The first wave of 2022 lawyer registration notifications has gone out. Lawyers are now beginning to see the changes made last year to Uniform Pro Bono Reporting. Two questions ask about approximate hours spent during the prior calendar year on pro bono service and activities for improving the law, the legal system, or the legal profession. An additional question, with a checkbox response, asks whether you provided financial support during the prior calendar year to organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means. Your individual responses to these three new questions will not be made public, and government attorneys and judges are exempt from the requirement.

The MSBA has been working for over a year to gather resources for our members around this rule. If you have questions, you can visit our FAQ page at www.mnbar.org/pro-bono-reporting, check out the MSBA and Minnesota Judicial Branch informational video at bit.ly/3u5G96D, or watch a one-hour on-demand CLE on the topic co-hosted by the Minnesota State Law Library and the MSBA’s Access to Justice Committee at bit.ly/3wbZxBC. 

The MSBA advocated for this mandatory reporting rule to heighten the awareness of our profession’s ethical responsibility to provide pro bono services to low-income Minnesotans. It also serves to give the courts, bar associations, and the legal community clearer data to use in analyzing, promoting, and recognizing statewide pro bono service, as well as a tool to educate the public about the great work done by our profession.  These three simple questions will enable us to make progress toward providing access to justice for all.