Pro Bono Best Practices Guide

In 2008 and 2009, pro bono leaders from nonprofit legal organizations and law firms came together to develop the idea of a “California Pro Bono Best Practices Guide,” a comprehensive “how to” manual for legal services providers and law firms on collaborating to develop and administer the best possible pro bono projects.

From 2010 until 2013, OneJustice convened a series of writing groups to create a draft of each chapter.  These drafts were then vetted over time at various regional and statewide pro bono meetings and conferences.

Now we are delighted to bring you the first edition of the California Pro Bono Best Practices Guide.  The writing group drafted the guide in a format they hoped would be accessible and useful, including a number of strategies to make the guide as easy to use as possible. The Guide features “Key Concepts and Recommendations” text boxes throughout to allow readers to skim for highlights or main suggestions.  The April 2014 edition of the Guide also includes sample and template documents commonly used in pro bono projects.

Download the California Pro Bono Best Practice Guide (April 2014 edition).

We anticipate that the California Pro Bono Guide will always be a work in progress.  OneJustice is committed to continuing to hone and improve the chapters, as well as add new content areas as needed. We invite your comments, suggestions for expansion, additional input, and guidance. We hope that future editions will expand to include the best practices involved in working with law schools, corporate law departments, and other constituencies in an effort to further improve the pro bono legal services system in California. We welcome your thoughts and participation.

OneJustice is profoundly grateful for the hard work and dedication of David Lash, Managing Counsel of Public Interest and Pro Bono Services at O’Melveny & Myers.  David served as Chair for every writing group, and his fierce commitment to this project ensured its success.  We are also deeply thankful for the members of all of the writing groups (listed below) for their generosity with their time, energy, and expertise.

Ugochi Anaebere, Inland Counties Legal Services
Diego Cartagena, Bet Tzedek Legal Services
Renee Glover Chantler, DLA Piper
David Daniels, Public Counsel
Jennifer Dasteel, Inner City Law Center
Amy Fitzpatrick, San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program, Inc.
Tai Glenn, Levitt Quinn Family Law Center
Elizabeth Hom, Alameda County Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Services Corporation
Edward Lodgen, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP
Rodney Low, State Bar of California, Office of Legal Services
Julie Park, Fenwick & West LLP
Genevieve Richardson, Bay Area Legal Aid
Janet Seldon, Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
Monique Sherman, Cooley LLP
Charles Song, Howrey LLP
Lani Woltmann, Disability Rights Legal Center
Alex Varela-Guerra, Ventura County Bar Association