Gwinnett Pro Bono Project Survey
*****Pro Bono in Gwinnett County*****
The Gwinnett Pro Bono Project, a partnership between Gwinnett Legal Aid and the Gwinnett County Bar Association, refers low income clients who cannot afford private representation to volunteer attorneys. Cases are screened thoroughly by Gwinnett Legal Aid attorneys. All cases are in Gwinnett County and must fall within the case priority and financial eligibility guidelines set by Legal Aid. Your skills and expertise can make a real and immediate impact on their lives.
***But I already do pro bono work!
The code of Professional Responsibility requires lawyers to represent clients who are not able to afford legal counsel. However, it is an unfortunate fact of life that some clients who actually can afford legal counsel simply choose not to pay for it. The Gwinnett County Pro Bono Project ensures that the clients referred to you cannot pay for legal representation. This is true pro bono.
***What if I do not have expertise in every area of civil law?
You may volunteer specifically for your areas of expertise. Atlanta Legal Aid also offers access to its own in-house training and mentoring to Project volunteers.
***What if my pro bono client cannot afford the filing fees?
Georgia law allows filing without cost in certain instances. The Project will provide any necessary forms.
***Can I receive attorney fees?
Yes, but not from the pro bono client. Attorney fees can be accepted only if the court awards fees against the adverse party.
***What about malpractice insurance?
Malpractice insurance, covering your representation of clients referred by the Pro Bono Project, will be provided by Atlanta Legal Aid.
***I cannot afford to do pro bono work.
In order to minimize the amount of pro bono time each attorney must commit to the Project:
(1) Much of the administrative work on a pro bono case is completed by the Gwinnett County Pro Bono Project office prior to the case being referred. Volunteer attorneys will be provided information about the clients as well as initial facts about the legal problem.
(2) Volunteer attorneys are requested to take only three (3) pro bono cases per year.
(3) The Project will only refer cases that are in the volunteer’s area of expertise. Volunteer attorneys may also choose not to accept a case if their schedule prevents them from making a commitment at that particular time.
(4) Volunteer attorneys accepting three (3) cases within a year receive a $100 CLE voucher from the State Bar of Georgia.