This year’s fee form again includes a pro bono section for Bar members to report their contributions toward the Supreme Court’s aspirational pro bono goals. The court asks lawyers to provide 20 hours or pro bono service or donate $350 to a legal aid program each year. While providing pro bono services are optional, filling out the pro bono reporting form on the statement is required by Bar rules. A series of questions promulgated by the court appear on the fee statement, depending on what option the attorney selected. The court wants to know the following:
- How many hours of pro bono service the lawyer donated, and if the work was done through an organized legal aid program or on the lawyer’s own.
- If the lawyer’s firm provided pro bono collectively under a plan operated by a circuit pro bono committee, with an indication of how much was allocated to the member.
- If the the lawyer has contributed to a legal aid organization in lieu of performing the pro bono work.
- Whether the attorney was unable to provide pro bono service or met the provision for deferral.
- How the lawyer fulfilled his or her service if done in some manner not specifically envisioned by the plan.
Make sure that your Family Law Attorney is invested in the good of his/her community, and that the contributions made are beneficial. Too often, as lawyers, they forget that everyone at some point in their lives needed help. Hopefully, with your local divorce attorney, it’s now possible.