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For the Public Good

Draft, 4-28, 9:00pm
by

Dean Kpere-Daibo

on 29 April 2010

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Transcript of For the Public Good

Problems with the Current Pro Bono System Model Rule 6.1 is ineffective
Some have estimated that 25% of the legal needs for impoverished people are unmet
No way to pusnish attorneys who do not provide any pro bono services.

Mandatory rule is invasive and lacks support from state bars.
Proponents of this rule make the legal monoply argument.
There have been several constitutional arguments made against the mandatory rule
Legislatures have tried to enact such a rule and have found no support from their Bars. Time contraints
Heavy case loads prevent attorneys from performing pro bono

The learning curve
Attorneys have to learn a new area of law in order to perform Pro Bono services

Financial feasibility and concerns
Many solo practitioners don't have the money to offer free services.

Personal Impact
Adding more work to an already hectic work load can lead to even more stress. Lack of legal resources
Inability to meet need Our Solution Most firms, small or large, already focus on a sector of the legal market and have more expertise and familiarity with that sector (e.g., bankruptcy).

Our solution works with this status quo, asking firms to specialize in the types pro bono cases they take and match those cases to their firms' current areas of expertise.

For example, if you practice family law, you would take family law cases, such as divorces and adoptions. If you practice real estate law, you would take property cases, such as landlord-tenant disputes. Our solution helps create a network of small and large firms to refer pro bono clients to based on specialization.

Firms can use network to promote pro bono services.

This helps firms share the workload.

To promote pro bono within each firm, the firm can consider giving partners and associates credit for pro bono services. Proposed Intake Method: The VOCALS Model 30 jurisdictions currently have emeritus attorney programs.

How can emeritus attorneys help?
Emeritus attorneys may either help in common pro bono areas, such as landlord/tenant or family law, or pursue other areas more within their interests, such as mentoring less experienced attorneys, engaging in public speaking and consumer education, and conducting legislative research and bill analysis.

Why?
Encourages retired attorneys who would otherwise leave the bar or become inactive to take on pro bono cases.
Allows those retiring to select emeritus status with certain benefits, such as reduced price CLE and either reduced or eliminated bar membership fees.
Utilizes the invaluable legal skills of lifelong attorneys.
Increases availability of attorneys participating in pro bono service. Why Our Solution Works "The Gandhi Effect" Access to Justice The monetary gain to the private firms, i.e., more clients because of their commitment to society:

Firms will attract the business of corporations and other entities who find community service to be compelling
Basic Premise--Attorneys will be happier because they are doing good.

Social and Psychological studies have routinely found that people are happier because they are doing good, which in turn increases work productivity.
No secret that attorneys are unhappy, and when looked at specifically, attorneys working for large private, and even some medium firms are especially unhappy.
Some reasons being the lack of availability to use their legal services in a way that would help those who are unfortunate.
Achieving
Collaboration
and
Efficiency
Through
Specialization For the Public Good:
The Future of Pro Bono in Arkansas A Brief History of Pro Bono Roman Origins A Transfer to England The Move to the
United States Critiquing Our Proposal Scalability
Arkansas is still a largely rural state, with many small & solo firms
CLE Exchange Hours vs. Pro Bono-oriented CLEs
Achieving a balance

Economics
Cost-benefit analysis
Implementation vs. funding representation Will this really attract more attorneys to pro bono?

Would "low bono" work better? A better alternative?
Guaranteed civil representation
Funding issues
Would need a landmark case (think Gideon v. Wainwright) Jurisconsults
The Church 1495, the passage of 11 Henry 7, ch. 12.
Applied to "every pouer persone” who “shall have a cause of accion” against “any persone” who may be “within the realme.” 1919 - Reginald Heber's "Justice and the Poor" Offer CLE programs that cover areas of the law commonly faced in pro bono cases:
Essentials of family law.
Orders of protection.
Landlord/tenant.
Housing issues.

