Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 in Indiana
In February 1998, the Indiana Supreme Court adopted Rule 6.5 as part of the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct, which apply to Indiana attorneys. Rule 6.5, entitled Voluntary Attorney Pro Bono Plan, was established to promote equal access to justice for all Indiana residents, regardless of economic status, by creating and promoting opportunities for attorneys to provide pro bono civil legal services to persons of limited means, as determined by each district pro bono committee. A few of the voluntary pro bono attorney plan goals are:
- To enable Indiana attorneys to discharge their professional responsibilities to provide pro bono services;
- To improve the overall delivery of civil legal services to persons of limited means by facilitating the integration and coordination of services provided by pro bono organizations and other legal assistance organizations throughout the state of Indiana;
- To ensure statewide access to high quality and timely pro bono civil legal services for persons of limited means by: fostering the development of new pro bono programs where needed and supporting and improving the quality of existing pro bono programs;
- To foster the growth of public service culture within the Indiana Bar which values pro bono publico service;
- To promote the ongoing development of financial and other resources for pro bono organizations in Indiana.
Rule 6.1 Pro Bono Public Service
Rule 6.1 states: "A lawyer should render public interest legal service. A lawyer may discharge this responsibility by providing professional services at no fee or a reduced fee to persons of limited means or to public service or charitable groups or organizations, by service in activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession, and by financial support for organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means."
A key purpose for the law school's Pro Bono Program is to promote an understanding of Rules 6.1 and 6.5 to our student body. As you enter law practice, both of these Rules will be an important aspect of your professional responsibility. The law school's Pro Bono Program is an excellent way to “jump start” your obligation to public service. We encourage all law students to participate.
Copies of Rules 6.1 and 6.5 are available in the Pro Bono Office.