Massachusetts Joins the Club!
As reported in the November edition of The Pro Bono Wire, a few months ago the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services proposed an amendment to S.J.C. Rule 4:02 to allow authorized in-house counsel to provide pro bono legal services in certain circumstances. The PBEye is pleased to report that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has just issued an order adopting the proposed amendment, effective March 1, 2013. Now, Massachusetts authorized in-house counsel may provide pro bono under the auspices of either (1) an approved legal services organization or (2) a lawyer admitted to practice and in good standing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts joins jurisdictions Minnesota, Iowa, and Connecticut, which have all amended their practice rules in the past year to allow authorized in-house counsel (those attorneys permitted to work for their local employers although licensed only in other jurisdictions) to also provide pro bono legal services. We certainly hope this trend continues in 2013!
For more information about this issue, see Multi-Jurisdictional In-House Pro Bono Practice Update. In addition, we hope you will attend the session “Ethics: Right to Practice Pro Bono” at the 2013 PBI Annual Conference on March 15 in Washington, D.C. To join the effort to change the rules in other jurisdictions contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.