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Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association Pro Bono Initiative – Free Legal Assistance to Those With Legitimate Need

Overview. The Latin term pro bono means “for the public good” and references voluntary efforts by attorneys to donate legal work to members of the public. Members of the public can call 866-944-6421 to inquire about assistance. 

Guidelines. Rule 4-6.1 of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar sets forth pro bono service guidelines for attorneys admitted to practice in the State of Florida. The goal of The Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association (“NDFLBBA”) is to facilitate individual efforts to meet these guidelines. All Florida lawyers are encouraged to participate by providing pro bono opportunities to those who have a legitimate need.

NDFLBBA Initiative. In an effort to further the NDFLBBA’s goal, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida (the “Court”) has worked with the NDFLBBA to create the “Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Pro Bono Initiative.” This Initiative seeks to encourage members of the NDFLBBA to provide pro bono services for individuals that may have been identified by the Court or the NDFLBBA as needing pro bono representation.

The Initiative works as follows:

  1. Attorneys who are interested in providing pro bono services may submit their name to the NDFLBBA by calling the Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Pro Bono Initiative at 866-944-6421.
  2. When a party in need of pro bono representation is identified by the Court, the NDFLBBA, or another entity or outlet, Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Pro Bono Initiative staff will attempt to match the prospective client with an attorney.
  3. If the attorney undertakes the representation and is required to appear in Court on a matter related to the representation, whenever possible, the Court shall call the matter as early in its calendar as possible to minimize the attorney’s waiting time.
  4. The NDFLBBA shall assist during this process as needed.

This Initiative can only be successful if members of the NDFLBBA are active participants in the program. Notice of the Initiative will be placed on the NDFLBBA website, the Court’s website, and will be provided to other appropriate outlets. Attorneys who participate in the program will be recognized in these outlets and at the NDFLBBA’s annual retreat.

Contact information for attorneys. The Board of the NFBBA encourages all members to participate in this well-meaning and rewarding Initiative. If you have any questions, please contact the Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Pro Bono Initiative at 866-944-6421.