Volunteer Lawyer Project
The Volunteer Lawyers Project, a program of Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc. (CLSMF), matches volunteer private attorneys with low-income individuals in need of civil legal assistance. Central Florida lawyers have a tradition of helping their low-income neighbors through pro bono work. The Volunteer Lawyers Project, administered by CLSMF, works in conjunction with local bar associations to provide pro bono legal assistance to the disadvantaged in Central Florida. We attribute our success to many attorneys who have donated their time to this project. However, due to the growing class of people unable to afford legal representation, the need of volunteer lawyers is great. What is asked of you is not a lot. What you will get in return is great experience, exposure, fulfillment of your professional obligation to help the less fortunate, and the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference in your community.
- Family Law
- Estate & Probate
- Consumer Law
- Tort Defense
- Real Property
- Pro Se Divorce Clinics
- Legal Clinics
- Courthouse Assistance Projects
- Community Education Presentations
- Social Security
- Personal Injury
- Family/Civil Mediation
Frequently Asked Questions
How much am I expected to provide?
The Supreme Court of Florida suggests that a member of the Florida Bar donate 20 hours of pro bono service or $350 each year to your pro bono program.
How is a case referred?
We refer cases on a rotating basis. Thus, the more volunteers we have, the less often we will call on each volunteer. We match available attorneys with cases in their areas of expertise.
Once I have agreed to meet with the client, do I have to accept the case?
No. There may be various reasons you would not accept the case, including a case falling outside your area of expertise or requiring too much of your time, or lack of merit.
Why should I volunteer for the Volunteer Lawyers Project of CLSMF rather than do Pro Bono work on my own?
By handling your work through this program, your efforts can be directed to the areas most needed. We will keep a record of the hours you report and we will pay for reasonable and necessary litigation costs.
Just like every attorney, I have the occasional client who can’t afford to pay for my services. What can I do?
Call our office and we will send you an application for that client to complete and return to us. If the client falls within our income guidelines, and has the type of case usually handled by the Volunteer Lawyers Program, the case will be processed as a pro bono case.
I am not a litigator. Can I still participate?
Absolutely! Many of our cases are resolved without litigation. In addition, we need attorneys to volunteer for other types of projects. We have something for everyone.
Can I ask for attorneys fees?
We encourage you to ask for attorney fees. If fees are awarded, you may keep the fees. In Volusia County, we also offer participation in the Reduced Fee Panel for clients who do not qualify for free help thru CLSMF but cannot afford full fees of a private attorney.
PRO BONO HELP IS ALWAYS NEEDED!
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