It’s Time To Report Your Pro Bono and Service Hours
“Certainly, life as a lawyer is a bit more complex today than it was a century ago. The ever-increasing pressures of the legal marketplace, the need to bill hours, to market to clients, and to attend to the bottom line, have made fulfilling the responsibilities of community service quite difficult. But public service marks the difference between a business and a profession. While a business can afford to focus solely on profits, a profession cannot. It must devote itself first to the community it is responsible to serve. I can imagine no greater duty than fulfilling this obligation. And I can imagine no greater pleasure.”
– Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, 78 Or. L. Rev. 385, 391 (1999)
The North Carolina Advocates for Justice is “dedicated to empowering a strong community of trial lawyers by protecting people, preventing injustice and promoting fairness.” NCAJ members have a strong record of pro bono service and helping to narrow the access-to-justice gap. The NC Pro Bono Resource Center invites you to record your service so we may celebrate your work.
The Pro Bono Resource Center is currently accepting information about the types of activities encouraged by North Carolina Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1: pro bono legal service; legal service at a substantially reduced fee; activity that improves the law, the legal system, or the legal profession; non-legal community service; and financial support of legal service providers.
To report, you will need to share the total number of pro bono legal service hours you provided in 2020 — this is the only activity from Rule 6.1 that leads to recognition through the North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society. Questions about other activities from Rule 6.1 only require general information about participation. You will also need your North Carolina State Bar ID Number to submit your entry. You can report your hours at ncprobono.org/report. The deadline to report is March 31.
NCAJ members: Look for space on the pro bono reporting form where you can note you are a member of NCAJ.
North Carolina licensed attorneys (or attorneys who provide services under North Carolina Pro Bono Practice Status) who report at least 50 hours of pro bono legal service in a year will be inducted into that year’s cohort of the North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society and receive a certificate from the Supreme Court of North Carolina recognizing their achievement. You may elect to opt out of recognition if preferred.
For more information about the Pro Bono Resource Center and voluntary pro bono reporting, please visit ncprobono.org/report.
We look forward to celebrating your good work!