Pro Bono Project
Clients served through the SBLC’s Pro Bono Project meet one-on-one with business attorneys from their community who specialize in various areas of corporate law. The SBLC matches attorneys with clients needing services within the attorney’s area of expertise. The attorneys agree to provide a minimum of a 45 minute consultation, and may also provide on-going advice on specific matters.
The SBLC’s Pro Bono Project is an Oregon State Bar certified pro bono program. Since opening its doors in September 2006, at least 300 attorneys have volunteered through our Pro Bono Project, and have met with 487 clients on 907 matters through May 2013.
In addition to staffing a Pro Bono Project, business transactional attorneys can also volunteer to be a guest speaker at a seminar or be a mentor to interns participating in our Intern Program. Attorneys may also volunteer to do pro bono outreach seminars.
Pro Bono Projects take place one Friday each month. Business attorneys from around the community volunteer to meet with clients who are pre-screened for financial eligibility. Each client is scheduled for a 45 minute appointment. To the best of our ability, we try to schedule attorneys who have expertise or experience in the area of a client’s needs. Typically, attorneys agree to meet with two clients. Once clients are matched with an attorney, and prior to the Pro Bono Project, the SBLC sends client information to the attorney’s firm to run a conflicts check. Assuming there are no conflicts, the client and their assigned attorney meet at the SBLC. At the end of the initial meeting, attorneys choose to sign either a full representation agreement or a consultation only agreement. Attorneys are sometimes able to give brief advice, and close the matter during this 45 minute session. Attorneys who agree to provide clients with additional services beyond the 45 minute appointment will do so at their own office and as specified in the representation agreement. The SBLC supplies both representation agreements, but each attorney is able to use their own representation agreements if desired.
For attorneys who are not able to come to the SBLC to meet with clients at a Pro Bono Project, the SBLC will provide referral of pro bono cases in the area of that attorney’s expertise. This includes attorneys that live outside of the Portland metro area.
Upcoming Pro Bono Project Dates
Other Ways to Volunteer
If you do not have time to take a matter of your own, you can be available to assist the clinical law professors and their interns with some of the more complicated legal issues.
We are always looking for knowledgeable, enthusiastic attorneys to guest-speak at our Friday seminars for the Intern Program. We typically seek attorneys specializing in intellectual property law, employment law, commercial real estate law, and securities law.
Because we cannot possibly serve all clients on a one-on-one basis, we will be sponsoring seminars that will provide general legal advice on various legal topics. We plan to have more seminars on topics such as employment law, tax law, commercial leasing, intellectual property law, and other issues.
Contact Rebecca Martinez Griffin
Becka Martinez Griffin