How Can IVLP Help Me Manage Requests for Pro Bono Help?
Many Idaho lawyers tell us that they are “inundated” with people calling and walking in, often with compelling stories, asking for pro bono services. Others tell us they like to choose their own cases and do not want referrals. IVLP can help you manage your pro bono work load in both situations.
Use us as an excuse
If you are being asked to take pro bono work by walk-ins, callers, or even people you know, feel free to tell them, “I only do pro bono cases that have been screened by IVLP. Give them a call.” We will screen the caller to determine if they really meet low-income guidelines. After that, depending on what you tell us you want, we can either let you know about the caller’s economic status OR take the further steps to investigate the case and provide you with relevant documents and a summary (including our take on whether it is a good case for your pro bono involvement).
Either way, we will tell you what we learned; you make the choice as to whether you want the case.
Use us for traffic control
If you have an open or recently closed pro bono case, we will not ask you to take on anything else (except in the rare situation in which there is no other choice). If you like to choose your own cases you can still have those cases opened through IVLP. We will then know you are busy and we won’t attempt to refer pro bono work to you. Using IVLP will benefit you in that you will receive IVLP’s legal malpractice insurance coverage (secondary if you already carry a policy) and will entitle your client to an automatic waiver of the filing fee.
On the other hand, if you have some time and want to take on a pro bono matter, we can refer a case that has been screened for income and reviewed for merit.
Working with IVLP promotes access to justice
As you and your fellow Bar members look at the question of how to improve access to justice in your area, it is very important that good information be collected as to what is being done by Legal Aid, the Courts and the Bar members, what gaps exist, and what resources can be found to close those gaps. If your pro bono work is done through IVLP, it enables us to keep track of the hours, the kinds of work provided and the attorneys participating. But, even if you choose not to have your cases go through IVLP, we encourage you to use our Volunteer Attorney Hours Report Form or report your hours using our Online Reporting Form to help us develop good information on what is being done in your community. It takes only a minute of your time and it helps all of us in making justice accessible to Idahoans.