Why Pro Bono

WHY PRO BONO?

The Alaska Pro Bono Program has assisted thousands of low-income Alaskans with their civil legal problems through a statewide network of volunteer attorneys and other professionals. The program has been recognized as one of the best rural Pro Bono programs in the nation by the Legal Services Corporation. As a Pro Bono volunteer attorney, you can be part of a prestigious team of attorneys and advocates who improve the lives of individuals and families across the state.

Volunteers will have support from seasoned attorneys, malpractice insurance coverage, and free training opportunities when available. Services offered by volunteers to ALSC eligible clients may include representation in State and Federal Courts, one-time free consultations, and community legal education. You can also participate by researching and drafting educational material, creating content for AlaskaLawHelp.org and AlaskaAdvocates.org, and assisting with the ALSC Pro Bono Training Academy.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE?

In order to become a Pro Bono panel member as an attorney, you must be an active member of the Alaska Bar Association, or a member of an out-of-state Bar Association practicing law in that particular state. Paralegals, Physicians, Court Reporters, and Accountants are encouraged to sign up as well. You can call our office at (907)272-9431, or fill out the online Pro Bono Volunteer Registration Form. We will ask you to provide some contact information and the type of areas of law you practice or would be interesting in working with.

WHAT TYPE OF PRO BONO WORK CAN I DO?

There are several things you can do! You can represent clients in court, mediate, offer one-time consultations, be an instructor at a legal clinic, mentor other attorneys, co-counsel a major case, or revise and update content for our www.AlaskaLawhelp.org website.

WHAT TYPE OF CASES DO YOU REFER TO PANEL MEMBERS?

The program only refers civil matters and they are varied.

DO YOU MAKE REIMBURSEMENTS?

We will reimburse panel members for their accrued out-of-pocket expenses such as: copies, long distance, faxing, filing fees etc, when representing a client. Expenses larger than $200 need to be pre-approved. We do not reimburse for secretarial and paralegal work. Filing fees in Alaska State Courts are waived when you show the proper documentation. In addition, we can arrange for paralegal work and free depositions when available.

CAN I REPRESENT IN AN AREA OF LAW THAT I AM NOT FAMILIAR WITH?

Absolutely, for some cases we offer co-counseling with one of ALSC’s staff attorneys.  The ALSC Pro Bono Training Academy also provides free trainings, library resources and mentorship by an experienced attorney.

CAN I DO PRO BONO WORK FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE?

Yes! However, you need to refer to the Attorney General’s memo on Pro Bono work.

I HAVE A CLIENT WHO SEEMS TO QUALIFY FOR PRO BONO WORK, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Your client will need to be screened for eligibility under ALSC’s guidelines. Please ask your client to contact us.

CAN I APPEAL ON BEHALF OF MY PRO BONO CLIENT?

We generally do not cover costs for most appeals and federal litigation. The Executive Director of ALSC must approve all appeals. Please contact our office.

MY CASE HAS BEEN COMPLETED, NOW WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Please fill in, sign and return the Case Status/Final Disposition form found in your referral packet.

HOW ARE PRO BONO HOURS CALCULATED?

Hours are credited once a case has been completed, or after a consultation. When we receive the Final Disposition form we will enter the total amount of hours (regardless of the date when the case was first accepted) into our database. Your hours will count for the year on which you submitted your form.

I HAVE DONATED MORE THAN 400 HOURS, HOW DO I GET MY BAR FEES REDUCED?

Please contact the Alaska Bar Association at 907-272-7469.

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