A Lawyer Helps

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Pro Bono Partner Programs

The State Bar of Michigan’s Justice Initiatives Committee (JI Committee) is pleased to present the SBM Pro Bono Partner Program (Partner Programs). Partner Programs are an important part of Michigan’s access to justice community, proudly working together to ensure the delivery of high-quality legal services to a diverse population of low-income clients. Each program on the list submitted a Pro Bono Partner Program Application & Participation Agreement and certified that it maintains a pro bono program that meets the criteria for Partner Programs established by the Committee. See the current list of Partner Programs.

All Partner Programs

  1. Provide direct civil legal services1 for free or at a significantly reduced-fee2 to low-income3 individuals or organizations.
  2. Apply a means test to ensure they are providing services to low-income clients.
  3. Do not discriminate4 against prospective clients.
  4. Facilitate participating pro bono attorneys’ compliance with SBM’s Voluntary Pro Bono Standard.
  5. Verify their pro bono attorneys are members in good standing with the State Bar of Michigan are eligible to be a Partner Program.

Partner Programs offer a wide range of pro bono opportunities that include a variety of legal issues, activities, and time commitments. Most Partner Programs also offer training, mentoring, professional malpractice insurance5, and ongoing support for their pro bono attorneys. Visit SBM’s A Lawyer Helps page for details about pro bono volunteer opportunities offered by Partner Programs, inspiring stories of pro bono service, the “Legal Clinics & Events Calendar,” the Pro Bono Honor Roll, information about the Access to Justice Fund, and much more.

 

Questions?  Visit SBM’s A Lawyer Helps page or contact Robert Mathis, SBM Justice Initiatives Counsel at rmathis@michbar.org or (517) 346-6412.

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1 Programs that provide assisted pro se and referral services are also eligible to be a Partner Program.

2 Significantly reduced fees are equal to 50 percent or less than the fair market rate for similar services in the programs’ immediate service area.

3 Low-income means a household income, based on family size, of no more than 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

4 Partner Programs do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, nationality, language, age, disability, marital and parental status, geographic origin, or socioeconomic background.

5 SBM maintains professional liability malpractice coverage which extends limited malpractice coverage to individuals who take pro bono cases and receive prior approval by SBM staff. More information is available on the A Lawyer Helps website.

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