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Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: April 2024

What issues and types of legal requests does Green Pro Bono handle?
Green Pro Bono provides access to legal representation for transactional requests. This includes: 

  • General Corporate and Nonprofit Advice

    • Creating a tax-exempt or for-profit entity
    • ​​Forming a hybrid corporation
    • Drafting or revising bylaws and other corporate documents
    • Drafting and reviewing corporate policies
    • Drafting and reviewing a variety of contracts, including partnership agreements, founders' agreements, customer contracts, MOUs and SAFE agreements
    • Providing fundraising advice for tax-exempt entities 
  • Intellectual Property

    • Drafting and advising on patent applications​

    • Advising on what requires protection

    • Forming Copyrights and Trademarks

    • Drafting and reviewing NDAs

    • Drafting and Reviewing Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policies

  • Employment

    • Drafting and reviewing employment contracts​

    • Drafting and reviewing employee manuals 

  • Real Estate

    • Drafting and reviewing leases​

    • Drafting and reviewing documents related to land donations and other transfers of land

  • Energy & Environmental 

    • Negotiating Solar Lease Arrangements

    • Conducting regulatory research related to an organization's environmental activities​

Green Pro Bono works with each client to identify their unique legal needs. We are committed to distributing novel requests, and the above list is non-exhaustive.

What issues and types of legal requests does Green Pro Bono not  handle?

While Green Pro Bono is always open to taking on volunteers with different areas of expertise, we do not typically provide litigation support or dispute resolution for our clients. We can often provide referrals to other litigation-focused organizations if we receive an application or request that is outside the scope of our network's expertise. In some rare cases, through our connections with major law firms, we are able to match discrete litigation opportunities with pro bono assistance, but this is not the main focus of our work. 

How do I qualify for free legal expertise from Green Pro Bono?

Green Pro Bono matches social enterprises and organizations that focus on solutions to climate change with attorneys who are willing to provide services without charge. The following types of organizations may qualify:

  • an un-incorporated and voluntary association;

  • a trust, charity or foundation;

  • a climate-focused startup or "company not just for profit" such as a social enterprise;

  • and an entity formed or registered under special NGO or non-profit laws, such as a 501(c)(3).


The Green Pro Bono team will evaluate your organization based on the following criteria:

  • Mission and size;

  • Projected timetable;

  • Feasibility of mission;

  • Status of its financing;

  • Past awards or fellowships;

  • Anticipated impact on a key problem related to climate change;

  • Potential to help underprivileged communities; and

  • Potential to help the developing world address or deal with climate change.

What counts as "green" or "environmental"?

Green Pro Bono uses a broad definition of “environmental” and “green” in our determination of an organization’s eligibility. We welcome any organization that works towards addressing climate change or an environmental issue. For example, we have supported organizations that work to reduce ocean plastics, startups creating low-impact medical products, companies that are redesigning food distribution systems, and projects that are developing software to support others who aim to address climate change. If you have a question about whether your mission meets our criteria, please reach out!


Where do GPB's cases originate from?

Green Pro Bono has longstanding relationships with incubator programs, accelerator programs, university entrepreneurship offices, non-profit consortiums, and other non-profit supporting organizations. Many of our cases are referred to us through these channels, however, anyone is welcome to submit our form to request services. We will reach out to discuss your request and determine if your organization meets our criteria.


How do I obtain free legal help from Green Pro Bono?

To apply for free legal help, you must fill out our Request for Services form. A member of our team will reach out for a screening call. Once approved, Green Pro Bono will endeavor to find the appropriate law firm or attorney who has the required expertise.

Who supports requests for services?

Green Pro Bono is supported by a network of dedicated, thoughtful, and environmentally-minded legal professionals who have volunteered their time to provide pro bono legal services. We work with individual lawyers, law firms, in-house counsel, and pro bono coordinators.


How can I help ensure that my request will be fulfilled?

It is most important that you fill out our Request for Services form with accurate information, and as much information as possible. Please err on the side of including too much information. Details are often useful for us in understanding your legal needs and finding an appropriate attorney to work with you. If any information you submitted changes, please let us know as soon as possible.


What is the typical timeline for obtaining legal services?

A member of the Green Pro Bono team will reach out promptly, usually within one week, after we receive a new submission on our Request for Services form. Following the screening call, and subject to our approval of your request, the matching process will begin. Because there are pro bono services, we do not have a standard time in which a request is matched. The matching process can take days, weeks or months depending on the legal complexity involved and the availability of the appropriate attorney. Please feel free to contact Green Pro Bono to inquire about your application at any time.


What happens when you locate the attorney to take my case?

When we find the suitable attorney to represent you, we will contact you to set up an introductory meeting. At the introductory meeting, you and the attorney team will have a chance to meet and ask each other questions to see if the match is a good fit. If all parties agree, Green Pro Bono exits the relationship and an engagement letter is signed between you and the pro bono attorneys.


At some point in the matching process, the firm may perform a "conflict check" to determine whether they can ethically represent you (e.g. they do not represent a client who may be a competitor or involved in litigation with your organization). The attorney might need additional information from you to do this conflict check. If this happens prior to the match meeting, Green Pro Bono will facilitate the process. If it happens afterwards, and the attorney tells you that there is a conflict and that they cannot represent you, please contact Green Pro Bono so we may find another attorney for you.


Are there any costs involved?

While the attorney will donate his or her time, you will likely have to pay costs incurred by the firm such as corporate filing fees, court costs, expert fees and other expenses outside of attorney fees. You should discuss this with your attorney at your initial meeting.

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