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Pro Bono Opportunities Guide

Legal Services of North Florida, Inc. - Pensacola

Private Attorney Involvement Program

LSNF works closely with private attorneys throughout the sixteen county service area to provide representation to low-income individuals. Through the Private Attorney Involvement Program (PAI) this cooperation takes several forms. The PAI Program coordinates volunteer attorneys who agree to provide direct representation by accepting one to four income eligible clients free of charge (pro bono) in most areas of civil law.

LSNF Volunteer Application Form

Annual Volunteer Recognition

Pensacola News Journal (1st Judicial Circuit, Pensacola)

Volunteer Opportunities

Besides the LSNF legal clinic programs that utilize volunteer lawyers, all lawyers of the 1st have the opportunity to participate in the following programs.

  1. Substantive Law Panel - government and private lawyers provide legal support to other volunteer attorneys and LSNF staff in consumer, landlord/tenant, wills and probate, bankruptcy and family law.
  2. Other Activities - Consulting or co-counseling activities, legal research, assistance on appeals, developing substantive legal brochures and pleading forms, community legal education and generally anything any attorney can suggest and provide for services that would be of assistance at the time of need.
  3. Domestic Violence Panel - government or private attorneys may assist domestic violence designated Legal Services staff attorneys by either handling or assist in handling domestic violence and/or domestic violence related cases.

The Private Attorney Involvement Program

The Private Attorney Involvement (PAI) Program, also known as the PAI Volunteer Lawyers Project, was initiated as a pilot project in 1982 by the Volunteer Lawyers Project of The Florida Bar. Effective economical delivery of PAI legal assistance to LSC eligible clients mirrors the standards set by LSNF. Volunteer attorneys (including government attorneys in Leon County) work for indigent clients referred to them through LSNF. The prospective client is pre-screened by LSNF for financial eligibility and need. Each LSNF office is assigned case referral goals for private attorney referrals, based on the number of private volunteer project attorneys available in each service area. All potential PAI cases accepted for representation are given to the Pro Bono Coordinator for referral assistance.

LSNF's pro bono program consists of over 1,000 active and inactive members. These supporters may both contribute money and/or provide legal assistance. The service components that make up the pro bono program include direct client referral assistance, legal clinic programs, and other LSNF volunteer activities. Attorneys may also become members of the Partners in Service Program. The "Partners" Program gives government or private attorneys and law firms an opportunity to contribute money annually to support LSNF activities while fulfilling The Florida Bars' Pro Bono Rule.

Several Ways to Help LSNF

Direct representation - LSNF volunteer attorneys generously donate their time by providing direct representation to eligible clients. LSNF refers eligible clients to attorneys with expertise in, or experience with, their particular type of legal problem. Participating attorneys specify the legal areas in which they will accept referrals and this information is used when linking an applicant with an attorney.

Participate in any number of available LSNF sponsored or co-sponsored legal clinics.

Participate in any number of other LSNF private attorney involvement activities.

Join the Partners in Service Program.

Benefits To LSNF Attorney Contributors

Volunteer Contributors

  • Experienced substantive legal support through LSNF staff or Substantive Volunteer Law Panel.
  • Experienced professional clerical support for government lawyers.
  • Malpractice insurance for LSNF eligible clients.
  • Invitation to regular CLE substantive legal seminars.
  • Collect and keep attorney fees from adverse party when appropriate.
  • Involvement in annual Law Day recognition activities.
  • Publication of name on Law Day in local newspaper, thanking you for service to LSNF and your community.
  • Additional recognition through the regular pro bono newsletters published by LSNF and circulated throughout Florida.
  • Limited litigation fund support.

Financial Contributors

  • The same as above.
  • See "member benefits" of the Partners in Service Program.

For more information on the Private Attorney Involvement Program please contact John Fenno, Director of Development/Private Attorney Involvement at (850) 385-701-3306 or fax (850) 385-5684. If you wish to become an attorney participant, printout and complete the LSNF volunteer application form above and return by mail, fax, or Email.

  • County(s) of Volunteer Opportunity: Escambia, Santa Rosa
  • Area of law: Consumer, Debt/Credit/Bankruptcy, Disaster and Crisis Assistance, Education, Foreclosure, Housing, Taxes, Veterans
  • Populations Served: Children, Domestic Violence Victims, Immigrant youth and unaccompanied minors, Individuals who are not in legal immigration status, Individuals with physical/mental disabilities, Juveniles, Low Income, Military/Veterans, Persons with Disabilities
  • Opportunities For: Law Students, Lawyers, Mentors, Senior Lawyers, Small and medium law firm attorneys
  • Need for non-English services: Spanish
  • Hours for Pro Bono Opportunities: Flexible, Depending on specific project assigned.
  • Malpractice insurance is provided for volunteers: Yes
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Training Required: No
  • CLE credit for trainings: Yes
  • CLE credit for pro bono: No
  • Mentoring or supervision offered: Yes
  • Volunteer lawyers need to meet a caseload or hours requirement: No
  • Types of projects in need of Pro Bono help: Client counseling (e.g., brief advice), Client intake and screening, Draft legal documents (e.g., briefs), Legal Research, Litigation: Appellate, Litigation: Support (e.g., discovery), Litigation: Trial/Direct Representation, Mentor volunteer lawyers or law students, Transactional work
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: No
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