PRO BONO: YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE SOMEONE’S LIFE!
“I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed.” ― Oath of Admission to The Florida Bar
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Following the dictates of the solemn Oath of Admission to The Florida Bar, the legal community in Hillsborough County has been a consistent state leader in helping poor and low-income residents obtain access to justice, and the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee supports this proud tradition. Our members offer a wide variety of programs and trainings. No matter what type of law you practice, your skills can and will enable you to advocate for a poor client. You don’t have to be a family law, immigration, or dependency lawyer to tackle a pro bono case. Any attorney who can commit to a free training session can transform themselves into a hero for a fellow citizen in need of legal services. Below are some resources to connect you with training opportunities and organizations that could use your help.
Are You Safe: Free training video regarding the injunction process and types of injunctions, course material, case law, a list of questions to consider asking during evidentiary portion of injunction hearing, matching with experienced attorney, and additional training from Are You Safe prepare you to represent individuals at the final hearing for injunction. Contact Are You Safe at 813-997-7432 or firstname.lastname@example.org for training materials.
Bay Area Volunteer Lawyers Program (BAVLP): Whether you are a litigator or a transactional attorney, a new or experienced attorney, or an attorney with limited time to volunteer, the BAVLP can help you choose a volunteer opportunity that suits your interests, skills, and availability. The BAVLP offers free training in a variety of practices and specialties to meet the needs of volunteer attorneys. Training is provided through seminars, online, or by DVD. Some training may qualify for CLE credit. BAVLP also posts a monthly listing of available pro bono cases and information on how to take a case at: www.bals.org/volunteer/bay-area-volunteer-lawyers-program/pro-bono-cases-available-for-volunteers.
Crossroads for Florida Kids: Live as well as online training videos (eligible for CLE credit) and assigned mentors prepare you to be the voice of vulnerable children in dependency cases and delinquency proceedings. View training videos here.
Guardian ad Litem: This program provides 30 hours of free training plus support staff to help you look out for the best interests of a child in need.
Wills for Heroes: An hour of training before each event enables you to prepare wills and estate plans for police officers, military personnel, and others who protect and serve.
Have you taken on a case outside of your typical areas of practice and need help getting up to speed, finding the proper forms, and administrative orders? See the links below to information that may assist you.
Pro Bono Opportunities in Hillsborough County - listing of pro bono opportunities through the Bay Area Volunteer Lawyer Program and local organizations, as listed on Bay Area Legal Services' website.
Pro Bono Case Summaries - listing of available pro bono cases, updated monthly, and information on how to participate, as provided by the Bay Area Volunteer Lawyer Program.
Clerk of the Circuit Court, Hillsborough County – Forms related to child support, small claims, county court, expungement and sealing, family law, mental health, probate, etc.
Florida Courts – Family law forms.
Florida Courts – Resources regarding guardianship and guardian advocacy.
Florida Legal Services, Inc. – Listserve and information regarding consumer law. The membership site is limited to certain types of practitioners, but it does offer registration as a “pro bono” member.
FloridaProBono.Org – Website containing a library and legal education information for attorneys handling pro bono cases.
Florida Rural Legal Services – Training video for working with pro bono clients.
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid – Continuing legal education webinars and related materials for attorneys taking a pro bono case from a legal services organization in their local community. Among other practice areas, it includes information regarding collections, guardian advocacy, and probate.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Administrative Orders – Civil.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Administrative Orders – Domestic Relations/Family Law.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Administrative Orders – Elder Justice Center Related Administrative Orders.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Administrative Orders – Juvenile.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Administrative Orders – Probate, Guardianship, Trust & Mental Health.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Domestic Relations Case Management Unit – FAQs and forms regarding child support, paternity, dissolution of marriage, adoption, etc.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Elder Justice Center – Initial report forms, annual report forms, etc., for guardianship.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Elder Justice Center – FAQs and forms regarding guardianship and guardian advocacy.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Miscellaneous Forms – Forms related to guardianship, probate and trust, general civil matters, family court, and criminal justice.
Three Rivers Legal Services – Resources and pamphlets related to consumer cases such as contract disputes, repossessions, small claims, predatory lending, unfair debt collection practices, and exemptions from judgment.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit’s Unified Family Domestic Relations Division – Resources on adoption, simple name changes, dissolution of marriage, etc.
Thirteenth Circuit Pro Bono Committee Reference Documents
Administrative Order S-2016-026 Regarding Pro Bono Service
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Plan - Amended and Restated September 1, 2012
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee Activity Reporting Form
Option 2 Application