About Us

We connect low-income individuals with free legal help. We also empower attorneys to make a difference, by providing them with the most convenient and efficient way to do pro bono work.

Clients

Find free legal help.

You need legal help, but can’t afford an attorney. Proboknow can help you by connecting you with a pro bono attorney – someone who is committed to helping low-income clients free-of-charge. Proboknow is free and easy to use – all you have to do is sign up and briefly describe your case.

Attorneys Seeking Practical Experience

Gain the experience you need.

You’re an attorney looking to gain practical experience – to either enhance your employability, start your own practice, transition into a new practice area, or just become a better lawyer. Proboknow will connect you with exactly the sorts of pro bono cases you’re interested in, along with a mentor, and a wealth of other resources to help you through the process. You get the experience you need through helping someone in need.

More Seasoned Attorneys

Make a difference.

You’re an experienced attorney interested in helping low-income clients. You can quickly and conveniently connect with low-income clients in your interest areas, and either assist them directly or make an even bigger difference by helping budding attorneys through their pro bono work as a mentor. Proboknow can connect you with exactly the sort of pro bono case you find compelling, as well as an attorney you’re interested in mentoring.

Recognition

How It Works

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You need a lawyer in Orange County, CA, but can't afford one.
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Verify your income to qualify for free legal help. If you don’t qualify for free legal help, no worries – you can find affordable legal help on Lowboknow.
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Briefly describe your legal claim, and it will be listed for the attorneys on Proboknow.
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If an attorney is interested in your case, that attorney will contact you for a free legal consultation to better understand your case.
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If the attorney agrees to represent you, he or she will handle your case free-of-charge.
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You’re an Orange County, CA attorney who is looking to gain more practical experience – to enhance your employability, gain the expertise needed to hang your own shingle, or transition practice areas.
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Quickly verify your location, California Bar number, and that you have no disciplinary issues with the Bar, and create a profile.
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Search for a case that fits your interests and experiential goals. Once you find one, contact the potential client for an initial interview.
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Once you have found a case you would like to take on, search for and contact an experienced attorney to serve as your mentor on the case.
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Once the case is resolved, Proboknow will collect testimonials from your client and mentor, so that your good work is duly recognized, and so that you can bolster your resume.
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You’re an experienced Orange County, CA attorney who is looking to help a low-income person in need of legal representation through pro bono work.
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You can either assist a low-income client directly, or you can double the impact of your pro bono time by mentoring an attorney in need of experience through his/her pro bono work. Mentoring allows you to not only ensure quality representation to the client but also invaluable training to an attorney who needs it.
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After signing up for Proboknow, you’ll be connected with pro bono cases and, if you choose, less experienced attorneys to mentor on these cases.
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Whether you decide to mentor, which attorneys you mentor, how you mentor, and on which cases you choose to mentor, are entirely up to you!
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Proboknow collects client testimonials, as well as testimonials from mentees (if you decide to mentor), so that your good work is duly recognized.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is Proboknow limited to serving Orange County, CA?
    In order to maximize the chances that cases are matched to attorneys, Proboknow is committed to focusing on growing its client and attorney users in one geographical area at a time. This means that Proboknow is limited to its first market, Orange County, at the time, but will be expanding in the near future. With that being said, if you are a client who lives outside of Orange County but who has a legal issue in Orange County, feel free to write to us, and we’ll help you sign up. Likewise, if you are an out-of-area attorney who either is interested in assisting with a legal issue in Orange County, or in mentoring another attorney in Orange County, then please write to us, and we’ll help you sign up.
  • Is Proboknow a law firm?
    No. Proboknow is not a law firm, and it does not provide representation. Proboknow is merely a platform that allows for low-income clients to find the free legal help they need with as little stress as possible, as well as for attorneys to connect with pro bono opportunities, mentors/mentees, and the other resources they need to make pro bono work as enjoyable, convenient, and efficient as possible.
  • What’s with the name - Why “Proboknow”?
    The platform is named “Proboknow” to reflect its commitment to facilitating access to pro bono legal representation for low-income people on the one hand, and attorneys’ knowledge of pro bono opportunities, on the other. The result – a combination of the terms “pro bono” and “know”.
  • What’s Lowboknow, and how does it differ from Proboknow?

