“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” – Frederick Douglass (April 1886)


Frequently Asked Questions about Pro Bono Work


1. Do you take pro bono cases?
2. How much pro bono work do you do?
3. What sort of pro bono work do you do?
4. What if I need help right away?
5. Can you point me to additional resources?
6. How do I find out about upcoming Name and Gender Marker Change Clinics?
7. Do you ever work on adult guardianships pro bono?
8. Ok, I've read all of this, and I still need to talk to you about pro bono service. How should I do that?




1. Do you take pro bono cases?
Yes, but our pro bono caseload is completely full and the individual pro bono clients we currently have will keep us busy for quite a while.

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2. How much pro bono work do you do?
In 2016 we exceeded the goals set forth in both the Virginia State Bar's Rules of Professional Conduct and by the American Bar Association in its model rules, and we did it solely in the month of January.

We kept that on pace throughout 2016 and are on pace through 2017 as well.

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3. What sort of pro bono work do you do?
Primarily individual pro bono cases arising from the name and gender marker change clinics. In addition to work with individual clients, we spend a substantial amount of time organizing, sponsoring, and volunteering at these clinics throughout the Commonwealth. Keep an eye on our Blog for announcements about upcoming clinics. In addition, Bary has worked on a pro bono basis as a conservator, and of course is actively involved in the community.

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4. What if I need help right away?
Sorry, but please do not contact us with urgent requests for pro bono services or with the expectation that we can help everyone with a sad story, particularly on an urgent basis. It is unfortunate, but almost every request for pro bono service is a sad story; particularly in this line of work. However, there are resources that may be able to help (see next question).

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5. Can you point me to additional resources?
If you are facing a civil law issue (such as an unlawful eviction or other non-criminal law matter), you may qualify for assistance through Legal Aid.

If you need help with a disputed family law matter such as a divorce, custody, visitation, domestic violence, foster care, public benefits, or housing, reach out to the
Family Law Clinic at the University of Richmond School of Law intake line at 804-289-8921. Please note that because the clinic's caseload is driven by the academic year, the timing of your matter may determine whether the UR Family Law Clinic can help.

If you need basic information about name and gender changes (among other matters), you can visit
Whitman Walker Health's Legal Resources page

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6. How do I find out about upcoming Name and Gender Marker Change Clinics?
If you would like information about the next name and gender marker change clinical program BaryLaw will sponsor and you've already checked our blog and the VEBA website.

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7. Do you ever work on adult guardianships pro bono?
Sort of. We are able to offer fee waivers in limited circumstances. This means that we may be able to agree to waive the fee up front if there is a sufficient estate from which we can collect our fee later. We may still require you to advance costs.

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8. Ok, I've read all of this, and I still need to talk to you about pro bono service. How should I do that?
If you have already taken full advantage of these resources and you have a pro bono request that is both NOT time sensitive and you think is appropriate for consideration when our caseload frees up, please use the Contact Us form. Note we do not give free consultations except when we have determined that we wish to proceed on a pro bono basis. So to be considered for pro bono assistance, it is essential that you state in the initial communication to us that your need is for pro bono assistance or advice.
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