CBA Record October 2017


John Levin’s Ethics columns, which are published in each CBA Record, are now in-

dexed and available online. For more, go to legalethics/.

BY JOHN LEVIN The Retired Lawyer as a Pro Bono Volunteer

I retired from full-time work a number of years ago, and I know a number of lawyers who have either retired or are contemplating retirement. One of the major concerns of retired lawyers is “what am I going to do with my newly found spare time to keep active and possibly make use of my legal training?” One option is to engage in pro bono work–either individu- ally or as volunteer in one of the many pro- grams providing legal services to the public. However, even a volunteer needs some sort of authority from the state to prac- tice law. The simplest method is to keep your license active by paying the annual registration fee and keeping up on your MCLE requirements. Also, if you are pro- viding services as an individual, you are best advised to maintain your malpractice insurance. However, sooner or later many retirees tire of the time and effort needed to keep their license active and elect either to go inactive or retire altogether. But this does not necessarily eliminate the opportunity to continue pro bono activity. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 756(j), entitled “Pro Bono Authorization for Inactive and Retired Status Attorneys and House Counsel,” authorizes such attorneys to provide pro bono legal services under the

following circumstances: “(a) without charge or an expectation of a fee by the attorney; (b) to persons of limited means or to orga- nizations, as defined in [this rule]; and (c) under the auspices of a sponsoring entity, which must be a not-for-profit legal services organization, governmen- tal entity, law school clinical program, or bar association providing pro bono legal services as defined in [this rule].” The Rule sets out the duties of a spon- soring entity, which include training and providing malpractice insurance for the volunteers. The prospective volunteer and the sponsoring entity must submit an annual statement to the Administrator requesting authorization for the volunteer to provide pro bono services. The attorney requesting authorization must register with the ARDC, but the registration fee is waived. The MCLE requirements are also waived, provided the attorney “shall par- ticipate in training to the extent required by the sponsoring entity.” Although the Rule creates the need for some additional paperwork, it eliminates the requirement of MCLE not related to the work of the sponsoring organization. It also eliminates the expense of keeping an active license and malpractice insurance (which must be provided by the sponsoring organization). Opportunities for pro bono work can be found on the CBA’s website. The websites of other bar associations or a simple inter- net search will generate other opportunities as well. Once you find some interesting organizations, you can contact them to see

ETHICS QUESTIONS? The CBA’s Professional Responsibility Commit- tee can help. Submit hypothetical questions to Loretta Wells, CBA Government Affairs Direc- tor, by fax 312/554-2054 or e-mail lwells@ Hands-On Training: Easy Excel for Lawyers November 29, 2017, 2:30-3:30 PM CBA Headquarters, 321 South Plymouth Court, Chicago, IL 60604 Presented by the CBA LawPracticeManagement & Technology Division IL PR-MCLE Credit (subject to approval) Has it been a while since you’ve opened Excel? Do you receive spreadsheets but are at a loss on how tomake sense of them? Wewill be starting right at square one and taking plenty of time to understand the basics. In this session we will cover: •The very basics of tables to analyze data in Excel •When Excel can be useful in a law firm •Getting around common Excel headaches law firms encounter Speaker: Anne Haag,Trainer & Coordinator, Law Practice Management & Technology if they meet the requirements of Rule 756. In sum: Retirement is not a reason to abstain from pro bono volunteer work.

John Levin is the retired Assis- tant General Counsel of GATX Corporation and a member of the CBARecord Editorial Board.

54 OCTOBER 2017

Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker