Pro Bono Project
Clients meet one-on-one with business attorneys from their community who specialize in various areas of corporate law through the SBLC’s Pro Bono Project. 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 until the end of 2013, more than 400 attorneys have volunteered through our Pro Bono Project, and have met with 871 clients on more than 1700 matters.
Pro Bono Projects take place two Fridays each month. Business attorneys from around the community volunteer to meet with clients who are pre-screened for financial eligibility. 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.
Each client is scheduled for a 45 minute appointment. 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.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 sample 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.
In addition to staffing a Pro Bono Project, business transactional attorneys may also volunteer to be a guest speaker at a seminar or be a mentor to interns participating in our Intern Program or volunteer to do pro bono outreach seminars.
Upcoming Pro Bono Project Dates
- February 7th
- February 21st
- March 7th
- March 21st
- April 11th
- April 25th
- May 9th
- May 30th
- June 13th
- June 27th
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.
The SBLC also strives to provide information to the wider community. We are interested in providing seminars to the general populations. Please let us know if your organization would like an educational seminar on legal basics or if you as an attorney would like to speak at one of our future outreach seminars.
Please contact Julieanna Elegant, Assistant Director