Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC


  ( Heading of Division 3 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 30. )

CHAPTER 4. Attorneys [6000 - 6243]

  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 34. )

ARTICLE 4.8. Pro Bono Services [6073 - 6074]
  ( Article 4.8 added by Stats. 2007, Ch. 474, Sec. 3. )


It has been the tradition of those learned in the law and licensed to practice law in this state to provide voluntary pro bono legal services to those who cannot afford the help of a lawyer. Every lawyer authorized and privileged to practice law in California is expected to make a contribution. In some circumstances, it may not be feasible for a lawyer to directly provide pro bono services. In those circumstances, a lawyer may instead fulfill his or her individual pro bono ethical commitment, in part, by providing financial support to organizations providing free legal services to persons of limited means. In deciding to provide that financial support, the lawyer should, at minimum, approximate the value of the hours of pro bono legal service that he or she would otherwise have provided. In some circumstances, pro bono contributions may be measured collectively, as by a firm’s aggregate pro bono activities or financial contributions. Lawyers also make invaluable contributions through their other voluntary public service activities that increase access to justice or improve the law and the legal system. In view of their expertise in areas that critically affect the lives and well-being of members of the public, lawyers are uniquely situated to provide invaluable assistance in order to benefit those who might otherwise be unable to assert or protect their interests, and to support those legal organizations that advance these goals.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 179, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 2009.)


(a) The Legislature finds that securing civil legal assistance is difficult for veterans, service members, and their families who cannot afford legal services, for reasons unique to their military or veteran status. The Legislature further finds that the State Bar is uniquely suited to bring together organizations to help coordinate the delivery of civil legal services for veterans and service members and their families.

(b) The State Bar shall engage with local bar associations, legal aid organizations, veterans service providers, military service providers, and volunteer attorneys and encourage those groups to provide legal services to veterans and service members and their families who otherwise cannot afford legal services and collaborate, as appropriate, to improve access to and delivery of these services throughout the state.

(c)  The State Bar shall provide resources and educational materials to attorneys and the public in order to support the purposes of this section by, among other things, doing the following:

(1) Compiling a list of local bar associations, legal aid organizations, veterans service providers, military service providers, and volunteer attorneys willing to provide pro bono legal services to veterans and service members, organized by city and county, and posting the list on its internet website.

(2) Conducting a statewide survey of programs that provide civil legal assistance to veterans in order to identify whether and where there is a need for legal advice clinics, publishing a report and recommendations based upon its findings no later than December 31, 2018, and posting the report on its internet website.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 303, Sec. 1. (AB 558) Effective January 1, 2020.)

BPCBusiness and Professions Code - BPC4.8.