The Judges' Tool Kit on Pro Bono Legal Assistance


The goal of this tool kit is to increase access to justice for people living at the margins of society by providing you, the judges of Missouri, with the tools and incentives to encourage and support pro bono legal representation.

Table of Contents

Letter of welcome from the Supreme Court

Our Duty
  • Assuring access to justice for the disadvantaged is a professional responsibility of lawyers. Judges have a unique role in encouraging attorneys to engage in pro bono representation.

The Need
  • Annually about 50,000 households have legal problems, cannot afford an attorney or cannot receive services from existing programs. Access to justice is essential to peace and order in our communities.

Ethical Guidelines
  • The Code of Judicial Ethics recognizes the unique position of the judge in improving the administration of justice and encourages judges to contribute their leadership and skills. What are the ethical guidelines for judges?

Existing Pro Bono Programs in Missouri
  • Several large and small programs across the state already help the poor.

Promoting Pro Bono Involvement

Models for Organizing or Expanding Pro Bono Programs
  • A variety of models within Missouri and nationwide are available for organizing pro bono programs.

Malpractice Protection for Pro Bono Attorneys
  • The state of Missouri and provider agencies offer malpractice protection for volunteer lawyers.

Limited Scope Representation and Pro Bono Practice
  • Limited Scope Representation (LSR), also known as unbundled legal services, is a way to provide legal representation, which is affordable to attorney and client.

Special Needs of Rural Areas
  • Many rural counties in Missouri have very few lawyers. Pro bono representation is a greater challenge because of the limited attorney pool in those communities.

Talking Points
  • Some brief ideas to use when speaking to lawyers and public groups about pro bono.

Directory of Helpful Agencies
  • Who can you call for help? The Supreme Court Committee on Access to Family Courts is here to help. Also numerous regional pro bono programs can share their experiences.

Acknowledgment of Contributors

Bibliography of Resources