Campaign Tools

Ideas for No/Low Cost Pro Bono Outreach Events*

Many organizations around the country have sponsored creative and effective events at little or no cost. Check out these past successful events for ideas about how to promote and expand your pro bono program when funds are low.

Table tents: Alabama and Ohio have both publicized programs and the importance of pro bono by featuring table tents in the courthouse asking lawyers "Have you done your pro bono today?"

Thanks a latte: Several small programs around the country held open houses with coffee and donuts for volunteers one or more mornings. Volunteers simply were invited to drop by for conversation and gratitude at the Allegheny County Bar Association in Pittsburgh, PA, and at the Courthouse for Kitsap Legal Services in Port Orchard, WA.

Get on the program at bar admissions ceremonies: Ask to have pro bono featured at your local bar admission ceremony. Get a local bar leader or pro bono star to speak at the event.

Free CLE’s on any topic you like: Holding a CLE or training event costs only time. If refreshments are desired, a hosting law firm may be asked to provide them. Space, trainers, publicity, recruitment of volunteers, and electronic transmission and duplication of training materials can all be done with no cash outlay.

Raffle off a judge: See Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb’s creative contribution.

Attorneys on TV: Schedule the launch of any new endeavor and arrange for free TV coverage/publicity. Follow the example of the South Carolina Bar Association and the Louisville Pro Bono Consortium and plan a Call a Lawyer Night. Arrange to have it broadcast on a local station. If your area has a local law focused TV show, arrange for the appearance of a pro bono attorney.

*Courtesy of the American Bar Association.