20
April
2020
|
16:09 PM
America/Chicago

Retired? Waive your enrollment fee with pro bono work

If you’re retired or currently on a break from your practice, you’re in a unique position to help Missourians who need legal answers. Last year, the Supreme Court of Missouri revised Rule 6.01, allowing members to seek a waiver of the annual enrollment fee in exchange for providing pro bono service and agreeing to not be compensated for any legal work performed during the waiver period. A lawyer whose Missouri license is in good standing may file a request for waiver if the lawyer provides or agrees to provide pro bono legal services in Missouri to an approved legal assistance organization and meets the criteria and requirements of Rule 6.01.

Here's how to apply: 

  • Complete the Request for Pro Bono Waiver of Annual Enrollment Fee form, if the lawyer can certify and provide the following:  

  • Not to practice law in Missouri except as a pro bono lawyer and will not seek or receive any compensation of any kind for legal services provided 

  • Participate and comply with any training provided by the legal assistance organization where pro bono service is performed 

  • Comply with all Rule 15 minimum continuing legal education requirements 

  • Confirmation of good standing from all states, territories or districts where licensed 

  • Certification form from the approved legal assistance organization indicating the organization’s willingness to accept the lawyer’s pro bono services 

  • Understand the waiver is only valid for one calendar year 

  • Agree to notify the clerk within 30 days if participation with the approved legal assistance organization ends 

  • Submit the completed form and required materials to the clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri  

Once received, the clerk will determine whether to approve the pro bono waiver based on several factors, including the number applying, the needs of the organization the lawyer would be assisting, the willingness of the approved legal assistance organization to accept pro bono assistance from the lawyer, and the overall impact of administering the waiver rule. If approved, the waiver is valid through the calendar year. A lawyer with a pro bono waiver may annually seek to renew the waiver by submitting a statement certifying the following by Nov. 1 each year: 

  • Continues to provide pro bono legal services to an approved legal assistance organization and has taken part in any required training 

  • Number of pro bono hours provided in the prior year 

  • Commitment to continue to participate in any training required by the approved legal assistance organization 

Of note, any training required by the approved legal assistance organization which qualifies for MCLE credit also counts toward the lawyer's annual Rule 15 continuing legal education requirements. Approved legal assistance organizations must supply the clerk of the Supreme Court the following:  

  • Names and bar numbers of those coordinating the pro bono services of lawyers who have applied for the waiver 

  • Certification that the organization has professional liability malpractice insurance and the amount of such insurance which will cover lawyers performing pro bono services via the waiver program