How Does Pro Bono Differ from other Legal Services?
Pro Bono services are free in their entirety and provide no financial compensation to the lawyer. Therefore, pro bono does not include cases where payment for the legal services are made by another party on behalf of the client, or cases where the lawyer provides free services in the hope of securing paid services.
What is a Clearing House?
A clearinghouse is the channel through which pro bono legal services are provided. It serves as the intermediary between the beneficiaries (people/organisations) of the pro bono services and the lawyers/firms that are providing these services.
What ways can I offer pro bono services?
Lawyers or law firms may offer pro bono services by offering to represent, advice, or co-counsel indigent and disadvantaged persons on legal matters at no cost to the client.
Additionally, assistance can be provided by way of case referral to other lawyers or law firms the client would otherwise have no access to. Legal education and document preparation are other ways to also contribute.
Contributions may also be made to the Clearing House fund. Funds donated to the Clearing House are used to assist persons who may are awaiting placement on the legal track with rehabilitation, counselling, mental and physical health, and resettlement amongst others. To get involved, register here.
Who qualifies for pro bono services?
The Clearing House will receive aggregate cases and matters requiring pro bono services from the Legal Aid Council as well as NGOs from focus states. Matters aggregated from these sources are presumed to be of clients who are disadvantaged and truly cannot afford access to legal services. Pro bono work should always be offered to the truly indigent and would serve no use to people who can in fact afford to pay for the legal services they require.
Where the Clearing House takes on individual matters outside of these sources, it will consider income levels and financial position/ status through a means test.
Are you a lawyer in Nigeria and looking to provide pro bono legal services in any of our focus areas?