1-Hour Program

See Credit Details Below


Who Should Participate: 

This version of the program has been modified for law school students and does NOT offer CLE credit

Attorneys looking for CLE credit should click here: Communicating with Pro Bono Clients for the CLE-approved version. 

  Full scholarships and discounts to attend PLI programs are widely available to attorneys working in nonprofit/legal services organizations, pro bono attorneys, government attorneys, judges and judicial law clerks, law professors and law students, senior attorneys (age 65 and over), law librarians and paralegals who work for nonprofit/legal services organizations, unemployed attorneys; and others with financial hardships. We encourage all eligible attendees to complete and submit a PLI Scholarship Application.

Scholarships available

Why you should participate

As states enact new pro bono requirements and ease some restrictions on pro bono representation, it is becoming more important than ever for lawyers to understand the best ways to communicate with and effectively represent legal services and pro bono clients. This massive open online course (MOOC) is for anyone who wants to learn more about how to work with clients and gain skills to become a culturally competent advocate. This course will teach new attorneys and seasoned professionals how to work effectively and cooperatively with their pro bono and legal services clients.

What you will learn

You will learn proper techniques for getting to know your client including:
• How to identify common problems that clients living in poverty have with access to resources (e.g., transportation, child care, Internet access).
• How to create an environment where clients feel safe to communicate fully and honestly.

You will learn how to communicate effectively with your client by:
• Implementing strategies for establishing a trusting and productive relationship.
• Recognizing literacy issues, especially reading comprehension, and making necessary accommodations.
• Establishing effective lines of communication with clients whose native language is not English.

You will learn how to educate your client about the legal process by:
• Preparing clients for meetings and courtroom appearances.
• Setting expectations for client behavior in court.
• Preparing clients for how judges and other court personnel may speak to and treat them.

You will learn how to help your client make informed choices by:
• Explaining legal options, the negotiation process, and court proceedings in an understandable manner.
• Developing and documenting authority to ensure that decisions to make, accept, or reject offers are the client’s and are not the result of attorney influence or misunderstanding by the client.

Who should participate

All attorneys assisting pro bono and legal services clients through representation or in clinical settings, firm pro bono coordinators and partners, corporate law department pro bono managers, law clinic students and faculty, and public interest and non-profit organization attorneys and staff would benefit from attending this program.


Credit Details