    Lowboknow is a complement to Proboknow. It’s a marketplace for affordable legal help, where you can find attorneys who have committed to representing clients on a “low bono” basis. Low bono representation is not free; rather, it’s more affordable. A substantial portion of the American population makes too much money to qualify for pro bono (free) legal help, but still can’t afford standard legal fees; low bono representation is for them. It’s also for those who do qualify for pro bono help but either can’t find an attorney who is willing to help for free, or whose legal issue requires urgent representation and can afford to pay something for legal services. It’s completely free for you to list your case on Lowboknow.

    If you’re a client who’s discovered that you don’t qualify for free legal help on Proboknow, then you can trying searching for an affordable attorney on Lowboknow.

    Likewise, if you’re a client who has qualified for free legal help on Proboknow, but can’t afford to wait around for free legal help because your matter is urgent, then you should also check out Lowboknow. You might be able to find an attorney who is unable to represent you for free, but is willing to take on your case, or a part of it, for an affordable fee.

  • Is Proboknow open to criminal law cases or torts (e.g., personal injury cases)?

    No. Proboknow is open to all areas of law except criminal and torts.



    Why not criminal law?



    Criminal cases are extremely time-sensitive and carry very high stakes. Moreover, low-income clients typically have access to public defenders. If you, for some reason, have a criminal law issue and do not qualify for a public defender, you can find affordable criminal representation on Lowboknow.



    Why not torts?



    If you are searching for an attorney to help you as a plaintiff in a tort claim (meaning that you are looking to sue over personal injury, malpractice, etc.), you can typically find an attorney who will represent you on a contingency fee basis – meaning that the attorney won’t charge you unless he/she gets you a settlement fee or a judgment. And, if you do get a settlement or judgment, then the attorney will just take a percentage of whatever amount you receive. So, being low-income should not necessarily prevent you from finding an attorney who can help you as a plaintiff with a valid tort claim.



    As a defendant in a tort case, you will not be able to find a contingency fee attorney, but such tort defenses typically involve substantial financial costs and time commitments from attorneys, which make it difficult to find an attorney willing to take on such defenses.



    If you are searching for a tort attorney, you can find one on Lowboknow.

  • Is Proboknow free to use?
    Proboknow is free for both clients and attorneys.
  • Why do you require clients to provide information regarding their finances in order to qualify for free legal help?
    Free legal help is meant for those who cannot afford it. Attorneys commit an extraordinary amount of time and effort to provide legal representation; when they provide such representation on a pro bono basis (i.e., for free), they are doing so in order to help someone who cannot afford to pay. Furthermore, demand for free legal representation vastly outstrips the supply of free legal representation, so, it is crucial that those who receive it are the ones who need it most.
  • What if I don’t qualify for free legal help because I make too much money?
    The Proboknow platform offers an alternative for those who don’t qualify for free legal help – Lowboknow. Attorneys on the Lowboknow platform are committed to providing low bono services – that is, legal representation at an affordable rate. It’s completely free for you to list your case on Lowboknow.
  • How long will it take for an attorney to pick up my case?
    While Proboknow is constantly working hard to increase the number of attorneys on the platform, there is no guarantee that an attorney will represent you. Generally speaking, not everyone who seeks out representation has a valid legal claim. Moreover, there is a high demand for free legal representation, and while Proboknow is trying to increase the availability of pro bono representation, the supply of representation simply does not meet the demand. While you are waiting to connect with free legal help on Proboknow, you can simultaneously have your case listed for free on the Lowboknow affordable legal services platform, to increase your chances of matching with the legal help that you need more quickly.
  • Does Proboknow guarantee a successful case outcome?
    No. Proboknow makes no guarantees regarding case outcomes. Proboknow does not provide representation, and is in no position to make any assurances regarding representation. Proboknow is merely a platform for connecting clients and attorneys.
  • When providing a description of my case for the attorneys on Proboknow, what sort of information should I include?
    Your case description will be accessible by any attorney on the platform, and not just the attorney who ends up representing you (if an attorney does pick up your case, which is not guaranteed). Therefore, you should provide only a brief, general description of your case, and not include any information that is sensitive, confidential or potentially embarrassing. We’ll guide you through the process of describing your case. If an attorney is interested in learning more about your case and the possibility of representing you, he or she will contact you to learn more about your case.
  • Who should should sign up to gain experience through Proboknow?

