Pro Bono vs. Legal Aid Attorneys
Pro bono and legal aid attorneys both provide legal services to people who cannot afford to pay, but there are some key differences between the two.
Pro Bono Attorneys
Pro bono is a Latin phrase meaning "for the public good." Pro bono attorneys are lawyers who volunteer their time and expertise to provide free legal services to people in need. They may work for a law firm, a non-profit organization, or on their own. Pro bono attorneys typically handle a variety of cases, including family law, immigration, housing, and criminal defense.
Legal Aid Attorneys
Legal aid is a government-funded program that provides free or low-cost legal services to people who meet certain income and asset requirements. Legal aid lawyers are employed by law firms or non-profit organizations that are contracted by the government to provide legal assistance. Legal aid lawyers typically focus on specific areas of law, such as family law, employment law, and civil rights.
Here is a table summarizing the key differences between pro bono and legal aid attorneys:
|Paid by the government or non-profit organization
|Lawyers volunteer their time
|Funded by government grants or donations
|No income or asset requirements
|Must meet income and asset requirements
|Variety of areas of law
|Specific areas of law
How Pro Bono and Legal Aid Attorneys Can Help
Here are some examples of how pro bono and legal aid attorneys can help people:
Pro Bono Attorneys Can:* Represent people in court proceedings * Provide legal advice and counseling * Draft legal documents * Help people with their immigration status * Assist people with child custody or adoption proceedings
Legal Aid Attorneys Can:* Help people with domestic violence issues * Represent people in housing court * Assist people with employment discrimination claims * Provide legal advice and counseling on civil rights issues * Help people with bankruptcy proceedings
How to Get Help
If you are unable to afford a lawyer and need legal assistance, you may be eligible for pro bono or legal aid representation. You can find more information about pro bono and legal aid services in your area by contacting your local bar association or a legal aid organization.