FAQs for Attorneys

How do I get involved with Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta?
What type of matters would I get to work on?
What is the process I go through as a volunteer attorney?
What is the scope of my matter?
Can I get assistance on this matter?
What is the level of commitment expected of me?
Will my work be covered by malpractice insurance?
Can paralegals volunteer?
Can law students or LLM students volunteer?
Who is responsible for paying filing fees and other third-party costs?

How do I get involved with Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta?

Email info@pbpatl.org to sign up to receive our monthly emails with volunteer opportunities. In the email, please include your contact information (including address and phone number), the name of your law firm or legal department, practice area, state(s) in which you are licensed to practice law, and year(s) of admittance. Once you are on our mailing list, you will receive a monthly email with volunteer opportunities.

What type of matters would I get to work on?

We handle a wide range of transactional legal matters including corporate, real estate, contracts, intellectual property, employment, tax and technology.

We also offer articles, webcasts and workshops on legal issues pertaining to nonprofit organizations, and are in need of volunteer attorneys to prepare and present them.

Our matters range in complexity and time commitment, but most are discrete and manageable (requiring 5-15 hours). Our attorneys will work with you to find an opportunity that is a good fit.

Who are Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta’s clients?

PBPA’s clients are nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations that serve the poor and disadvantaged. Our clients cannot afford to pay for legal services without significant impairment to their program budget.

How does Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta screen its clients?

Organizations that are interested in PBPA’s services must go through an application process, which includes providing information about their charitable activities, budgets, and corporate governance structure. Representatives from the organization then meet with one of our attorneys for an in-depth screening meeting to determine if we can take the organization as a client and to identify the organization’s legal needs.

What is the process I go through as a volunteer attorney?

  • If you are interested in any of volunteer opportunities on our website or on our monthly email, send an email with the description of the project to volunteer@pbpatl.org. If you are matched with a matter, we will send you the nonprofit’s “Request for Legal Assistance” to provide you basic information about the client and allow you to run a conflicts check.
  • We will send the client our retainer letter. If you are with a law firm, you will need to send the firm’s retainer/engagement letter directly to the client.
  • Then, you will contact us with days and times you will be available for the initial meeting or conference call. You can let us know whether you prefer a meeting or call.
  • The initial call will take place with the nonprofit client, the volunteer attorney (you), and an attorney from PBPA.
  • You will then begin working on the matter. PBPA’s staff attorneys will be available throughout the process to provide assistance, including form documents and advice.
  • Keep PBPA staff updated on the progress of your matter and let us know if there are any problems.
  • Contact PBPA staff when the matter is complete and provide an estimate of the number of hours you spent on the matter.
  • Please send PBPA copies of significant memoranda or other documents prepared in the course of your representation.
  • We will send a closing letter to the client.

What is the scope of my matter?

You are only expected to handle the specific matter for which you initially volunteered. If your client contacts you directly about additional matters, please refer the request to PBPA. You are not obligated to assist the client on matters outside the scope of your initial representation. If you would like to work with your client again, we are happy to accommodate your request, but ask that all requests for assistance be directed through PBPA.

Can I get assistance on my matter?

A PBPA staff attorney is assigned to every matter, participates in the initial meeting or conference call with the volunteer attorney and client, provides support (such as forms and other resources) to volunteer lawyers as needed and is available to assist with issues relating to nonprofit or tax-exempt law. Also, in-house attorneys may request to be paired with a law firm attorney on matters.

Am I required to meet in person with the client?

No. Volunteers and clients are certainly welcome to meet in person, but most projects can be handled solely through telephone calls and email.

What is the level of commitment expected of me?

You may volunteer for matters as often or as little as you like. All that we ask is that you complete any matter for which you volunteer. If you are unable to complete a matter for any reason, please contact us as soon as possible and we will find another volunteer.

Will my work be covered by malpractice insurance?

Yes. All of our volunteer attorneys are covered through our malpractice insurance policy.

Can newly admitted attorneys volunteer?

PBPA does not have the capacity to supervise attorneys on projects, so all volunteers should have the expertise sufficient to handle the matter or should be supervised by a more senior attorney at their firm.

Can paralegals volunteer?

Paralegals are welcome to volunteer for PBPA projects but they should first find an attorney from their firm or legal department to actively supervise the project.

Can law students or LLM students volunteer?

Our volunteer opportunities are not available to law students or LLM students unless they are supervised by a licensed attorney in an employment setting (such as a summer associate program) or law school clinic. However, we offer both semester-long and summer internship opportunities and are also happy to work with students to develop post-graduate fellowship proposals. Please see Volunteering as a Law Student or LLM Student for more information.

Who is responsible for paying filing fees and other third-party costs?

The nonprofit client is responsible for paying all filing fees and other third party costs, but please do not incur any such costs until you receive approval from the client. We recommend that you ask the client to pay all fees up front, before you make any filings.

I am a member of the Bar in another state. Do I need to be admitted in Georgia in order to volunteer?

In house attorneys who are not admitted in Georgia may partner with a colleague, a law firm attorney or one of our staff attorneys in order to take a matter.

I’m on the board of a nonprofit organization (or know another nonprofit in my community). Can they come to the partnership for help?

Certainly- you may direct nonprofit organization to our Request for Legal Assistance.