Model Rule 6.1

Reporter's Explanation of Changes

TEXT:

The Commission has added a sentence at the beginning of the Rule to give greater prominence to the proposition that every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to persons unable to pay. The point is now made in current Comment [1].

COMMENT:

[11] This new Comment calls upon law firms to act reasonably to enable all lawyers in the firm to provide the pro bono legal services called for by the Rule.

Promoting the Provision of Pro Bono Legal Service

The Commission invited and considered extensive comment about the possibility of modifying Rule 6.1 to require all lawyers to provide pro bono legal services. As a result of its inquiry, the Commission remains committed to the proposition that providing pro bono legal service to persons of limited means is an important obligation of every lawyer. The Commission also believes that the current system for mobilizing lawyers to provide pro bono legal service is not adequate to the task at hand. After considerable reflection, however, the Commission has concluded that amending Rule 6.1 to require all lawyers to provide pro bono legal service is not an appropriate response to the problem. Rather, the Commission encourages the ABA to heighten its efforts to find more appropriate and effective means to increase the voluntary participation of lawyers in the provision of legal services to persons of limited means.

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