PRO BONO: YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE SOMEONE’S LIFE!
“I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed.” ― Oath of Admission to The Florida Bar
Following the dictates of the solemn Oath of Admission to The Florida Bar, the legal community in Hillsborough County has been a consistent state leader in helping poor and low-income residents obtain access to justice, and the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee supports this proud tradition. Our members offer a wide variety of programs and trainings. No matter what type of law you practice, your skills can and will enable you to advocate for a poor client. You don’t have to be a family law, immigration, or dependency lawyer to tackle a pro bono case. Any attorney who can commit to a free training session can transform themselves into a hero for a fellow citizen in need of legal services. Below are some resources to connect you with training opportunities and organizations that could use your help.
Are You Safe: Free training video regarding the injunction process and types of injunctions, course material, case law, a list of questions to consider asking during evidentiary portion of injunction hearing, matching with experienced attorney, and additional training from Are You Safe prepare you to represent individuals at the final hearing for injunction.
Get involved: http://r-u-safe.org/get-help/volunteer-opportunities/
Training materials: Contact Are You Safe at 813-997-7432 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bay Area Volunteer Lawyers Program (BAVLP): Whether you are a litigator or a transactional attorney, a new or experienced attorney, or an attorney with limited time to volunteer, the BAVLP can help you choose a volunteer opportunity that suits your interests, skills, and availability. The BAVLP offers free training in a variety of practices and specialties to meet the needs of volunteer attorneys. Training is provided through seminars, online, or by DVD. Some training may qualify for CLE credit.
Get involved: https://www.bals.org/volunteer
Crossroads for Florida Kids: Live as well as online training videos (eligible for CLE credit) and assigned mentors prepare you to be the voice of vulnerable children in dependency cases and delinquency proceedings.
Get involved: http://crossroadsfloridakids.org/get-involved/
Training videos: http://crossroadsfloridakids.org/resources/training-videos/
Guardian ad Litem: This program provides 30 hours of free training plus support staff to help you look out for the best interests of a child in need.
Training session dates: http://www.galtampa.org/volunteer/
Wills for Heroes: An hour of training before each event enables you to prepare wills and estate plans for police officers, military personnel, and others who protect and serve.
Have you taken on a case outside of your typical areas of practice and need help getting up to speed, finding the proper forms, and administrative orders? See the links below to information that may assist you.
Clerk of the Circuit Court, Hillsborough County – Forms related to child support, small claims, county court, expungement and sealing, family law, mental health, probate, etc.
Florida Courts – Family law forms.
Florida Courts – Resources regarding guardianship and guardian advocacy.
Florida Legal Services, Inc. – Listserve and information regarding consumer law. The membership site is limited to certain types of practitioners, but it does offer registration as a “pro bono” member.
FloridaProBono.Org – Website containing a library and legal education information for attorneys handling pro bono cases.
Link to library and legal education webpage: http://www.floridaprobono.org/volunteerresources/
Florida Rural Legal Services – Training video for working with pro bono clients.
Training video: http://www.frls.org/CLE_Training_for_Pro_Bon.php
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid – Continuing legal education webinars and related materials for attorneys taking a pro bono case from a legal services organization in their local community. Among other practice areas, it includes information regarding collections, guardian advocacy, and probate.
Training materials: http://www.jaxlegalaid.org/training.html
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Administrative Orders – Civil.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Administrative Orders - Domestic Relations/Family Law.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Administrative Orders – Elder Justice Center Related Administrative Orders.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Administrative Orders – Juvenile.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Administrative Orders - Probate, Guardianship, Trust & Mental Health.
Three Rivers Legal Services – Pamphlets regarding basic information about collections and consumer law.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Domestic Relations Case Management Unit – FAQs and forms regarding child support, paternity, dissolution of marriage, adoption, etc.
FAQs and forms:
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Elder Justice Center – Initial report forms, annual report forms, etc., for guardianship.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Elder Justice Center – FAQs and forms regarding guardianship and guardian advocacy.
FAQs and forms: http://www.fljud13.org/CourtPrograms/ElderJusticeCenter/FAQs.aspx
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Miscellaneous Forms – Forms related to guardianship, probate and trust, general civil matters, family court, and criminal justice.
Three Rivers Legal Services – Resources and pamphlets related to consumer cases such as contract disputes, repossessions, small claims, predatory lending, unfair debt collection practices, and exemptions from judgment.
Resources and pamphlets: http://www.trls.org/consumerlaw.html
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit’s Unified Family Domestic Relations Division – Resources on adoption, simple name changes, dissolution of marriage, etc.