“Charity is no substitute for justice withheld”

-Saint Augustine

Pro Bono Opportunities

The Process

For every low income individual who receives legal assistance in Sarasota and Manatee counties, many more are turned away because of a severe lack of resources. Nationwide, only 20 percent of low-income people who need legal help get it. The need is huge, the demand is great and the funding is dwindling every year. This is why we rely on you. You have offered to provide pro bono services and we could not reach as many people as we do without your help.

What is Pro Bono?

Legal Services provided for free to the poor or to nonprofit organizations that serve the community’s disadvantaged.

What are the benefits of Pro Bono Service?

  • Provides the practitioner an opportunity to expand or sharpen their legal skills
  • Provide free CLE training
  • We cover your professional liability insurance when you take one of our cases
  • You receive recognition from your peers, the community at large and the judiciary
  • You promote a favorable impression of the legal profession
  • Provides networking opportunities within the legal profession
  • Creates new business marketing opportunity
  • The satisfaction of knowing you changed a life by helping the less fortunate – trust us, you’ll feel good!  

Pro Bono Sign-Up

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If you are applying as a board member, please proceed to the next page.


Chapter 13
Named Creditor
Other

Public School Discipline/Supervision
Special Education Issues
Student Loan Issues
Other

Nonprofit Incorporation
Other

Car Repair Disputes
Collections
Foreclosures
Lemon Law
Mobile Home
Repossessions
Unfair Debt Collection
Unfair Trade Practices
Utility Cutoffs
Other

Employee Benefit Claims
Employment Discrimination
Pension Plans
Unemployment Insurance
Wage Claims
Workers Compensation
Wrongful Discharge
Expungement
Other

Adoption
Custody
Divorce
Domestic Violence
Name Change
Other

Medicaid/Medicare
Social Security Disability
SSI/Medicaid Asset Issues
Veterans Administration
Other

COBRA
Insurance Claims
Nursing Home
Bilingual Services
Other

Conversion of Property
Evictions
Private Landlord
Public Housing
Failure to Repair/Rent Rebate
Other

Deportation
Domestic Violence
LPR Applications
Political Asylums
Expungement
Other

Family
Circuit Civil
Real Estate

Boundary Disputes
Deeds/Titles
Property Transfers
Zoning Issues
Foreclosures
Other

501(c)(3)
Alleged IRS Liability
Property Tax Disputes
Other

Expedited Service/Terminally Ill
Probate to Preserve Homestead
Guardianship
Wills/Living Will/POA
Other

Back Door Pro Bono case
Group Training
Conciliation Conference
Family Law Mentor
Hurricane Relief
Hearing Officer (Manatee)
Pro Se Divorce Clinic
Verbal Presentations

Manatee Office
Sarasota Office
Venice Office

For Pro Bono Attorneys Only

I am a member in good standing of the Florida Bar
I am a member in good standing of another state bar association and am interested in the Emeritus Attorney Program

For Board Members Only

I am signing up to be a board member.





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FAQs

How do I join the Pro Bono Program?

Sign up using the form on this page.

How much time is required?

As much or as little as you can spare. The Florida Bar has set an aspirational goal of 20 hours per year but we gladly accept less and we welcome more.

Do you cover my professional liability insurance?

Yes. If you receive a case through our office, you will be covered under our policy.

What kind of cases can I expect?

We only handle civil cases, and we have a wide variety to choose from, from Bankruptcy to Family Law to Wills. When you sign up, you are asked to check off the types of cases you would be willing to consider accepting. If you are already a member, you can review the current list of open cases online here.

We also provide free CLE’s and/or mentors to those of you who would like to volunteer in an area that is outside your normal scope of practice.

How does the program work?

The Pro Bono coordinator will send you a referral with the details of the case and client information. Once you have reviewed all the documents and conducted a conflict check you may choose to either accept or reject the case. If you accept the case, the client is notified that their case has been accepted by a pro bono attorney and the client is given your contact information to contact you to make an appointment.    

You can also review potential cases posted on the website. Here you will be able to see all the cases that are currently awaiting pro bono placement. In addition to client information, there will be a short description on the facts of each case.  

How much paperwork is involved?

There is very little paperwork involved to sign up for a case. You will receive the client information with a brief case description and an Accept/Reject Form. This sheet is the only form that you need to fill out. There is no paperwork to fill out if you choose to sign up as a member online through our website. Through our online service you only have to click the “Accept” button to receive a pro bono case.

What kind of issues do I need to inform Legal Aid about?

You should inform Legal Aid if the client does not cooperate, keep appointments or decides that they no longer wish to pursue their case. At completion of the case you will need to notify Legal Aid of the total numbers of hours you worked on the case by filling out a Case Disposition Form and returning it to us via email or fax.

What if I am a retired attorney?

Through our Emeritus Attorney Program, we gladly welcome retired lawyers from Florida or out-of-state. Out- of-state attorneys are able to practice in Florida through a special provision if they donate their time to Legal Aid.

Volunteer Opportunities

Legal Aid is a great place to gain first-hand experience in the legal field while supporting an important mission. We offer a number of diverse volunteer opportunities that are rewarding.

Paralegal Assistance

Experienced Paralegals or students enrolled in a Paralegal program may apply. This volunteer opportunity provides a great hands-on learning environment for students and a valuable and gratifying experience for the seasoned professional to support our Pro Bono attorneys on cases.

To apply to be a volunteer paralegal or for an internship opportunity, please complete the volunteer form and send with a letter of interest and a resume to clarewj@legalaidofmanasota.org.

Volunteer Form

FAX: (941) 364-8855 or mail to 1900 Main Street, #302, Sarasota, FL  34236.

Law School Externships/Internships

A variety of educational opportunities await law school students or college students interested in a legal career. School credit may be given for actual work experience. Year-round positions are available.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Experienced Paralegals or students enrolled in a Paralegal program may apply. This volunteer opportunity provides a great hands-on learning environment for students and a valuable and gratifying experience for the seasoned professional to support our Pro Bono attorneys on cases.

To apply to be a volunteer paralegal or for an internship opportunity, please complete the volunteer form and send with a letter of interest and a resume to clarewj@legalaidofmanasota.org.

Volunteer Form

FAX: (941) 364-8855 or mail to 1900 Main Street, #302, Sarasota, FL  34236.