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Pro Bono Service Opportunities

Federal Pro Bono Counsel Training Seminar - Registration Open

The United States District Court and Federal Practice Committee of the Eastern District of Missouri are pleased to host the Federal Pro Bono Counsel Training Seminar on April 25, 2019.  This free event will take place at the Eagleton Courthouse  in St. Louis, Missouri, and is limited to 150 attendees. 

The seminar agenda and the Court's recent access to justice efforts and pro bono service opportunities can be found on this page. 

Attorneys can register at MOED_RSVP@moed.uscourts.gov.  Please provide name, firm, and email address.  We hope to see you on April 25th.

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The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri has several initiatives designed to provide better assistance and improved understanding of process to indigent and self-represented persons in civil cases.  These include better compensation and improved training to attorneys appointed to cases involving self-represented indigent persons with initial case review and filing processes.

The pro bono opportunities provide attorneys in the Eastern District of Missouri with a unique opportunity to fulfill their professional obligation to perform pro bono service to unrepresented civil litigants in the U.S. District Court on a volunteer basis.

While all members of the bar of the Eastern District of Missouri, as a condition for admission to practice, are obligated under Local Rule 12.01 (I) to represent clients in pending cases when appointed by the Court, our programs allow lawyers with a particular interest in pro bono service to serve in a number of different ways.

Law firms, as well as individual attorneys, are encouraged to participate in the Pro Bono roles available: Limited Scope, Intake; Limited Scope, Mediation; and General Civil Cases (see application below). To be approved, an attorney must be a member in good standing of the bar of the Eastern District of Missouri and must agree to serve without compensation from the client.  Limited compensation for attorney fees and reasonable expenses is available upon application, see https://www.moed.uscourts.gov/appointed-counsel-fees-and-expenses. Lawyers who join the general panel are encouraged to specify case types and areas of practice in which they have a particular interest to serve as appointed counsel. As civil cases involving an unrepresented party become available, panel members may be contacted by the Court for appointment. Lawyers who join as limited scope counsel for mediation may be assigned to represent a pro se or indigent party in a mediation setting in a particular case.

In addition, the Court has partnered with the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL) to assist self-represented litigants with completion of initial filings and case review.  Beginning in June of 2019, BAMSL will recruit and manage a group of volunteer attorneys to help lead this effort as limited scope counsel for intake purposes. For more information on the intake program see https://www.bamsl.org/probono.  Any attorney or law firm representative interested in providing services in this program should contact Gregory J. Linhares, Clerk of Court, at 314-244-7890 or greg_linhares@moed.uscourts.gov. The application is attached at the bottom of this page for prospective volunteers.  Please email completed Pro Bono Volunteer Applications to: betty_ann_skrien@moed.uscourts.gov.