Professional Guidelines

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

The Virginia State Bar

Professional Guidelines

22. Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Legal Services Reporting

Rule 6.1 of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct establishes an aspirational goal that every lawyer should render at least two percent per year of the lawyer’s professional time to pro bono publico legal services. Providing an opportunity for lawyers to voluntarily report their pro bono service on an annual basis will: (1) heighten awareness of this ethical responsibility among the bar membership by serving as an annual reminder; (2) provide a comprehensive mechanism for the bar to report and measure its collective performance vis-à-vis the aspirational goal set by Rule 6.1; (3) provide comprehensive data for the judiciary to support its efforts to promote and recognize pro bono work on a local, regional and statewide basis; (4) provide crucial benchmark data to the Virginia Access to Justice Commission to support its work promoting equal access to justice for Virginia residents; and (5) enable the bar to educate the public regarding the amount of pro bono publico legal services provided by its membership to the community, thereby improving the image and standing of the profession and its membership.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court of Virginia requests that each active member of the Virginia State Bar voluntarily supply certain information regarding pro bono publico legal services as part of the annual license renewal application process by making one or more of the following optional responses: 

1. ___ Pro Bono Hours.  I have personally provided approximately ____ hours of pro bono publico legal services as defined in subsection (a) of Rule 6.1 of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct during the previous 12 months beginning July 1 of the preceding year and ending June 30 of the current year.

2. ___ Financial Contribution.  I have personally contributed $_______ to support programs that provide the direct delivery of legal services to meet the needs described in Rule 6.1 (a) of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct, as an alternative method for fulfilling my responsibility to render pro bono legal services.

3. ___ Not applicable.  The two percent goal is not applicable because:

____ (i) I am currently serving as a member of the judiciary, or

____ (ii) I am a government lawyer prohibited by statute, rule, regulation, or agency policy from providing legal services outside my employment, or

____ (iii) I maintain retired, disabled, or associate status with the Virginia State Bar. 

4.  ___ No report.  I do not wish to report the hours of pro bono publico legal services I have performed this year, nor do I wish to report any financial contributions made in lieu of performing such services. 

 

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Approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia February 27, 2018. Effective December 1, 2018.

Updated: February 28, 2018