LAW 565-001 – Professional Responsibility

Public Service


Pro Bono

Pro bono (Latin for "for good") work is work that a lawyer does for free.

Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least (50) hours of pro bono publico legal services per year. In fulfilling this responsibility, the lawyer should:

  1. provide a substantial majority of the (50) hours of legal services without fee or expectation of fee to:
    1. persons of limited means or
    2. charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means; and
  2. provide any additional services through:
    1. delivery of legal services at no fee or substantially reduced fee to individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization's economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate;
    2. delivery of legal services at a substantially reduced fee to persons of limited means; or
    3. participation in activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession.

In addition, a lawyer should voluntarily contribute financial support to organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means.

A lawyer shall not seek to avoid appointment by a tribunal to represent a person except for good cause, such as:

  1. representing the client is likely to result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;
  2. representing the client is likely to result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer; or
  3. the client or the cause is so repugnant to the lawyer as to be likely to impair the client-lawyer relationship or the lawyer's ability to represent the client.
Law Reform

A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of an organization involved in reform of the law or its administration notwithstanding that the reform may affect the interests of a client of the lawyer. When the lawyer knows that the interests of a client may be materially benefitted by a decision in which the lawyer participates, the lawyer shall disclose that fact but need not identify the client.