LASO has many volunteer opportunities for lawyers and non-lawyers.
Pro Bono Representation of a LASO Client
What are the benefits of representing a client from LASO Pro Bono?
- Malpractice Insurance coverage by LASO on LASO-referred cases
- LASO Staff Attorneys available for consultation
- Access to our online support web site! Forms, training videos, research.
Join at www.ProBono.Net/OK
- Assistance with litigation costs (must be pre-approved)
- 50% discount on many Oklahoma Bar Association CLEs for 20 hours or more of Pro Bono service completed during a 12-month period
- Free LASO seminars providing required annual CLE hours
- Interview rooms available for meetings with your client
Attorneys may view cases in need of pro bono representation here.
Self-Referral of a Pro Bono Case
Do you have a current client that may be income-eligible for Legal Aid? Are you representing him or her pro bono? If so, it would benefit you to contact LASO to register your case.
Many attorneys regularly provide pro bono representation for those who cannot otherwise afford to retain an attorney. While most attorneys think of pro bono referrals as those which originate through Legal Aid, another lesser known type of pro bono referral originates from the pro bono attorney’s office. Self-referrals occur when an attorney agrees to provide representation to a low-income client who contacts the attorney directly.
A prospective client may come to your office who you determine is low-income and cannot afford your services. If you wish to represent the client pro bono, you can register the client with LASO. What if you initially represented a client on a “for fee” basis, but the client lost a source of income; can it count as a pro bono self-referral? The answer is “yes” — if the client qualifies financially, and you agree to complete the case on a pro bono basis. Of course, there is no prohibition in any pro bono case against collecting an attorney fees from the other side, as long as the money does not come from the client or from money that the client would have been entitled to receive.
Why should you self-refer pro bono cases? Self-referrals are a great way for attorneys to provide pro bono services. The attorney is able to choose which pro bono case to take and the client receives representation from an attorney of their choice without having to wait for the normal referral process. Benefits for self-referring pro bono cases are the same as any other Legal Aid referral; including, professional liability insurance coverage on pro bono cases, free Legal Aid CLE’s, OBA discounts on CLE’s, access to a free advocate website which offers forms, research, news, featured volunteers, etc., along with many other benefits.
Clearly, self-referring pro bono cases provides benefits to the pro bono attorney and client, but it also benefits LASO by allowing us to expand our services to eligible clients without requiring additional staff. Self-referrals are also very important to LASO in that a certain level of pro bono participation is a grant requirement from our largest funder.
How do you self-refer cases? It’s as easy as a phone call, fax or email. LASO staff can contact your client and complete an intake, or you can provide the information to LASO. LASO staff will send a referral agreement for your client to sign. You may get requests from LASO staff for case updates on a quarterly basis until the case is closed, unless LASO staff can determine the status of the case online. When the case is closed, LASO staff will need to know the case outcome and the number of pro bono hours. LASO will then send you a letter that you can present to the bar association for CLE discounts.
LASO’s statewide Pro Bono Director is Cindy Goble.
Cindy Goble, Esq.
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.
2901 Classen Blvd, Ste 112
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
(405) 488-6823 (direct line)
(405) 488-6763 (fax)
If you have an ongoing pro bono case or a prospective case that you would like to self-refer, or if you have questions, please feel free to contact Cindy in Oklahoma City or contact Karen Langdon, statewide coordinator.
Karen Langdon, Esq.
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.
907 S. Detroit Ave., Ste 725
Tulsa, OK 74120
For pro bono support, please visit www.probono.net/ok, the online resource for Oklahoma pro bono lawyers. Probono.net is a volunteer support website with a password-protected library of helpful forms and automated documents you can use on pro bono cases!