Emeritus Status for Pro Bono Lawyers

The Florida Supreme Court has amended two rules to encourage inactive and retired attorneys, among others, to provide pro bono service. The Bar rule amendment took effect in 2018 and has expanded the pool of individuals eligible to serve as pro bono emeritus lawyers for legal aid organizations.

The Bar rules encourage inactive and retired lawyers to provide pro bono service and specify that if lawyers have voluntarily chosen inactive status, they remain ‘members in good standing.’ The rule changes also provide that retired judges and current or former law professors, among others, may register as emeritus lawyers to provide pro bono services.

If you are not a Florida lawyer, you may be able to represent clients pro bono as an emeritus lawyer. Certain law professors, judges, in-house counsel and lawyers retired from Florida or other states may qualify.

If you are considering taking a pro bono case as an emeritus lawyer, contact your local legal aid program for assistance in determining your eligibility.

Read The Florida Bar’s emeritus rule change FAQs here. 

Read about 91-year-old lawyer Larry Moncrief’s experience as an emeritus pro bono lawyer.