Frequently Asked Questions
Updated: Sep 1
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 uninincorporated and voluntary association;
a trust, charity or foundation;
a "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;
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, 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 many of GPB's cases originate?
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 phone 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 within a week of your submission of our Request for Services form. Following the screening call, and subject to our approval of your request, the matching process will begin. The matching process can take days or might take much longer 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, he or she will contact you. We will also give you the contact information so you can call or email the attorney directly. 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 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.