Pro Bono Reporting
Help us MAKE THE CASE for Access to Justice
We know that Oregon lawyers do their fair share and more to promote access to justice for all. Now we need to know just how much. Without statistics showing what lawyers already do, our advocacy efforts in the community and legislature are often met with the question “why don’t the lawyers just take care of it?” The misperception that lawyers can solve the problem of access to justice all by themselves hurts our efforts to secure adequate funding for legal services.
You can help us make the case for access to justice by reporting your pro bono hours this year. If we can show how much pro bono work Oregon lawyers already are doing, we increase our chances for stable funding for legal services.
Plus, you might win accolades, a photo with the Chief Justice and a beautiful plaque from the Oregon New Lawyers’ Division Pro Bono Challenge if you or your firm reports the most hours in one of the following categories: Solo Practitioner, Small Firm, Medium Firm, Large Firm, Individual at a Firm, Active Pro Bono Member or Law Student.
The data collected through pro bono reporting shows the number of attorneys performing pro bono service during a given time period, the number of hours served and details about financial contributions made to pro bono and legal services programs. This information facilitates recognition of contributing attorneys, enhancing the public image of the legal profession and improving the coordination of statewide pro bono delivery efforts. Please help us make the case for Oregon lawyers by reporting your hours.
How to Join the Pro Bono Roll Call and Participate in the Pro Bono Challenge
Participation in the Pro Bono Roll Call is voluntary and open to any lawyer who contributed one or more hours of pro bono service this year. By reporting your hours for the Pro Bono Roll Call, you will be entered automatically into the Pro Bono Challenge. Simply keep track of your yearly pro bono service and support, and report them at the end of the year. The Pro Bono Roll Call period covers activities from January 1 through December 31. The deadline for reporting is February 1st.
OSB Pro Bono Roll Call
The Oregon State Bar (OSB) Board of Governors voted unanimously in 2002 to collect the number of pro bono hours performed annually by Oregon lawyers. This information helps the bar to evaluate Oregons progress in addressing unmet legal needs and to recognize lawyers doing their part to make legal services available to all members of society.
The Pro Bono Roll Call is the bar's voluntary reporting program for lawyers to report their pro bono hours. The pro bono categories are listed below.
OSB Pro Bono Honor Roll
Participants in the Pro Bono Roll Call who meet the ProBono Aspirational Standard qualify for the OSB Pro Bono Honor Roll. These lawyers perform at least 40 hours of direct pro bono services.
The Pro Bono Challenge
In coordination with the Pro Bono Roll Call, the OSB New Lawyers Division Pro Bono Subcommittee sponsors an annual Pro Bono Challenge. The Challenge tallies the hours reported in the Volunteer Legal Representation category of the Pro Bono Roll Call. Winners are recognized for contributing the most hours in each Challenge group: Sole Practitioner, Active Pro Bono, Law Student, Law Firm (small, medium, and large), and individual is a firm.
Pro Bono Categories
The Pro Bono Roll Call includes four (4) categories of pro bono service and support in the Aspirational Standard.
A. VOLUNTEER LEGAL REPRESENTATION
(This category counts for the Pro Bono Challenge.)
This category includes volunteer legal services in which you provided direct representation
- for low-i ncome clients through a legal aid office
- for a nonprofit organizations pro bono program
- for an attorney assistance program through a court, library or other community initiative
- for civic, charitable, governmental, educational, or other public-service organizations with limited income or which are designed primarily to address the legal needs of low-income clients
- for individuals, groups, or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties, or public rights
- for any indigent client that a lawyer intentionally opts not to charge before providing legal services
B. VOLUNTEER LAW IMPROVEMENT ACTIVITIES (NON-REPRESENTATION)
This category includes volunteer activities that improve the law, the legal system, and the legal profession. Examples:
- serving on any committee, section or task force that improves the law, the legal system, or the legal profession (e.g. state or local bars, Oregon Judicial Department, Oregon Department of Justice, law schools)
- coaching a mock trial team
- mentoring another attorney doing pro bono work
- volunteering as a pro tem judge
- volunteering as a settlement conference judge in an unrepresented case
- volunteering as a mediator
- teaching legal education courses without compensation
- engaging in public speaking on legal issues
- consulting with court staff to assist court users
- This list is not exhaustive, as there are many other activities that qualify.
C. COMMUNITY SERVICE
This category includes volunteer time in a non-legal capacity for the public good. Examples: volunteering for organizations like Meals on Wheels or Habitat for Humanity.
D. FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION
The OSB Pro Bono Aspirational Standard encourages lawyers who are unable to provide direct legal services to low-income clients to make a comparable financial contribution to an organization that provides or coordinates the provision of direct legal services to low-income clients.