A pro bono attorney is one who represents a client free of charge. Writing an effective letter requesting the services of a pro bono lawyer requires passion, focus and a compelling explanation of why you are not able to pay. Your letter, whether on behalf of an individual or an organization, needs to include background information, the type of legal assistance needed, the reason for seeking pro bono help, the time sensitivity of your case and budget information to justify the free service. Most letters requesting pro bono legal assistance are filtered through state-sponsored legal aid societies that assign cases to the appropriate attorneys.
Select an attorney or consult with a state-sponsored legal aid society. You may be required to fill out a questionnaire prior to writing your official request letter.
Compose your letter requesting pro bono legal services. If possible, address the attorney by name. Otherwise, address your letter to the appropriate person at the legal aid society.
Include all pertinent information, such as the legal nature of your case, the key facts, the financial need and how pro bono legal assistance will benefit your case. However, try to keep the letter short and use as few words as possible.
Proofread your letter carefully.
Gather any necessary documentation that you will want to include with your letter to support your case.
Submit your letter online or by mail, depending on which method is preferred by the legal firm or legal aid society. If an attorney accepts your case, he or she will provide you with an official letter of retainer or engagement, which will cover all the details of your attorney-client relationship.