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Rule 6.1. Voluntary Pro Bono Legal Service.

Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legalservices to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least 50hours of pro bono publico legal services per year,except that a licensed paralegal practitioner should aspire to render 30 hoursof pro bono publico services per year. In fulfillingthis responsibility, the lawyer should:

(a) provide a substantial majority of the 30 or 50 hours of legalservices without fee or expectation of fee to:

(1) persons of limitedmeans or

(2) charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental andeducational organizations in matters that are designed primarily to address theneeds of persons of limited means; and

(b) provide any additional services through:

(1) delivery of legal services at no fee or substantially reducedfee to individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civilrights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable, religious, civic,community, governmental and educational organizations in matters in furtheranceof their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal feeswould significantly deplete the organization?seconomic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate;

(2) delivery of legal services at a substantially reduced fee topersons of limited means; or

(3) participation in activities forimproving the law, the legal system or the legal profession.

(c) A lawyer may also discharge the responsibility to provide probono publico legal services by making an annualcontribution of at least $10 per hour or $5 per hour for licensed paralegalpractitioners for each hour not provided under paragraph (a) or (b) above to anagency that provides direct services as defined in paragraph (a) above.

(d) Each lawyer is urged to report annually to the Utah State Barwhether the lawyer has satisfied the lawyer?s professional responsibility toprovide pro bono legal services. Each lawyer may report this informationthrough a simplified reporting form that is made a part of the Bar?s annualdues statement.

(e) In addition to providing pro bono legal services, a lawyer should voluntarily contribute financial support toorganizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means.


[1] Every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence orprofessional work load, has a responsibility to provide legal services to thoseunable to pay. Personal involvement in the problems of the disadvantaged can beone of the most rewarding experiences in the life of a lawyer. All lawyers areurged to provide a minimum of 50 hours of pro bono services annually, exceptthat licensed paralegal practitioners are urged to provide a minimum of 30hours of pro bono services annually. It is recognized that in some years alawyer may render greater or fewer hours than the annual standard specified,but during the course of the lawyer?s legal career, each lawyer should renderon average per year, the number of hours set forth in this Rule. Services canbe performed in civil, criminal or quasi-criminal matters forwhich there is no government obligation to provide funds for legalrepresentation, such as post-conviction death penalty appeal cases.

[2] Paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) recognize the critical need forlegal services that exists among persons of limited means by providing that asubstantial majority of the legal services rendered annually to thedisadvantaged be furnished without fee or expectation of fee. Legal services underthese paragraphs consist of a full range of activities, including individualand class representation, the provision of legal advice, legislative lobbying,administrative rule making and the provision of free training or mentoring tothose who represent persons of limited means. The variety of these activitiesshould facilitate participation by government lawyers, corporate counsel andothers, even when restrictions exist on their engaging in the outside practiceof law.

[3] Persons eligible for legal services under paragraphs (a)(1)and (a)(2) are those who qualify for participation in programs funded by theLegal Services Corporation and those whose incomes and financial resources areslightly above the guidelines utilized by such programs but nevertheless cannotafford counsel. Legal services can be rendered to individuals or toorganizations such as homeless shelters, battered women's centers and foodpantries that serve those of limited means. The term "governmentalorganizations" includes, but is not limited to, public protection programsand sections of governmental or public sector agencies.

[4] Because service must be provided without fee or expectation offee, the intent of the lawyer to render free legal services is essential forthe work performed to fall within the meaning of paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2).Accordingly, services rendered cannot be considered pro bono if an anticipatedfee is uncollected, but the award of statutory attorneys? fees in a caseoriginally accepted as pro bono would not disqualify such services frominclusion under this section. Lawyers who do receive fees in such cases areencouraged to contribute an appropriate portion of such fees to organizationsor projects that benefit persons of limited means.

