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New Online Tool Helps Georgia Lawyers Manage Their Pro Bono Service

Saturday, October 06, 2012

  • By: Mike Monahan
  • Organization: State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project
  • Source: Georgia

Lawyers can sign up for case alerts

In anticipation of the American Bar Association National Pro Bono Celebration Oct. 21-27, GeorgiaAdvocates.org has launched a new tool aimed at helping lawyers take control of their pro bono service.

The new Available Pro Bono Cases Tool on the site allows lawyers to set criteria for the kinds of pro bono cases they might handle and the counties in which they are willing to handle them.  When a pro bono program adds a new case to the site that matches a lawyer’s interests and geographic preferences, an email alert is sent to that lawyer notifying her of the pro bono match and containing a link to the case and case details.  The lawyer can then begin an email thread with the pro bono coordinator who posted the case and accept or decline the case online.  Lawyers can review up to 3 pro bono cases at any given time.  Pro bono programs can post as many cases as they like and administer online the status of the cases.

The new cases tool represents a new way of thinking about pro bono case placement.  Rather than waiting for a pro bono program to contact her, a lawyer can now affirmatively search for and select pro bono cases and manage the process online.  The new functionality lets lawyers take charge by giving them the opportunity to set parameters and shop for available cases when they have the time.

“We have decided to keep the pro bono case content behind a password,” says Mike Monahan, Director of the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project and manager of GeorgiaAdvocates.org.  “The case listings are very generic, but we only want lawyers using the tool.  The confidential information is held until after a potential lawyer takes a case for review—that’s when the dialogue about conflicts checks begins.  So lawyers will be directed to join the free site to begin reviewing available cases.”

The Georgia initiative is based on a pilot project of ProJusticeMN.org and ProBono.net/NY and funded by a technology grant from the federal Legal Services Corporation.  GeorgiaAdvocates.org, ProJusticeMN.org and ProBono.net/NY share the same web DNA as the three websites are part of the national network of advocate support websites created and supported by Pro Bono Net, a national, online resource for legal aid and pro bono attorneys, law professors and students, and related social services advocates.  GeorgiaAdvocates.org is owned by Georgia Legal Services Program, Inc and the Atlanta Legal Aid Society and managed by the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project.


About Georgia Legal Services Program
Georgia Legal Services Program, Inc.® provides free legal assistance to low-income households in 154 of Georgia's 159 counties. The mission of the Georgia Legal Services Program is to provide access to justice and opportunities out of poverty for Georgians with low-incomes. Our lawyers and paralegals provide the help that reflects your community's values of fairness, equality, and responsibility to assist others in need.

About the Atlanta Legal Aid Society
The Atlanta Legal Aid Society has represented Atlanta's poor in civil legal cases since 1924. Our work helps our clients deal with some of life's most basic needs -- a safe home, enough food to eat, a decent education, protection against fraud, and personal safety.  Our clients come from Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett Counties in Georgia.

About Pro Bono Net
Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice through innovative uses of technology and increased volunteer lawyer participation.  Pro Bono Net uses innovative web-based platforms—www.probono.net, www.lawhelp.org and www.lawhelpinteractive.org —to recruit and support volunteer lawyers and provide direct information and tools for self representation to low-income communities.   Pro Bono Net has also developed Pro Bono Manager, pro bono practice management software that helps AmLaw 200 law firms increase pro bono participation, manage pro bono caseloads more efficiently and raise internal and external awareness of pro bono efforts.  For more information, please visit www.probono.net.

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