As states enact new pro bono requirements and ease some restrictions on pro bono representation, it is becoming more important than ever for lawyers to understand the unique challenges posed by pro bono clients. This massive open online course (MOOC) is free to anyone who wants to learn more about how to meet the unique challenges posed by pro bono clients. The course will be held exclusively online from Monday, June 25 through Friday, June 29. Participants are expected to participate each day but may attend each daily segment any time, day or night. This course will teach new attorneys and seasoned professionals how to work effectively and cooperatively with their pro bono client.

What you will learn

Getting to Know Your Pro Bono Client:

  • IDENTIFYING common problems that clients living in poverty have with access to resources.
  • CREATING an environment where clients living in poverty feel safe enough to communicate fully and honestly with their lawyer.

Effective Communication:

  • IMPLEMENTING strategies for establishing a trusting and productive relationship.
  • RECOGNIZING the signs of poor literacy skills, especially reading comprehension, and make the necessary accommodations.
  • ESTABLISHING effective lines of communication with clients whose native language is not English.

Educating Your Client about the Legal Process:

  • PREPARING clients for meetings and courtroom appearances.
  • SETTING EXPECTATION for client behavior in court.
  • PREPARING clients for how judges and other court personnel may speak to them and treat them.

Helping your pro bono client make informed choices by:

  • EXPLAINING legal options, the negotiation process, and court proceedings in a manner that is understandable to the client.
  • DEVELOPING and DOCUMENTING authority to ensure that decisions to make, accept, or reject offers are the client’s and are not the result of the attorney imposing his/her will on the client.

Who should participate

All attorneys assisting pro bono clients through representation or in clinical settings, firm pro bono coordinators and partners, corporate law department pro bono managers, law clinic students and faculty, and public interest and non-profit organization attorneys and staff would benefit from attending this program.

This on-demand web training is provided by PLI. To access this training, click here.

An Interactive Learning Center program