Pro Bono Legal Clinic Seminar Promotes Methods for New and Existing Clinics

March 6, 2013

More than 50 lawyers, paralegals, judges, court clerks, and administrative staff of pro bono legal clinics gathered in Nashville recently to discuss strategies for pro bono legal clinics.

The Pro Bono Legal Clinic Seminar was sponsored by the Access to Justice Commission with the support of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The event was designed to address issues and questions from those interested in starting a pro bono clinic or those who already operate pro bono clinics.

The day-long event provided participants a chance to learn from each other about successful clinic operations and ways to expand or improve their clinic. Legal service providers were highlighted as a possible and viable partner for beginning a legal clinic.

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice M. Holder provided opening remarks and Justice Cornelia A. Clark wrapped up the day with closing remarks encouraging the work of those in attendance.

Participants had the opportunity to contribute in small group discussions about issues affecting pro bono clinics, such as whether the clinic will operate in a rural or urban community, how to incorporate technology into clinics to provide help to rural Tennesseans, and how to involve professions other than lawyers in legal clinics. The groups discussed recruiting attorney volunteers, publicizing a clinic, dealing with conflict checks, and malpractice insurance.