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 programs in the nation by the Legal Services Corporation. As a 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.
Frequently Asked Questions About ALSC’s Pro Bono Program
What are the main benefits of volunteering pro bono at ALSC?
Beyond making a life-changing difference for our clients through your pro bono efforts, as an ALSC pro bono volunteer you will have access to:
- Malpractice Insurance
- A seasoned mentor to assist you with your pro bono case
- Online resources, including a brief bank, legal webinars, templates and helpful documents
- Waived court filing fees
- Reimbursed expenses
How can I participate?
In order to become a Pro Bono attorney with ALSC, 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. Please contact the ALSC Director of Pro Bono by email at LGoss@alsc-law.org or by phone at 907-222-4521 who will ask for your contact information and the type of areas of law you practice or would be interesting in working with. You can also fill out the online Pro Bono Volunteer Registration Form.
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, co-counsel a major case, or revise and update content for our www.AlaskaLawhelp.org website.
You can also volunteer to serve as a mentor attorney or provide trainings to attorneys in Alaska through the ALSC Pro Bono Training Academy.
What is the time commitment?
The average pro bono involvement with an ALSC client/case is just 11 hours. In the last year, pro bono volunteering ranged from a commitment of half-hour consultations to a 400 hour case which took 4 years. Most (86%) ALSC pro bono cases were completed by a volunteer attorney in 10 hours or less.
What type of cases do you refer to volunteers?
The program only refers civil matters and they are varied.
Do you make reimbursements?
We will reimburse volunteers 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.
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.