News and Information
July 07, 2016

Comment Sought on Amendments to Rules Regarding Self-Reporting of Pro Bono Service

The proposed amendments, which were adopted unanimously by the Virginia Access to Justice Commission, would make Virginia the eleventh state to adopt annual attorney self-reporting of pro bono hours and pro bono-related financial support. The amendments would not mandate pro bono service and do not require attorneys to change how they track their support of pro bono. Though Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1 currently states that attorneys should devote 2 percent of their professional time to pro bono matters, there is no mechanism to collect and measure the Virginia State Bar’s performance against that goal. The proposed amendments would provide that mechanism. The intent is to promote awareness of and compliance with the existing goal in Rule 6.1, improve the profession’s self-governance, and minimize any calls for mandated pro bono service due to the existing lack of complete and accurate pro bono data.

Comments in support of or in opposition to the proposed amendments should be sent to Karen A. Gould, the Executive Director of the Virginia State Bar, not later than August 31, 2016.  Comments may be submitted via e-mail to publiccomment@vsb.org.

Updated: Jul 19, 2016