Frequently Asked Questions

It is never too late to start doing pro bono work! There are several resources and supports available to help you. First, you can start by going to a free CLE training. Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada hosts trainings throughout the year in a range of subject areas, including family law, landlord-tenant law, and representing children in foster care. These seminars are designed specifically for new volunteers lacking experience.

You will also be assigned an experienced attorney mentor, receive a comprehensive nuts and bolts manual and have access to sample forms and pleadings. Legal Aid Center also offers complimentary support luncheons every other month. You are also welcome to start by co-counseling or shadowing your mentor before venturing out on your own.

There are several non-litigation opportunities available to government lawyers residing in Nevada. One of the most popular options is by participating in an Ask-A-Lawyer program. Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada offers low-income individuals the opportunity to meet with a volunteer attorney (free of charge) and receive a brief 15 – 30 minute consultation. The time commitment required for the attorney is only two or three hours.

Ask-A-Lawyer opportunities are available during the day, evening and on selected Saturdays. They involve a number of substantive areas, including Family Law and Landlord/Tenant Law as well as projects serving various populations such as small business owners, veterans, homeless individuals, senior citizens, and more.

Most organized pro bono programs, such as Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, provide free attorney malpractice coverage. The coverage is primary and extends both to representation and all counsel and advice (Ask-A-Lawyer) programs. In addition, by having access to a mentor, or a staff contact in an Ask-A-Lawyer program, you can be sure that you will know how to handle every aspect of your case or respond to any question that comes your way.
Rule 6.5 of the Nevada Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct permits all lawyers to participate in counsel and advice clinics or Ask-A-Lawyer programs without running conflict checks so long as the lawyer is not aware of any conflicts with the individual(s) in which they are giving advice. The Rule enables these programs to serve a significantly greater number of pro se individuals than would be possible if running conflicts were necessary for every client.
Yes. Please refer potential applicants to Legal Aid Center’s website available at In addition, you can provide them our main number, 386-1070, and instruct them to follow the prompts for the type of legal problem they have. Please DO NOT give a direct extension as this only slows down the process.
Yes. Contact the Pro Bono Project at 386-1070 ext. 1422 or and ask for a Client Referral Form. By completing the form, you let the Project know that you will accept the case and will refer the client to our office for intake. Please DO NOT give the client a direct extension.
If you’re doing pro bono work in your practice, you are to be commended. What the Pro Bono Project provides is an institutional way to mobilize the legal community to help a segment of the population that cannot help itself. We thoroughly screen our clients, so by taking cases through us, you are sure to be helping clients in need who have meritorious cases. Additionally, you are eligible for support and assistance through the Project, as well as awards and recognition.
While we do not expect volunteers to necessarily take a case up on appeal or handle every subsequent legal problem that a pro bono client brings to them, we do expect volunteers to complete the specific matter for which the client was referred for assistance. If you would like to help the client again with future matters that arise, we can arrange that and would be incredibly grateful. However, it is not necessarily expected. Additionally, while in an ideal world all volunteers would complete all matters they accepted, we do realize that in the real world, circumstances change. Attorneys become ill, retire, move out of state, etc. In such circumstances, the Project will work with the volunteer to get the case(s) reassigned.
Yes, yes and yes! Pursuant to the Rules of Professional Conduct, a client is a client, whether she or he is a paying client or a pro bono client. Additionally, the way you treat all of your clients reflects on your reputation in the community.

Yes. While there are a variety of pro bono opportunities available to government lawyers, there are restrictions on the type of work that can be performed and the way in which it is carried out. These restrictions vary from agency to agency, but no government attorney may provide services that would conflict with his or her official duties.

In addition, government lawyers cannot indicate that they are acting on behalf of their agency when providing pro bono services. Generally, this means no use of office letterheads, business cards, or anything else that would identify you as a government employee.

If you are seeking to engage in any pro bono legal work, discuss your interest in doing pro bono with your supervisor and find out if your organization has a policy that addresses pro bono service. We are happy to assist you in finding a pro bono matter that does not conflict with your employment.

Attorneys who are not members of the Nevada State Bar but who are admitted and in good standing in another state may request certification through the Nevada Supreme Court’s Emeritus Attorney Pro Bono (EAPB) Program. The certification is also available to attorneys who have been admitted in Nevada or another state but have an inactive license. See Supreme Court Rule 49.2 or for further information or to apply.
Besides having something to report on your annual mandatory reporting form, making yourself eligible for awards and recognition, and generally doing good and giving back to the community in which you live and work, you might actually feel what it is like to have a profound impact on the life of a person in need. You can learn a new area of law and obtain CLE credit for time spent on a pro bono matter.