitting on bar association committees, and volunteering for bar association activities. Therefore, anytime you volunteer for the Atlanta Bar Association, you are working towards your suggested goal for pro bono public service. With that in mind, March is a wonderful time to start fulfilling this annual expectation, if you have not begun to do so already. 4 THE ATLANTA LAWYER March 2015 There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with the Atlanta Bar Association’s Pro Bono March Madness, which offers fourteen (14) Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses to prepare you for involvement in various pro bono projects. You can use your $75 coupon for March Madness courses. See the atlantabar.org website for more details about the variety of CLE’s offered. Additionally, consider getting involved with the Atlanta Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) Modest Means Program to offer low cost legal services in your area of expertise. The program “is designed to assist Georgia residents who are not financially eligible for Legal Aid, but who also do not have the resources to retain a private attorney at the standard market rate. Potential clients who qualify for the Modest Means Program are referred to a private attorney who has agreed to the specific terms of the program, including an initial retainer fee of no more than $600, or billable hours of $75 an hour maximum.” 3 Since these attorneys are providing legal services at substantially reduced rates, their work qualifies as pro bono service. The Official News Publication of the Atlanta Bar Association