[5] While it is possible for a lawyer to fulfill the annualresponsibility to perform pro bono services exclusively through activitiesdescribed in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2), to the extent that any hours ofservice remain unfulfilled, the remaining commitment can be met in a variety ofways as set forth in paragraph (b). Constitutional, statutory or regulatoryrestrictions may prohibit or impede government and public sector lawyers andjudges from performing the pro bono services outlined in paragraphs (a)(1) and(a)(2). Accordingly, where those restrictions apply, government and publicsector lawyers and judges may fulfill their pro bono responsibility byperforming services outlined in paragraph (b).

[6] Paragraph (b)(1) includes the provision of certain types oflegal services to those whose incomes and financial resources place them abovelimited means. It also permits the pro bono lawyer to accept a substantiallyreduced fee for services. Examples of the types of issues that may be addressedunder this paragraph include First Amendment claims, Title VII claims andenvironmental protection claims. Additionally, a wide range of organizationsmay be represented, including social service, medical research, cultural andreligious groups.

[7] Paragraph (b)(2) covers instances in which lawyers agree toand receive a modest fee for furnishing pro bono legal services to persons oflimited means. Participation in judicare programs and acceptance of courtappointments in which the fee is substantially below a lawyer's usual rate areencouraged under this section.

[8] Paragraph (b)(3) recognizes the valueof lawyers engaging in activities that improve the law, the legal system or thelegal profession. Serving on bar association committees, serving on boards ofpro bono or legal services programs, taking part in Law Day and other lawrelated education activities, acting as a continuing legal educationinstructor, a mediator or an arbitrator and engaging in legislative lobbying toimprove the law, the legal system or the profession are a few examples of themany activities that fall within this paragraph.

[9] Because the provision of pro bono services is a professionalresponsibility, it is the individual ethical commitment of each lawyer.Nevertheless, there may be times when it is not feasible for a lawyer to engagein pro bono services. At such times a lawyer may discharge the pro bonoresponsibility by providing financial support to organizations providing freelegal services to persons of limited means. In addition, at times it may bemore feasible to satisfy the pro bono responsibility collectively, as by afirm's aggregate pro bono activities.

[9a] The Utah Rule, unlike the Model ABA Rule, contains paragraph(c), which explicitly allows lawyers to discharge their pro bono services responsibilityby annually contributing at least $10 per hour for each hour not provided underparagraphs (a) and (b). The amount is $5 per hour for licensed paralegalpractitioners. While the personal involvement of each lawyer in the provisionof pro bono legal services is generally preferable, such personal involvementmay not always be possible. The annual contribution alternative allows a lawyerto provide financial assistance to increase and improve the delivery of probono legal services when a lawyer cannot or decides not to provide pro bonolegal services through the contribution of time. Also, there is no prohibitionagainst a lawyer?s contributing a combination of hours and financial support.

[10] Because the efforts of individual lawyers are not enough tomeet the need for free legal services that exists among persons of limitedmeans, the government and the profession have instituted additional programs toprovide those services. Every lawyer should financially support such programs,in addition to either providing direct pro bono services or making financialcontributions when pro bono service is not feasible.

[11] Law firms should act reasonably to enable and encourage alllawyers in the firm to provide the pro bono legal services called for in thisRule.

[11a] The Utah Rule, unlike the Model ABA Rule, contains paragraph(d) concerning voluntary reporting to the Utah State Bar. Voluntary reportingis designed to provide a basis for reminding lawyers of their professionalresponsibility under this Rule and to provide useful statistical information.The intent of this Rule is to direct resources towards providing representationfor persons of limited means. Therefore, only contributions made toorganizations described in subsection (a) should be reported. Reporting recordsfor individual attorneys will not be kept or released by the Utah State Bar.The Utah State Bar will gather useful statistical information at the close ofeach reporting cycle and then purge individual reporting statistics from itsdatabase. The general statistical information will be maintained by the Bar foryear-to-year comparisons and may be released, at the Bar's discretion, toappropriate organizations and individuals for furthering access to justice inUtah. This rule distinguishes between the recommended pro bono publico service hours for licensed paralegal practitionersand for other lawyers.

[12] The responsibility set forth in this Rule is not intended tobe enforced through disciplinary process.

Effective May 1, 2021