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Pro Bono

Performing Pro Bono Legal Work in the District of Columbia

Rule 49: Performing Pro Bono Legal Work in the District of Columbia

Rule 49 of the D.C. Court of Appeals rules discusses the unauthorized practice of law in D.C. courts. Rule 49(c)(9)(C) provides that federal government attorneys can handle matters in D.C. courts under certain circumstances. This provision was put into the rule with encouragement from the Department in 1996, and incorporated into a full-scale amendment to the rule in early 1998.

Where Do I Start

If you are interested in doing pro bono legal work and do not know where to start, perhaps the following information can help:

  • Know the Rules - Read DOT's pro bono policy.
  • Not licensed in Virginia, Maryland, or the District of Columbia?  Click here to find out why that is not a barrier to performing pro bono legal work in the District of Columbia.
  • Local Pro Bono Service Organizations

Pro Bono Opportunities

The Department's pro bono policy encourages employees to provide pro bono legal service within their communities.  To implement the Department's policy, General Counsel Kirk K. Van Tine established the Pro Bono Services Committee.  The Committee seeks to promote pro bono legal service, provide guidance on the ethical and legal considerations involved in performing such service, and present information regarding appropriate pro bono legal opportunities for DOT attorneys.