Central Valley Pro Bono Challenge
- Allows participating attorneys and firms to provide anywhere from 10 to 50 pro bono service hours to CCLS on an annual basis;
- Provides, in conjunction with CCLS, a broad range of pro bono opportunities, training, and supervision to attorneys to ensure that all attorneys can avail themselves of the opportunity to handle pro bono work;
- Ensures that a firm's policies are compatible with its commitment to encourage and support pro bono participation by all attorneys;
- Supports participating attorneys by providing:
i. Free liability and professional malpractice insurance;
ii. Discount/Free access to MCLE accredited training seminars;
iii. Reimbursement for court reporting fees through the Transcript Reimbursement Fund;
iv. Access to mentor attorneys, poverty law experts, and other professional volunteers;
v. Satisfaction of helping low-income individuals and families better their lives;
vi. The chance to meet one's ethical obligations as an attorney; and
vii. Networking opportunities with other professionals.
- Monitors a firm's or an individual attorney's progress towards the goals established by the Challenge and informs the community about the progress in the delivery of pro bono legal services through an annual report provided to CCLS; and
- Recognizes, in conjunction with the State Bar of California and the Pro Bono Services Section of the Fresno County Bar Association, firms or individual attorneys who provide pro bono service to CCLS clients through the Challenge. In this regard, attorneys, paralegals, and law students who are certified to have completed at least 50 pro bono service hours on an annual basis are eligible to receive the State Bar of California's Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Service Certificate.
Further, as part of the Challenge, a firm or an individual attorney may also financially contribute to organizations that provide free legal services to persons of limited income means.
The Term "Pro Bono"
As used in this statement, the term "pro bono" refers to activities normally undertaken without the expectation of fee and not in the course of ordinary commercial practice and consisting of:
- Providing direct legal aid services to persons of limited income means or to an organization that provides free legal aid assistance to persons of limited income means;
Consulting, mentoring, or training a legal aid services attorney, volunteer attorney working with a Registered Legal Aid Services Organization that provides legal services to persons of limited income means in matters which are primarily designed to address the needs of persons of limited income means;
Providing pro bono service hours to non-profit entities that serve persons of limited income means in furtherance of their organizational purposes (e.g., assisting with incorporation, dissolution and reorganization, and other corporate governance issues);
Providing brief legal services to persons of limited income means or to individuals, groups, or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil liberties, civil rights, or public rights, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the individual's or organization's economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate.