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Tips for Using the Pro Bono
Attorneys Listserv

As a pro bono attorney, you are part of the special listserv that allows easy communication between all pro bono attorneys. Here are some of the whos and hows of the Pro Bono Attorneys Listserv. Since it is new, we are all in the learning curve on how to use the list serve effectively. With patience and communication we will work it out. Take a moment and read over these tips before you send a message on the Listserv.

What is a list serve? A list serve broadcasts a single message to all participants. You send one message and many people receive copies.

What good is the list serve? You can converse with many attorneys across the state simply. If you have a question or are looking for a sample pleading or other form, your request for help can be received quickly by many pro bono attorneys who may be able to help you from their own experience. Once you have found attorneys who can help you, you can continue the dialogue one-on-one through ordinary e-mail or phone.


If you have a helpful discovery of your own, you can easily share it with other pro bono attorneys by sending it through the Listserv.

How do I join the Pro Bono Attorneys Listserv? Read this page for help.

How do I get off the Listserv if I want? Follow the instructions on joining to reach the subscription page, then click where it says, “If you wish to resign from the Pro Bono Attorney Listserv Group, you can do so by clicking HERE."

The e-mail address for the Pro Bono Attorneys Listserv is probono@mobarlist.org. Use this address if you wish to send you message to ALL pro bono attorneys who participate on the Listserv.

All participants’ e-mail addresses are listed on the MoBar website. See TIP #4 below.


Here Are Some Tips:


TIP #1: Who Do I Send To? When you are sending a message, ask yourself, "Do I want this message to go to ALL pro bono attorney participants or just one or a few?" If you want to communicate with one or a few, then send your e-mail directly to them using their individual e-mail addresses. If want all to receive the message then send it to the Pro Bono Attorneys Listserv address, probono@mobarlist.org

TIP #2: Describe The Subject Clearly. Recipients may receive many e-mail messages each day. They will preview their messages by looking at the sender’s address and the short subject description. Take time to write a subject description that accurately describes he content of your message. The people who should see your message will then more likely read it. (Just as a general rule of good practice, you should always include a subject in every e-mail you send. It is just polite to people who get messages from you.) Also members using the INDEX mode for receiving e-mail will only see your subject line. If you want them to open the full text of your e-mail, you need to describe the subject well

TIP #3: Reply To The Right Person. If you have a question about an e-mail message or simply want to reply to the originator only, look to WHO ORIGINATED the message. At the top of the message look for the originators name. The “To” line should indicate “probono.” All messages through the Pro Bono Attorneys Listserv are sent through the Pro Bono Attorneys Listserv address (probono@mobarlist.org). This should show on the "To:” line. Usually if you click “reply,” you will send your message directly to the originator. If you click “reply all,” you send your message to the originator and everyone on the Listserv. If you really want to communicate only with the originator, do not click “reply all”. If you do, then EVERYONE on the list serve gets your question, not just the originator and you just clutter up the mailboxes of all participants.

TIP #4: How Do I Find Individual Addresses? Every pro bono attorney participating in the pro bono list serve group is listed in the roster of the group on the MoBar website. Log on to the “Members Only” section” of the MoBar website and click on “Committees and Listservs.” You are now on “My Committees” page. Click on “roster” next to the name “Pro Bono Attorneys Listserv Group.” Now you see the contact information for all attorneys participating in the group. Click on the word “email” and your e-mail software should open automatically with the individual's e-mail address in the "To" box.

TIP #5: Sending Attached Files. If you want to send a document or other file which is very large, it make sense to send it as an attachment to a brief cover memo. That way the receivers can read the cover memo and decide for themselves whether to open the attached document. You should also be aware that the MoBar Listserv will not accept an attachment larger than 200 KB (about 20-40 pages of text). Of course, when you send to an individual attorney's e-mail address, this limit does not apply. For more information on exchanging large files such as forms, etc., click here. In your  message, you should (a) describe the content of the attachment, and (b) specify the software format (e.g., MS Word, WordPerfect, etc.). Do not leave recipients in the dark because the attachment will not open on their computer.

If you are going to send a document as an attachment, the Rich Text Format (RTF) is a generic word processing format that most word processing software can use. Before you send a file, save it in your computer in RTF format.


TIP #6: Print a copy of these Tips and place it with your e-mail "stuff" for future reference.

Revised Jul 21, 2008