    The short answer is – any attorney looking to gain experience through pro bono practice (i.e., new attorneys and attorneys who desire to transition into new practice areas) or any attorney looking to give back to society, regardless of their experience level. Proboknow would like to encourage each and every attorney to become engaged in pro bono work, and to sign up for the platform. However, experienced attorneys are particularly encouraged to sign up as mentors, so that they can guide attorneys who need guidance through their pro bono cases, rather than representing pro bono clients directly – thereby not only ensuring valuable representation for the client but also valuable training for the attorney.

    It’s also possible to mentor in some areas and be a mentee in others. For example, you might have a decade of experience in family law, and be willing to mentor others in family law, but at the same time be looking to transition to another area of law, in which you can be a mentee.

    In case you have any questions about whether Proboknow is for you, please reach out to us: info@proboknow.com

  • I understand the importance of pro bono work, but law is my career, not my hobby, and I need to get paid. How can Proboknow help me get paid as an attorney?

    The value of pro bono work is not just for the client. Through pro bono work, you can gain valuable experience and skills, which contribute to your worth as an attorney. You can also accumulate client and mentor testimonials, which might allow you to more easily attract work and clients in the future. You can likewise gain new referral sources by way of happy pro bono clients. In interviewing attorneys who have done pro bono in the past, we discovered that many of them received paying client referrals from former pro bono clients; after all, it’s hard to find a more grateful client than a pro bono client!

    If you are interested in representing paid clients at an affordable rate, Proboknow offers the attorneys on its platform the opportunity to participate in the Lowboknow marketplace. Lowboknow allows solo attorneys and small firms to tap into the huge untapped market of regular people, who can't afford market rate for an attorney but often can afford limited scope representation or discounted hourly work. Despite being discounted, this work can still be very valuable for your practice, especially if you are operating below your optimal capacity or are a newer attorney trying to build up your practice.

  • How do I connect with a mentor on Proboknow?
    You can search for experienced attorney mentors on Proboknow. You can learn more about the mentors by reading their profiles and contact those you think would be good mentors. You can either find an interesting case first and then search for a mentor to join you on that case, or you can find a mentor first and then search for a case that interests both of you. Whichever way you do it, before contacting a mentor you should have a good idea of the specific areas in which you need assistance so that you and the mentor can be on the same page from the start.
  • How do I find a pro bono case on Proboknow?
    Upon signing up for the platform, you will gain access to a database of clients’ cases, which is searchable according to area of law, as well as other filters to allow you to pinpoint exactly the sort of case in which you’re interested. We’ve already done a basic intake for you, so that you can quickly and efficiently browse through cases. If you are interested in a particular case, then you can bookmark the case and will be provided with the client’s contact information, so that you can learn more from the client.
  • Does signing up for Proboknow as a pro bono attorney obligate me to anything?
    No. Signing up for the platform is free of charge and does not entail any further commitment. By signing up for the platform, you will have access to pro bono cases, which you may or may not choose to take on; the choice is entirely yours.
  • After signing up for the platform, will my contact information be available to clients?
    Proboknow is configured so that attorneys search for cases, rather than clients searching for attorneys. So, your contact information will only become available to a client if and when you reach out to a client or take on a case. However, your contact information will be available to potential mentees and mentors on the platform (and vice versa - their contact information will be available to you), unless you express that you are not interested in finding mentees or mentors.
  • Can I take on a case without a mentor?
    Yes – the decision is up to you, though as always you have the ethical obligation to provide competent legal services.
  • Does Proboknow provide malpractice coverage?
    No. Proboknow is merely a platform for connecting attorneys with clients and with one another. It is not a firm and does not provide malpractice coverage. However, if you are interested in a pro bono case and need malpractice coverage, contact us, and we can reach out to partner legal services organizations for you to see if you can represent the client on their behalf; if you can, you would be covered by their umbrella malpractice policy.
  • What’s Lowboknow, and how do I sign up for it?

