Pro Bono Reporting – The Pro Bono Roll Call
Your report is important. When you report volunteer hours through the Pro Bono Roll Call, you are helping the Bar and legal aid better target programs for Oregonians with low incomes. Your report also helps the legal community and the public see how committed Oregon lawyers are to pro bono.
How to Report
Oregon Attorneys are encouraged to report their pro bono time voluntarily by logging into the online member portal and selecting “Pro Bono Reporting” in the Regulatory Notifications section.
What Happens With the Data?
The Bar calculates aggregate statistics from the pro bono reports of Oregon Lawyers. Additionally, The Bar uses reports to compile and publish the Pro Bono Honor Roll and to determine winners of the Pro Bono Challenge.
Pro Bono Honor Roll
The Pro Bono Honor Roll annually recognizes Oregon lawyers who provided at least 40 hours of direct pro bono legal services in the preceding year.
Pro Bono Challenge
The Pro Bono Challenge recognizes the lawyers, law firms, and law students who contributed the most time to direct pro bono legal services.
The Aspirational Standard
OSB Bylaw 13.1 encouraged Oregon Lawyers to provide 80 hours of unpaid service to their communities each year. That 80-hour total includes all kinds of volunteer community work from providing free legal help to serving on a nonprofit, church, or community board. Even things like volunteering to clean up litter or volunteering to coach an organized kids’ sports team are included.
Additionally, Oregon lawyers are encouraged to make sure that 20 to 40 of those volunteer hours are dedicated to providing direct pro bono legal services to Oregonians with low incomes. If a lawyer cannot provide direct pro bono legal services, they are encouraged to donate to an organization that provides those services.
Attorneys report their volunteer time in three categories and indicate whether they donate to organizations that provide direct legal services to Oregonians with low incomes.
A. Volunteer Legal Representation
Includes volunteer legal services in which you provided direct representation.
- for low-income clients through a legal aid office,
- for a nonprofit organizations pro bono program,
- for an attorney assistance program through a court, library or another 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, or
- for any indigent client that a lawyer intentionally opts not to charge before providing legal services.
B: Volunteer Law Improvement Activities (Non-Representational)
Includes volunteer activities that improve the law, the legal system, and the legal profession. Examples include:
- 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, and
- engaging in public speaking on legal issues.
This list is not exhaustive; many other activities qualify.
C. Community Service
Includes volunteer time in a non-legal capacity for the public good. Examples include volunteering for organizations like Meals on Wheels or Habitat for Humanity.
D. Financial Contribution
Includes donations to organizations that provide free or low-cost legal help to Oregonians with low incomes. Lawyers can donate to Oregon’s statewide coordinated network of legal aid offices through the Campaign for Equal Justice. Other notable places to give include the Oregon Law Foundation’s Grantees.