Why?
Allows attorneys to brush up on areas in which they do not practice.
One-stop shop for new attorneys interested in taking on pro bono cases.
Complete required CLE while preparing for pro bono service. The Role of CLE Pro Bono-Focused CLE Programs The Role of CLE Programs The Role of CLE CLE Credit for Pro Bono Work Overview:
Provide Pro Bono-Focused CLEs
Provide CLE Credit for Pro Bono Work 6 states currently give CLE credit for pro bono work.
Credit hours given range from 6 hours to the equivalent billable hours.
For example, members of the New York City Bar may earn 1 CLE credit for every 6 hours of eligible pro bono legal service. A maximum of 6 CLE hours may be earned each year.

Arkansas currently requires 12 hours a year and gives CLE credit for presenting at CLE programs, writing law-related articles, and serving as an adjunct law professor.

Why?
Provides an additional incentive for attorneys to take on pro bono cases.
Could increase interest in pro bono service. Emeritus Pro Bono Participation A Focus on Specialization What is VOCALS?
Volunteer Organization of the Center for Arkansas Legal Services
The Center for Arkansas Legal Services refers overflow cases out as pro bono work to local attorneys who volunteer; there is an attempt to match attorneys to cases in their area of practice.

Our proposal:
Create a similar model
A case coordinator with information about the specialties of the area's attorneys can dispense with cases to those attorneys in reference to their area of practice.
This coordinator will dispense not only the cases that Legal Services can't handle due to resources, but also those declined due to statute or policy. For the Public Good:
The Future of Pro Bono in Arkansas Moving
from
Obligation
to
Opportunity Discussion # 1 -- What are we doing? #2 -- Why are we doing it? #3 -- How effective are we? Essential Questions Charity vs. Philanthropy Proactive vs. Reactive Business vs. Social Re-Framing Pro Bono Autonomy
Mastery
Purpose DRIVE Scalability & Economics Problems with ABA-Sponsored Solutions -- Problems with CLE credit & emeritus programs:
Rewarding "low bono"
Emeritus attorney program too restrictive

-- Dangers of changing Rule 6.1
Ethical dilemma
Negative view of pro bono Problems with Specialization Not all attorneys will want to do pro bono in their own practice area; many use pro bono to add variety to their practice. It looks good in the legal community to have pro bono work as such an integral part of your firm. It’s an excellent way to market yourself, and attract new clients.

Our solution will help to change the perception that society as a whole has of private law firms not being vested in the concerns of those who cannot afford their services. Marketing advantageous to private firms—BRANDING YOURSELF Solving the problem of getting attorneys to those who cannot afford them and providing them with "access to justice." Also, helping those who are not poor enough for legal services, but not rich enough to hire a private attorney.

Our solution offers a way to fill the gap between the work that legal services does and private firms ability to be more involved in pro bono efforts. Our solution of offering a monetary incentive (preferably) would encourage attorneys to strive for their pro bono goals in the same way that they strive to meet the billable hour requirement.

Our solution of having each firm specialize in a particular area of law is both an efficient and effective use of limited resources. Pro Bono clients receive the assistance of attorneys who specialize in their particular legal need, and the firm doesn’t have to expend resources staying current on all areas of the law. Time is Money! Our solution is kind of like a war strategy, if each firm makes the commitment, we can divide the problem of people not being able to afford legal services, and conqueor it with an efficient use of both time and money.

Our solution of having the local bar association provide pro bono CLEs is away to make sure that the firms who are specializing in a particular area of pro bono law are both fulfilling their CLEs, and staying abreast of new pro bono issues that may target their clients, at the expense of the local bar.
Time is Money! Our solution of having an Emeritus program for those members of the bar who are retiring allows us to continue to utilize the talent that we already have among us. If these attorneys are willing to be involved in a limited capacity to help alleviate the burdens on the legal society, our solution offers them a way to do so. Emeritus Programs Network of Firms Model Rule 6.1 vs. Mandatory Pro Bono Pro Bono & the Private Attorney Impact of Current Pro Bono System
on Legal Services
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