    Lowboknow is an online platform that connects clients with attorneys who are open to representing clients on a more affordable basis - either through a contingency fee, fixed fee, or discounted hourly fee arrangement, across a breadth of practice areas.

    As an attorney, Lowboknow allows you to quickly and easily find paying clients with zero time and money spent on marketing. We take care of finding the clients and doing an effective basic intake, so that you can just log in to the platform, search for interesting cases, and leave offers on those that look like a good fit for you. You can search for potential clients on your own time and your own terms, and customize new case alerts from the platform according to your practice area, geographical area, and alert frequency preferences.

    Signing up is quick and easy. You must be an active member of the California State Bar, with no disciplinary issues. At the moment, Lowboknow is open only to those attorneys who are handling legal matters in Orange County, California, but we will be expanding throughout California in the near future. You can sign up here for a free trial.

  • What’s limited scope or unbundled service, and does Proboknow allow for it?

    Attorneys on Proboknow are encouraged to consider limited scope representation (variously known as discrete task representation, a la carte services, or unbundled services, among other similarly confusing names). With limited scope, instead of handling all parts of a case, the attorney and client agree from the outset which parts of the case the attorney will do, and which the client will do. Simple as that.

    Of course, not every case works well with limited scope representation, and when it does work, the attorney and client need to be crystal clear on the scope of the agreement and the distribution of responsibilities. Where it’s difficult to break the work into discrete components, or where the attorney’s partial involvement would harm the client’s interests (e.g. complex tax issues), limited scope is not the right tool. But when it fits, consulting with the client, drafting a motion, performing legal research or even representation at a single hearing can greatly advance a client’s case while keeping the scope of work within the pro bono attorney’s available time. For a list of best practices when using limited scope, see this guide by the Alberta Limited Legal Services Project.

    If you’re new to limited scope, you may wish to check out PLI’s training on limited scope representation, along with their training on ethical issues in California pro bono representation. Both are free and both come with stellar materials that are well worth reading.

    Additionally, Sue Talia has put together excellent limited scope risk management materials at http://www.unbundledlaw.org, including sample fee agreements/retainers (which you should use regardless of whether the case is pro bono or not, because the fee agreement/retainer spells out the scope of the representation).

    Read more about limited scope and its utility for pro bono work here.

  • Why should more seasoned attorneys sign up for Proboknow?

    If you have enough experience to guide a newer attorney through a case, then you can make a difference for both a client in need of pro bono work and for an attorney looking to gain experience. If your experience is combined with a desire to either help indigent clients with their cases, or newer attorneys with their professional development, then you should sign up. If you are an experienced attorney who is already engaged in, or is entertaining the thought of directly helping pro bono clients, then you might consider becoming a mentor instead of, or in addition to your own pro bono work. The advantages of serving as a mentor on a case, as opposed to directly handling the case yourself, are significant. By mentoring a newer attorney on a case, not only can you ensure that the client receives quality legal help, but you can also help train a new attorney in need of guidance and practical experience. Furthermore, as you already know, there is quite a bit of grunt work involved in pro bono representation; for the newer attorney, this grunt work represents valuable experience, whereas for you it might just be a pain in the rear or time you could be working on a more complicated pro bono case.

