Updated: Sept. 4, 2019

Pro Bono Publico

"Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to assist in the provision of legal services to those unable to pay." RPC 6.1 This rule also states that, "A lawyer should aspire to render at least thirty (30) hours of pro bono publico service per year." Pro bono publico includes:

  • Teaching at a CLE
  • Taking a low bono case
  • Volunteering at a Qualified Legal Services Provider
  • Sitting on a WSBA Board or Committee
  • Using legal skills to advise a nonprofit organization
  • Taking a pro bono case

Be sure to report your pro bono publico hours on your annual licensing form. Those who provide 50 hours of pro bono publico service are put on the WSBA Supreme Court Honor Roll.

Model Pro Bono Policies

The Pro Bono and Public Service Committee of the Washington State Bar Association has created three model pro bono policy templates that can be accessed, customized, and adopted by organizations in Washington State. Approved by the WSBA Board of Governors in July 2019, the three templates - one for law firms, a second for corporate and in-house legal departments, and a third for government entities – are intended to be a starting point for the creation and adoption of pro bono policies. Organizations are encouraged to customize the templates to best reflect their own strengths and goals. Organizations are welcome to reach out to the Pro Bono and Public Service Committee for assistance with finalizing and adopting a policy, or with identifying opportunities for pro bono work for the organization’s attorneys.

Model Policies (in Word format):

Law Firm (any size)) | Corporate/In-House Legal Departments | Government Entities

Emeritus Pro Bono Licensing Status

Considering retiring or switching to inactive? The Emeritus Pro Bono Licensing status allows you to keep practicing by volunteering with a Qualified Legal Services Provider (QLSP) only. License fees are the same as inactive ($200) and there is no MCLE requirement. Find out more on becoming Emeritus Pro Bono with this flyer and on the licensing page.

MCLE Credits

As a Qualified Legal Services Provider (QLSP) volunteer, a Call to Duty Initiative volunteer, a Moderate Means Program attorney, or an Emeritus Pro Bono member, you are eligible to get certain free WSBA CLE seminars. Contact publicservice@wsba.org for access.

For help reporting pro bono credits, review this MCLE Self-Reporting Pro Bono Credit flyer or email mcle@wsba.org.