Ethical Issues in California Pro Bono Representation 2024

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Why You Should Attend
While the ethical obligations of pro bono legal practice are no different than a commercial law practice, there are practical considerations regarding eligibility of clients, challenging clients, conflicts (similar in theory, different in practice settings), expectations on both sides, case management responsibility, and different delivery models, such as limited scope representation, that cause many professionals to hesitate to offer pro bono legal services. This program is designed to answer questions regarding the ethical obligations of pro bono legal service, encourage attorneys to engage in this professionally rewarding aspect of law practice, and remove ambiguities that are barriers to engaging in pro bono legal services.

What You Will Learn
Attorneys knowledgeable about professional responsibility and pro bono services, from a variety of practice backgrounds, including, legal services, law firms, private bar programs and in-house corporate law departments, will discuss the application of the California Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and, where relevant, the Proposed California Rules of Professional Conduct to pro bono legal service in different settings. Using an interactive teaching approach, the faculty will engage attendees with hypothetical fact patterns throughout the program to illustrate the application of the rules to real-world practice. Upon completing the program, participants will be able to:

- Understand the basics of pro bono, including the definition of "Pro Bono" for lawyers.
- Recognize why pro bono is an important part of the profession and implement a plan to avoid common barriers to pro bono practice.
- Identify and avoid ethical concerns unique to pro bono, particularly in the areas of conflicts, competence, confidentiality, communication, and professionalism, among others.
- Understand emerging ethical issues in developing areas, such as pro bono clinics, remote pro bono service, pro bono in Federal courts, and the impact of technology in pro bono legal services, including the latest ethics guidance on using AI tools to deliver legal services.

Who Should Attend
Law firm pro bono coordinators, partners, and associates, legal services pro bono coordinators and staff, in-house corporate pro bono managers and counsels, solos, small and medium firm attorneys engaged in pro bono legal services, court-based program administrators for self-represented litigants, judges, law clerks, summer associates, law students, and everyone interested in access to justice.

Special Feature(s): Scholarships are available to participate in this program. For more information and to apply please visit:

Program Level: Update.

Prerequisites: An interest in learning best practices for providing ethical and impactful pro bono representation.

Advanced Preparation: None.

If you work for an IRC Section 501c3 organizations dedicated to providing direct pro bono representation, your organization may be eligible to receive a PLI Pro Bono Membership which provides free access to PLI programs. For more information please go to the following link: