Joining and Approving Members

The platform has a membership component as well as password-protected content. Membership provides users with access to the password-protected content. This resource is chaptered into the following sections:

Joining a Practice Area or Website

Users can join your password protected practice area or website by clicking the Join link in the left navigation and completing the join form. When a user submits an application to join your site/practice area it triggers two things:

  1. Your site automatically generates and sends an email to them with thanks for applying, and telling them they'll be notified shortly about whether their application has been approved. (Edits to the text of this automatic join email may be requested by emailing us.)
  2. The person's join form gets sent to your Admin Inbox under the Awaiting Approval status.
  3. Fields entered into the form will be used going forward in reports.If a site has the Project or Cases tool enabled and a user subscribes to notifications that match their areas of interest noted in their profile, they will receive updates from the cases and projects tool about cases and projects that match their interests. If subscribed to receive mailings, fields from their profile will be pulled into the mailing tool for filtered mail campaign abilities. It will also give them access rights to certain pieces of site content.

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Reviewing a Join Form

1. Admin Settings

Admin Settings allow you to change the following:


Member Type
Applicants self-designate a member type when they join, and you accept or change it when you approve their application, based on their area of practice, their position, or their school.

  • NOTE: Before you change someone's Member Type, be sure to scroll down to the very end of the form to check if the applicant belongs to another practice area. If so, please DO NOT modify their member type without contacting because such modifications will impact the applicant's access to content on his/her original practice area(s).

Exclude from all mailings?
Check this box if the person has requested to be unsubscribed from monthly training calendar mailings (or any other mailings you send out regularly), OR if you need to blacklist the person from your mailings.

  • NOTE: This setting can be overridden ad hoc when you create a mailing. See the Mailings chapter for more information.
Select Approved, Awaiting Approval, Rejected, etc., to assign the person the status you wish. Except for Approved, these designations do not trigger automatic email by the system. When an applicant is marked Approved, they receive an email letting them know their membership has been approved and reminding them of their login and password information. (Edits to the text of this approval email may be requested by emailing

Notes in this box will only be viewable by admins, so use it to jot down anything pertinent about the person, whether it be the reason you're rejecting or deleting them, information you want them to provide, or any other note you wish to keep on file about them. This comments fields is shared with other sites, so be sure to mark your site with your comment (e.g. - Email member for more info 3/25/09.)

Email User

If you need to send an email to a user requesting more information to determine the appropriate membership status, you can use the "Send Email" button to open a form to compose and send an email to the user. Note that it will not save any changes you have made on the form until you click on "Submit" at the bottom of the form. 

2. Practice Area Permissions

Here you grant the applicant admin permissions regarding the Practice Area they're applying to. You can also assign them admin permissions for your Geo Area.


Grant this user all area administrative permissions
Checking this box allows the person to submit, approve, edit, and delete content to all tools within the practice area.

Granted Tool Admin Permissions
This confers full admin rights (add/approve/edit/delete) over all content in select tools (Calendar, News, Library, Roster, etc.). Hold down the CTRL key to choose multiple tools.

Granted Tool Contributor Permissions
This confers full admin rights (add/approve/edit/delete) over the person's own submitted content within an assigned tool(s). Hold down the CTRL key to select multiple tools.

  • TIP: You can use Tool Admin and Contributor permissions to share admin duties for your site among multiple people. For example, you can grant a staff member in charge of new member applications rights solely as a Roster admin, or give pro bono coordinators rights to use the Mailings tool for case placement without granting them full admin rights over the entire practice area.

3. Geo Area Permissions

Here you grant the applicant permissions regarding the Geo Area attached to the Practice Area being applied to.

  • Note: If your website is a practice area or self-branded website, you may not have a Geo area to administer. If you do not have a Geo area, the options will not appear in your member forms.

Grant this user all area geographic and practice area adminstration permissions.
Checking this box allows the roster member to submit, approve, and edit content to all tools in the Geo area as well as all practice areas assigned to the Geo area.

Granted Geo Tool Admin Permissions
This confers full admin rights (add/approve/edit/delete) over all content in any given Geo tool (Calendar, News, Library, etc.). Hold down the CTRL key to select multiple tools.

Granted Geo Tool Contributor Permissions
This confers full admin rights (add/approve/edit/delete) over the member's own content within an assigned tool(s). Hold down the CTRL key to select multiple tools.

  • TIP: You can use this feature to assign admin rights to regular trusted contributors, enabling them to manage only the content they submit-for example, just their Calendar events or Library resources.

Other Practice Areas
As noted above, the very end of the join form has a little section that presents information about when the person applied for membership in a site, when his or her profile was last modified and which practice areas the applicant belongs to.

  • NOTE: Please make sure you have not changed the applicant's member type if s/he belongs elsewhere, because such modifications will impact the applicant's access to content on his/her original practice area(s).

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How to Approve New Members

To approve a new member, select Awaiting Approval from the Admin Inbox filter, and click on the Members link to see a list of applicants awaiting review. Click on a name and the person's join form will open. You will need to review its entries and assign permissions before approving. Be sure especially to catch any blank fields. You may email or call them for this information if it's critical to your decision to approve or reject them.

How to Edit Member Profiles

You may modify or review member profiles by locating the profile in the alphabetized Roster and clicking the edit buttonEdit Buttonnext to their name. The member profile form looks identical to their join form.

Area Specific Questions

When a site is first created, admins work with Pro Bono Net to create this section to collect ancillary information about members. The checkbox and yes/no questions here also double as filters in the Mailings tool.

Admins may edit these questions by going "Manage Member Questions" in the Area Utilities section of the Admin Inbox. 

Admins can work with PBN to create custom checkbox and yes/no questions that are only viewable to admins, not by members. These Admin-only questions will also appear as filters in the Mailings Tool, along with Area Specific Questions. (Note: Text box questions cannot be used as filters.)

Email Alerts

This feature provides site members with the ability to receive content alert emails directly into their email inboxes. Members will receive the content alert email at the email address noted in the member’s profile, unless otherwise updated.  Content alert emails alerts members to new content on the site that is associated with topics related to the interests noted on their profile. To turn this feature on, please contact us.)

An email alert is a digest of new content that is added to the site. The email alert is sent every 24 hours, if new content is added. If new content is not added that is associated with topics linked to a member’s interests, then no email will be received.

Subscription Options
Users may subscribe to these alerts by clicking on the “My Profile” text on the left side bar and then selecting “Edit My Content Alerts” to subscribe or unsubscribe. Selecting the “Unsubscribe” button will unsubscribe users from the content email alert and selecting the “Subscribe” button will subscribe users to the content email alert. Users must hit the “Change” button for changes to take effect Changes will take effect in 24 hours.

If members wish to update the email address which receives their content alert, they may navigate to “My Profile,” select “Edit My Profile,” and update their email address in the appropriate field.

Users may also update their content alerts my changing their interests on their profile. This will affect which content is sent through the content alerts and will take effect in 24 hours.

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