The Federal Pro Bono Program

The Federal Pro Bono Program is a program in the District of Nevada which allows the court to appoint pro bono (unpaid) counsel for unrepresented, income-eligible litigants in certain civil cases.  At any time during the course of a case, an assigned judge may refer the case to the program for appointment of a pro bono attorney.  The judges look at a variety of factors before selecting the cases to be considered for pro bono counsel, including the pro se (unrepresented) litigant’s ability to obtain counsel, the merits of the case, and the type of complexity of the case.  The referrals are then sent to either Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada (for cases in Clark County or Southern Nevada) or Washoe Legal Services (for cases in Washoe Country or Northern Nevada), which then screen the litigant for financial eligibility.  If the litigant qualifies, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada or Washoe Legal Services will attempt to find a pro bono lawyer to participate in the case.  If the litigant agrees to be represented by the lawyer, the judge will order the appointment.  The District of Nevada’s General Order 2019-07 has more information on the program and the process.

For Lawyers Interested in Volunteering

The Federal Pro Bono Program is an incredible opportunity to fulfill your pro bono requirements while gaining federal civil litigation experience.  Depending on the case, you might have the opportunity to represent your client during a jury trial in federal court.  Cases in the past have included issues arising under Section 1983, Title VII, Hague Convention, and the Social Security Act, as well as cases presenting constitutional issues.  This is a wonderful chance to expand your area of practice, get experience in the federal system, fulfill your ethical obligation to do pro bono work, and most importantly, have a profound impact on the life of a person in need.

If you are unfamiliar with the area of law, an experienced attorney mentor can be made available for guidance throughout the representation.  In addition, the program allows for the reimbursement of certain expenses and also offers free attorney malpractice coverage.  Lastly, if available under the law, you may be eligible for attorney fees.

The federal judges presiding in the District of Nevada recognize that appointing  counsel to represent indigent civil litigants in appropriate cases will enhance our legal system by improving access to justice while increasing court efficiency.  To get more information, visit Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada’s Federal Pro Bono page.

Recognizing Pro Bono Commitments

The Court extends its gratitude to the following firms for their commitment to take pro bono cases on a regular basis:
Armstrong Teasdale
Backus Burden
Bailey Kennedy
Ballard Spahr
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Campbell & Williams
Claggett & Sykes
Clark Hill
Dickinson Wright
Fox Rothschild
Garman Turner Gordon
Greenberg Traurig
Holland & Hart
Holley Driggs
Hutchison & Steffen
Jackson Lewis P.C.
Kaempfer Crowell
Kamer Zucker Abbott
Kathleen Bliss Law
Kemp Jones, LLP
Lagomarsino Law
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith
Lewis Roca
Littler Mendelson P.C.
Maier Gutierrez & Associates
Marquis Aurbach Chtd.
McDonald Carano
McLetchie Law
Ogletree Deakins
Paul Padda Law
Pyatt Silvestri
Pisanelli Bice PLLC
Reid Rubinstein & Bogatz
Richard Harris Law Firm
Snell & Wilmer
Vieira Law
Wilson Elser

In addition, the court would like to recognize the following individuals for their unyielding and ongoing commitments to the program:
Justin V. Alper
Paola M. Armeni
Elizabeth E. Aronson
Travis N. Barrick
Luke A. Busby
Thomas F. Christensen
Max D. Couvillier, III
Margaret G. Foley
Charles R. Goodwin
Adam D. Hosmer-Henner
Terri H. Keyser-Cooper
Andre Lagomarsino
Matthew J. McKissick
Margaret A. McLetchie
Patrick J. Reilly
Andrea L. Vieira
Lisa Rasmussen
Yjun “Alex” He
Larry Semenza
Alina Shell