New to Pro Bono?
Please note, this website does not provide legal assistance or connect people with pro bono lawyers. For information on finding legal help in Colorado, please click here.
1. Our Approach
Across the profession, courts and bar associations are seeking ways to engage lawyers in pro bono service. Recognizing the need to address the changing legal profession and striving to create innovative and meaningful jobs to improve access to justice, the Succession to Service Program seeks to catalyze Colorado’s lawyers and law students to provide service to nonprofit organizations, courts, and other legal service entities.
Succession to Service is about relationships. We are a program that brings good lawyers and good causes together. We believe that the health of our community can be measured by the relationships formed between volunteer lawyers and the nonprofits they serve. Our aim is to build a program that overcomes barriers that may keep volunteer lawyers and nonprofits from finding each other, working together, and developing strong relationships.
Succession to Service is about cooperation. We are a network that is only as strong as the partnerships that support it. None of us can build a community alone. We take partnerships seriously and seek to work with nonprofit, court, and bar association leaders committed to building stronger relationships with their constituents around pro bono service.
2. Our Goals
The goal of the Succession to Service Program is to establish a structured, statewide platform for Colorado’s lawyers and law students to partner with nonprofit organizations, courts, and other legal service entities to influence the continuing need for equal access to justice.
Colorado lawyers and law students are matched with nonprofit organizations, legal services programs, and the courts to provide essential legal assistance to underserved populations. Using their specialized skills and experience to do engaging pro bono work.
The primary goal of the program is to create a comprehensive pipeline of lawyers seeking pro bono and other volunteer jobs with Colorado’s legal service providers and programs. The program will develop effective recruiting, matching, retention, and recognition methods to meaningfully engage and connect lawyers and the providers they wish to serve.
3. Why Should You Participate?
As lawyers, we are officers of the justice system and have a special responsibility to ensure that all people, not just those who can afford it, have access to the justice system. In fact, it is our ethical obligation as attorneys in Colorado to provide pro bono assistance to persons in need of legal services who cannot afford them.
The preamble to the Supreme Court of Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct provides, in pertinent part, as follows:
All lawyers should devote professional time and resources and use civic influence to ensure equal access to our system of justice for all those who because of economic or social barriers cannot afford or secure adequate legal counsel.
4. Professional Duty
- Recognizing the importance of pro bono, the Colorado Supreme Court encourages Colorado lawyers to participate in pro bono activities for a minimum of 50 hours each year.
- Similarly, the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 6.1 encourages lawyers to provide annual volunteer legal services.
5. Professional Development
- Pro bono matters expose attorneys to new substantive areas of the law and provide excellent skill-building opportunities for lawyers.
- Pro bono generates goodwill for your company or law firm, as well as the opportunity to interact with many others in the legal profession.
6. Personal Satisfaction & Community Improvement
- Pro bono work provides an opportunity to learn about and become involved in your community.
- Your interaction with low-income and disadvantaged people in our community can bring an important perspective that is sometimes lost in our fast-paced practice.
- Doing your part to help people who need it is rewarding.
- By providing competent representation to low-income or disadvantaged people, you can make our community a better place to live.
7. Tools & Resources
This compendium is provided as a resource to pro bono attorneys seeking pro bono jobs, the latest pro bono policy developments, or membership in a professional legal aid organization.
8. Need a Pro Bono Mentor?
Mentors are available to work with you through your pro bono experience or to assist you in finding the right pro bono fit. Contact the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP) to be connected with a mentor to assist you with all of your pro bono needs.
9. Taking a Case
Steps for e-filing a pro bono case
- Indigency Standards: CJD 98-01 Eligibility Requirements
- Certification of Indigency: JDF 203
- Filing without payment of filing fees: JDF 205
10. Limited Scope Representation
Ethical Considerations When Providing Unbundled Legal Services and Limited Scope Representation under Rule 121 (you must be logged in as a current CBA member to view these articles)
Signing of Pleadings: Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 11
- Civil Note of Limited Appearance with Consent of Pro Se Party: JDF 630
- Consent to Limited Appearance by an Attorney: JDF 631
- Civil Note of Completion of Limited Appearance: JDF 632
- Domestic Note of Limited Appearance with Consent of Pro Se Party: JDF 1334
- Domestic Consent to Limited Appearance by an Attorney: JDF 1335
- Domestic Note of Completion of Limited Appearance: JDF 1336
- Conflict of Interest in Nonprofit and Court-annexed Programs, CRCP 6.5
12. Appellate Pro Bono Program
The Appellate Pro Bono Program of the Colorado Bar Association is a pilot program that provides pro bono attorneys to represent indigent pro se litigants in civil cases pending before the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court.
- Appellate Pro Bono Program information
- Appellate Pro Bono Program attorney sign-up form
- Appellate Pro Bono Program public information, application form, and Affidavit of Financial Need
- Appellate Pro Bono Program Motion for Extension of Time
13. Continuing Legal Education Credit for Pro Bono Service, CRCP 260.8
The rule allows a lawyer to be awarded a maximum of nine units of general continuing legal education credit, for each three-year compliance period, for providing pro bono legal representation to an indigent or near indigent client or clients in a civil legal matter, or for mentoring another lawyer or law student who is providing such representation
Sample Pro Bono Policy
These policies are sample policies that may be used as a guide or modified to fit the needs of a law firm.
14. Frequently Asked Questions
What does Succession to Service NOT do?
- Individual Claims against Non-profits – Succession to Service does not provide assistance to individuals with their pursuit of claims against nonprofit and community organizations.
- Legal Matters for Individuals – Succession to Service does NOT provide assistance to individuals in their personal legal matters. If you are an individual seeking pro bono legal assistance, please contact the following organizations:
- Legal Advice To Non-Profit Organization – Succession to Service does not provide legal advice or assistance to nonprofit organizations for their organizational matters.
Do I have to be a licensed Colorado lawyer to participate in Succession to Service?
Students, Retired Attorneys, and Attorneys Licensed Out-of-State:
You can still volunteer! Retired attorneys and attorneys with out-of state licenses can apply for a provisional license to work on pro bono cases in Colorado. Students can utilize the Student Practice Act to provide pro bono legal services.
Read the applicable rules for retired and out of state lawyers HERE.
Red the applicable rules for students HERE.
Do I need to have malpractice insurance to participate in Succession to Service?
Many of our approved nonprofit legal organizations provide malpractice coverage to participating lawyers.
However, some opportunities require participating lawyers to provide their own malpractice coverage. Participating lawyers need only provide their own malpractice coverage when the volunteer opportunity they select does not offer coverage.
Can I receive CLE credit for my participation in Succession to Service?
Continuing Legal Education Credit for Pro Bono Service, CRCP 260.8
The rule allows a lawyer to be awarded a maximum of nine units of general continuing legal education credit, for each three-year compliance period, for providing pro bono legal representation to an indigent or near indigent client or clients in a civil legal matter, or for mentoring another lawyer or law student who is providing such representation.
Can I work with a mentor on my pro bono project or use my project as a mentoring job for another lawyer?
Yes! The Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP) will connect you with a mentor or mentee to make your volunteer experience even more meaningful. Simply contact CAMP Director Ryann Peyton at [email protected] or 303-928-7750 to be connected with a mentoring partner!