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Florida Pro Bono Legal Information, Resources and Assistance

According to the Florida RULE 4-6.1 PRO BONO PUBLIC SERVICE, each member of the Florida Bar in good standing, as part of that member's professional responsibility, should render pro bono legal services to the poor and participate, to the extent possible, in other pro bono service activities that directly relate to the legal needs of the poor.

Florida Pro Bono Summary: Florida has a comprehensive and stable system of legal service programs in place. The Florida Bar Foundation funds 44 programs through IOTA revenues. Within these programs are 12 federally-funded programs, 12 bar sponsored programs, the statewide support center (Florida Legal Services), five law school clinics and 16 special focus, special needs programs. The 16 special programs serve special need groups, such as

  • the institutionalized elderly
  • immigrants
  • developmentally disabled
  • mentally ill
  • migrant farm workers
  • state prisoners
  • children.

Florida Legal Services, Inc. (FLS) formed by Florida bar and the governor’s office is a nonprofit organization founded in 1973 to provide civil legal assistance to indigent persons who would not otherwise have the means to obtain a lawyer. A statewide support center, dedicated to ensuring poor people have equal access to justice, FLS fulfills its mission primarily by working with local legal aid and legal service programs to improve their ability to provide legal assistance to those in need in their communities. Providing service delivery coordination, training, case consultation and technical assistance to all legal service providers in Florida, FLS also is the coordinating organization for the first in the nation comprehensive Florida Supreme Court Voluntary Pro Bono Attorney Plan.

Florida Pro Bono Contacts:

Terry Hill
Pro Bono Legal Services
The Florida Bar
651 E. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300
E mail

Florida Legal Services, Inc.
2425 Torreya Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32303
Phone: (850) 385-7900
Fax: (850) 385-9998

Pro Bono Awards:

Each year, the Florida Supreme Court and the Florida Bar give special recognition to lawyers, groups and a member of the judiciary who have freely given their time and expertise in making legal services available to the poor.

  1. The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award is given to an outstanding attorney in each of the state's 20 judicial circuits and in the "Out of State" circuit. One winner will be selected from each of the 21 circuits and these winners will be considered to receive The Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award, presented annually by the Chief Justice to the attorney who best exemplifies the highest ideals of the profession in assuring the availability of legal services to the poor.
  2. The Chief Justice’s Law Firm Commendation award recognizes a law firm which has demonstrated a significant contribution in the provision of pro bono legal services to individuals or groups that cannot otherwise afford the services. This award is not presented every year and recognizes extraordinary commitment on the part of a firm to provide access to the courts for all Floridians.
  3. The Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award presented by the Chief Justice, recognizes a voluntary bar association that has demonstrated a significant contribution in the delivery of legal services on a pro bono basis to individuals or groups that cannot otherwise afford the services. This award is presented only when an association demonstrates extraordinary commitment to provide access to the courts for all Floridians.
  4. The Florida Bar’s Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award is given to the Young Lawyers Division member who best exemplifies the highest ideals of public service.
  5. The Distinguished Judicial Service Award is presented by the Chief for outstanding and sustained service to the public, especially as it relates to support of pro bono legal services.

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