Connecticut's Emeritus Project

Overview
How to Participate
Application
Agencies
Attorney Responsibilities

Overview

The goal of the Emeritus Project is to reach out to experienced attorneys, who are considering now, or in the future, reducing the time they spend in their practice. This project encourages those attorneys to put their skills and knowledge to use for the benefit of those who cannot afford legal services. As a member of the Emeritus Project attorneys will be paired with one of the 15 agencies in the CBA's Connecticut Pro Bono Network. With the recent dramatic reduction in IOLTA funding, on which many of these agencies depend, the need for experienced attorneys becomes desperate. Programs such as this one are currently in place in at least 30 other states, and the results are impressive.

To quote Judge Anthony V. DeMayo, a member of the CBA's Pro Bono Committee:

"With the present economy imposing still further demands on the agencies in our Pro Bono Network, it is refreshing to hear of the CBA's Emeritus Project. By enlisting the numerous experienced but only partially active lawyers in the pro bono effort, we have yet another example of the bar displaying its concerns for the less fortunate among us. This influx of enthusiastic and concerned lawyers should help our network provide the quality legal representation its clients deserve."


How to Participate

Simply fill out the application and send it to the CBA Public Service Specialist, Connecticut Bar Association, PO Box 350, New Britain, CT 06050-0350. Emeritus Project attorneys can select the agency they wish to work with or the CBA will pair them up with an agency based on their interests and skills. Once paired, the attorney will contact the agency, set up a schedule, and begin work. Malpractice insurance will be provided by the agency, as will support staff, research support, and training, if needed. If the only legal work done is through the Emeritus Project, for which the attorneys will not be paid, they will not need to pay the attorney occupational tax. If other work is done for which fees are earned, they will have to pay the tax. The Client Security Fund payment is still required unless the attorney works out reimbursement with the agency. Please note that if the attorney officially retires with the Judicial Department they may not become a member of the Emeritus Project as they will no longer be licensed to practice law.


Attorney Responsibilities

  • Submit an application to the Emeritus Project
  • Be admitted to practice in good standing in Connecticut;
  • Contact the organization with which you are matched and make arrangements for the scope of the work you will be doing (agency contact information will be provided by the CBA once the application is received);
  • Stay in touch with the your sponsoring agency and follow their procedures for case management;
  • Provide the same level of zealous representation in your pro bono work as you did in your own practice;
  • Be aware of and abide by all the Rules of Professional Conduct with particular attention to those relevant to pro bono work or representation of a client with diminished capacity;
  • Take all the steps necessary to maintain your license to practice law in Connecticut;
  • Devote a minimum of 250 hours per year of work through this program; and
  • It is anticipated that the attorneys in this program will not have to pay the Attorney's Occupational Tax, unless they earn $450 through other legal work, but will have to pay the Client Security Fund fee.