Pro Bono News

Kansas Rule Change Removes Barrier to Lawyers Drawn to Charitable Work (KS)

Friday, September 07, 2018

Kansas Rule Change Removes Barrier to Lawyers Drawn to Charitable Work

"Large companies in Kansas with a stable of in-house attorneys cheered Friday a decision by the Kansas Supreme Court to revise rules to permit more people to perform unpaid legal work for clients in the state.

The Supreme Court amended Rule 712 so attorneys working in Kansas for a single employer under a restricted license could offer pro bono services through court-approved organizations. A contingent of in-house lawyers had urged the high court to embrace the reform.

“With this change, in-house lawyers will be able to participate in programs serving those who lack the resources necessary to navigate our complicated legal system,” said Jennifer Adams, chief counsel for litigation at Koch Industries. “We look forward to working with other lawyers in our state to represent underserved segments of our population as they strive for equal justice.”

In March, attorneys with Cargill and Koch asked for the rule overhaul during a meeting of the Kansas Board of Law Examiners, which makes recommendations to the Supreme Court.

Marilyn Harp, executive director of Kansas Legal Services, said influx of about 200 in-house counsel in Kansas could benefit low-income people with landlord-tenant or child-welfare issues.

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss said the Supreme Court gave consideration to public comment about adjusting the rule on professional services by attorneys..."

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