    In case you have any questions about whether Proboknow is for you, please reach out to us: info@proboknow.com

  • How do I connect with a mentee on Proboknow?
    After logging in to the platform, you can search through the attorneys on Proboknow who are interested in having mentors. You can learn more about them by reading their profiles and contact those whom you would like to mentor. Or, you can wait for the new attorneys to contact you. The choice is yours.
  • How do I find a pro bono case on Proboknow?
    Upon signing up for the platform, you will gain access to a database of clients’ cases, which is searchable according to area of law, as well as other filters to allow you to pinpoint exactly the sort of case in which you’re interested. We’ve already done a basic intake for you, so that you can quickly and efficiently browse through cases. If you are interested in a particular case, then you can bookmark the case and will be provided with the client’s contact information, so that you can learn more from the client. You can either actively search for a case on which you would like to mentor a new attorney, or you can wait for a potential mentee to invite you to mentor him/her on a case.
  • Does signing up for Proboknow as a pro bono attorney obligate me to anything?
    No. Signing up for the platform is free of charge and does not entail any further commitment. By signing up for the platform, you will have access to pro bono cases, which you may or may not choose to take on; the choice is entirely yours. You will also have access to resources that can help you with your pro bono work. Finally, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for Lowboknow, in case you are open to taking on clients at an affordable rate, thereby opening up the justice system to those who don’t qualify for free legal services and can’t afford traditional legal services.
  • After signing up for the platform, will my contact information be available to clients?

    Proboknow is configured so that attorneys search for cases, rather than clients searching for attorneys. So, your contact information will only become available to a client if and when you reach out to a client or take on a case either solo or as a mentee. Your contact information will not be made available to the client by accepting a case as a mentor; in that case, the mentee will be the one who is directly representing the client, and the mentee will be the one with the attorney-client relationship. As a mentor, you can also reach out to the client, but doing so is optional. However, your contact information will be available to potential mentees and mentors on the platform (and vice versa - their contact information will be available to you), unless you express that you are not interested in finding mentees or mentors.

  • Can I take on a case without a mentee?
    Yes. This is also a valid option, and one that many of the attorneys on Proboknow choose.
  • Does Proboknow provide malpractice coverage?
    No. Proboknow is merely a platform for connecting attorneys with clients and with one another. It is not a firm, and does not provide malpractice coverage. However, if an attorney is interested in a pro bono case and needs malpractice coverage, we can reach out to partner legal services organizations to see if he/she can represent the client on their behalf; in that case, the attorney would be covered by their umbrella malpractice policy. If you would like to explore this option, please write to us.
  • What’s Lowboknow, and how do I sign up for it?

    Lowboknow is an online platform that connects clients with attorneys who are open to representing clients on a more affordable basis - either through a contingency fee, fixed fee, or discounted hourly fee arrangement, across a breadth of practice areas.

    As an attorney, Lowboknow allows you to quickly and easily find paying clients with zero time and money spent on marketing. We take care of finding the clients and doing an effective basic intake so that you can just log in to the platform, search for interesting cases, and leave offers on those that look like a good fit for you. You can search for potential clients on your own time and your own terms, and customize new case alerts from the platform according to your practice area, geographical area, and alert frequency preferences.

    Signing up is quick and easy. You must be an active member of the California State Bar, with no disciplinary issues. At the moment, Lowboknow is open only to those attorneys who are handling legal matters in Orange County, California, but we will be expanding throughout California in the near future. You can sign up here for a free trial.

  • Do I need to be in the same county as my mentee?

    Absolutely not. In general, you can mentor anyone in a jurisdiction where you are licensed. Obviously it’s easiest to mentor someone in a county where you know all the judges and the local rules, so if you choose to mentor someone out of county, then you should ensure that your mentee checks the local rules. Since Proboknow is currently open only to Orange County, if you are located outside of Orange County, CA, but are interested in mentoring an attorney who is practicing in Orange County, CA, then just write to us and we will assist you in signing up.

Testimonials

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