Support for Colorado's Pro Bono Attorneys

Volunteering – Info and Opportunities

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Need inspiration?

Watch this video of CO Access to Justice Commission members discussing reasons why lawyers and paralegals should do pro bono work!

Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct 6.1

Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least fifty hours of pro bono publico legal services per year.

Get Started Volunteering!

Please answer the questions at this link – we will contact you once we have your information.


CLE Credit for Pro Bono Work
One CLE credit is available for every five pro bono hours, up to a maximum of nine credits for 45 hours in each reporting period.

“Limited Scope” Representation, CRCP Rule 11 and Rule 121
Allows you to enter an appearance on a limited basis. Provides for withdrawal when limited work is completed. Here is some info about Limited Representation.

Pro Bono Certification for Retired and Inactive Attorneys, CRCP Rule 204.6
Allows a retired or inactive attorney otherwise not authorized to practice law in Colorado to be certified to provide pro bono legal services if certain conditions are met. CLS pays your application fee if you agree to volunteer with a CLS pro bono program. Access the application and checklist for the Pro Bono Counsel Certification here.

Colorado Supreme Court, Annual Recognition of Pro Bono Commitment & Achievement
If you commit to perform 50 hours of pro bono work per year, as a firm and as an individual attorney you will be recognized. Go to the Supreme Court website here for more information.

Volunteer Opportunities

This is a partial listing of opportunities available around the state.  Once you sign up, you’ll be contacted by your local pro bono coordinator who will provide details.

Statewide Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

  • Record Sealing and Expungement Clinic (paralegal & law student volunteers only)
  • San Luis Valley Virtual Satellite Clinic
  • Cortez Family Law Clinic
  • Caregiver Clinic (paralegal & law student volunteers only)

Boulder County Legal Services

  • Pro bono advice and representation cases in a variety of civil law matters
  • Contract representation in emergency matters
  • Pro Se Assistance Program – one-on-one meetings with pro se family law clients (at BCLS)
  • Volunteer mediators

Colorado Springs, Colorado Legal Services office

  • Pro bono advice and representation in Wills/Estates, Landlord/Tenant, Consumer, Protection Order, & Family Law cases
  • Outreach clinics serving clients and the community

Durango

  • Pro bono advice and representation cases in a variety of civil law matters
  • Contract representation in emergency or complex civil law matters
  • Pro Se Divorce and  Custody Clinic
  • Community legal workshops on living wills, consumer rights, tenant rights, etc.
  • Small Claims Court Mediation Program (run by local Bar)

La Junta, Colorado Legal Services office

  • Contract representation in complex family law cases and other severe needs cases

Northwest  Colorado Legal Services Project

  • Pro bono advice and representation cases in a variety of civil law matters
  • Contract representation in a variety of (civil law) severe needs or emergency cases
  • Monthly Zoom clinics in the 5th J.D.
  • Monthly in-person legal information clinics in Gunnison and Lake Counties
  • Advice clinics for elders and workshops for elders, including Senior Law Day
  • Community legal education on a variety of civil legal topics

Pueblo County Pro Bono Program

  • Pro bono advice and representation cases in a variety of civil law matters
  • Community legal education on a variety of civil legal topics
  • Neighborhood Legal Advice Clinic
  • Family Law Court Program
  • Pueblo Kinship Adoption Clinic

Salida, Colorado Legal Services office

  • Pro bono advice and representation cases in a variety of civil law matters
  • Family Law Court Program

Table of Contents

  1. Accepting a Case
  2. Handling a Case
  3. Closing a Case

Accepting a Case

Steps CLS follows to accept and refer cases to volunteer attorneys are below (click on a step to learn more):.

Handling a Case

Thanks for volunteering to help! Here is what you need to know while representing your client:

  1. Certificate of Indigency (JDF 203) – provided to you by your pro bono coordinator, this waives case filing and e-filing fees. Click here for a list of forms to request the filing fee be waived.
  2. Summary Court Indigency Rules – lists additional costs that can be waived for your client.
  3. Fee Waiver ICCES entry  – waive costs when you efile, and get reimbursed if you’re charged by mistake.
  4. Case Expenses (or Costs)  – learn what costs CLS can/can't help with BEFORE incurring costs in your case.
  5. Language Interpreters – how CLS pays for interpreters needed for office appointments with your CLS pro bono clients. Learn how the Colorado courts provide interpreters for all hearings and other court-ordered appearances or events.
  6. Limited Representation - limited representation in CLS pro bono cases.
  7. Mediation – help with mediation costs.
  8. CJD 98-01 – Chief Justice Directive on fee waivers.
  9. CJD 06-03 – more about Chief Justice Directive on language interpreters.
  10. Notice for Interpreter – a sample notice to court of your client’s need for a court-provided interpreter.
  11. CLS Limited Representation retainer (English)
  12. CLS Limited Representation retainer (Spanish)
  13. CBA Pro Bono Guidebook (click here) – Colorado Bar Association’s Pro Bono Guidebook.

Problem with your case? Click here to contact a pro bono coordinator for help.

Closing a Case

Steps

I. Notify your Pro Bono Coordinator your Case is Complete and Provide Information
II. CLS Sends Client a Closing Letter
III. Get CLE Credit
IV. Participate in the Supreme Court Recognition Ceremony

I. Inform pro bono coordinator case is completed and provide:

  1. Number of hours spent helping the client
  2. Value of hours – your normal hourly rate*
  3. Documentation of work performed, including:
  • Family law – petition, separation agreement, parenting plan, decree, support order
  • Housing law: answer, stipulation, court order
  • Debt: answer, stipulation, court order
  • Other case: pleadings filed by you
  • Pleadings containing stipulated agreements, orders entered by the court
  • Out of court case: emails negotiating a resolution, letter written, etc.
  • Advice case: email from you summarizing the advice** provided
  • If no documents were prepared, an email from you summarizing the work performed.
  1. File your Withdrawal in any court case that remains open. Withdrawal form are on the court website (www.courts.state.co.us) here:
  • Forms tab – Miscellaneous – “Limited Appearance and Notice of Completion”
  • Forms tab – Miscellaneous – General – JDF 83 “Notice of Withdrawal as Attorney of Record”
  1. Share any comments you have for us about the case or about our program! Thank you!

II. CLS will send client a closing letter...

...letting the client know you are finished representing them. If the client needs future help, the client is told to contact CLS for assistance. Your volunteer work is completed!  Thank you!

III. CLE Credit

  • Your time can qualify for CLE credit in Colorado. Your pro bono coordinator will prepare and send a form for your signature.
  • For every five (5) hours of pro bono time donated in a case you'll earn one (1) CLE credit.
  • An attorney can earn up to nine (9) CLE credits for 45 hours of pro bono work in each reporting period.
  • Click here for the CLE pro bono reporting form.  Thank you!

IV. Supreme Court Recognition Ceremony

  • Report your commitment to and fulfillment of your pledge to donate at least 50 hours of time annually to the Supreme Court.
  • Click here to report your pro bono efforts.  Thank you!

Have we said it enough Thank you!

*Hourly rate information helps to value your donations,We don’t disclose specific information, but it’s very helpful to provide data to funders such as “our attorneys donated 500 hours valued at $125,000 total.” This is a powerful argument for supporting our programs!

**Please give us details of the advice provided. For instance, “I advised the client that she would not meet the statutory requirement for jurisdiction in Colorado” is very helpful, but “I talked to the client about filing a case in court” doesn’t give us enough detail.