Kentucky Volunteer Lawyer Program
SCR 3.130(6.1) Donated legal services
A lawyer is encouraged to voluntarily render public interest legal service. A lawyer is encouraged to accept and fulfill this responsibility to the public by rendering a minimum of fifty (50) hours of service per calendar year by providing professional services at no fee or a reduced fee to persons of limited means, and/or by financial support for organizations that provide legal service to persons of limited means. Donated legal services may be reported on the annual dues statement furnished by the Kentucky Bar Association. Lawyers rendering a minimum of fifty (50) hours of donated legal services shall receive a recognition award for such service from the Kentucky Bar Association.
HISTORY: Amended by Order 94-1, eff.10-1-94; prior amendment eff. 8-1-92; adopted eff.1-1-90
The ABA House of Delegates has formally acknowledged "the basic responsibility of each lawyer engaged in the practice of law to provide public interest legal services" without fee, or at a substantially reduced fee, in one or more of the following areas: poverty law, civil rights law, public rights law, charitable organization representation and the administration of justice. This rule expresses that policy but is not intended to be enforced through disciplinary process.
The rights and responsibilities of individuals and organizations in the United States are increasingly defined in legal terms. As a consequence, legal assistance in coping with the web of statutes, rules and regulations is imperative for persons of modest and limited means, as well as for the relatively well-to-do.
The basic responsibility for providing legal services for those unable to pay ultimately rests upon the individual lawyer, and the personal involvement in the problems of the disadvantaged can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the life of a lawyer. Every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence or professional workload, should find time to participate in or otherwise support the provision of legal services to the disadvantaged. The provision of free legal services to those unable to pay reasonable fees continues to be an obligation of each lawyer as well as the profession generally, but the efforts of individual lawyers are often not enough to meet the need. Thus, it has been necessary for the profession and government to institute additional programs to provide legal services. Accordingly, legal aid offices, lawyer referral services and other related programs have been developed, and others will be developed by the profession and government. Every lawyer should support all proper efforts to meet this need for legal services.