Pro Bono Attorney FAQs
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about becoming an Unchained Pro Bono Attorney.
Q. How many hours must I devote to a pro bono assignment?
A. Unchained’s clients’ cases vary widely; some last a few weeks, while others last more than a year. During that time, expect to spend an average of one or two hours per week on the matter. If you accept an Unchained client’s case, you must be committed to representing her until her legal matter is resolved.
Q. If I take Unchained’s CLE course, when will I receive my pro bono assignment?
A. Unchained will match you with a client within two years after you take the CLE course. If Unchained does not assign you a matter during those two years, you are not obligated to perform any pro bono services for Unchained or its clients.
Q. Can I limit my acceptance of assignments to a geographic region?
A. Yes, when you apply to become an Unchained pro bono attorney, you can submit a list of counties where you are willing to accept pro bono assignments.
Q. Who will pay for filing fees, mailing costs and other expenses? Who will pay for expert witness fees, transcript fees, etc., if those become necessary?
A. Unchained will reimburse you for all reasonable filing, mailing and similar expenses that the court does not waive or order the adversary to pay. If possible (budget permitting), Unchained also will help pay for expert witness fees, transcript fees and other similar costs — provided that you try check with Unchained before incurring any such expenses.
Q. Do I need to track the time I spend on pro bono assignments?
A. Yes, Unchained asks that you submit each month an accounting of the hours you have spent on Unchained pro bono assignments. Remember: If you donate 25 hours or more to an Unchained client in New Jersey, including by mentoring another pro bono attorney, you should be exempt from mandatory pro bono assignments in New Jersey.
Q. Do I need my own malpractice insurance? Will I be covered under Unchained’s policy?
A. Unchained prefers that you carry your own malpractice insurance, in which case you will be protected by Unchained’s malpractice insurance as a secondary policy. If you do not carry your own insurance, you will be covered by Unchained’s malpractice insurance as a primary policy.