Kansas Emeritus Attorney Program

Any attorney who currently has a status of inactive or retired on their law license in Kansas can work with a not for profit provider of civil legal services on a pro bono basis. Kansas Legal Services is such an organization. These attorneys, known as emeritus attorneys, practice under Kansas Supreme Court Rule 1404.

The rule requires that an emeritus attorney provide the services through an approved legal aid organization such as Kansas Legal Services and be under its general supervision.

We need to determine that the legal work the attorney is interested in providing is consistent with the needs of Kansas Legal Services’ clients and with the available supervision. An attorney interested in working under Rule 1404 should complete the attached application providing information regarding time commitment, type of legal work preferred (for example: providing advice to clients, representing in court, drafting documents), and length of commitment.

Here is an application if you wish to participate.

The application should be sent to Joy Springfield, address below.

How does an attorney apply for emeritus status?

An attorney would:

• Fill out an application form.

• Submit this form to Kansas Legal Services.

Kansas Legal Services will seek the statement of qualification from the Disciplinary Administrator on your behalf, once your interest in particular legal work, a location and a time schedule have been confirmed with you.

How do I associate with Kansas Legal Services?

Kansas Legal Services has eleven offices throughout Kansas, so work can be performed at any of those offices.

Kansas Legal Services is willing to provide training and support for attorneys who want to provide services to low income persons, consistent with the income and priorities guidelines of Kansas Legal Services, in their local Courthouse. Finally,

Kansas Legal Services provides telephone advice to senior citizens and Veterans by phone. An emeritus attorney can provide services in this way, on a schedule to be determined in advance.

The rule requires that an emeritus attorney provide the services through an approved legal aid organization such as Kansas Legal Services and be under its general supervision. We need to determine that the legal work the attorney is interested in providing is consistent with the needs of Kansas Legal Services’ clients and with the available supervision.

An attorney interested in working under Rule 1404 should complete the attached application providing information regarding time commitment, type of legal work preferred (for example: providing advice to clients, representing in court, drafting documents), and length of commitment.

The application should be sent to Joy Springfield, Director of Pro Bono, whose address is at the end of this document.

What are the expectations of an emeritus attorney?

An emeritus attorney:

• May ONLY provide assistance to a client of Kansas Legal Services and cannot practice law for anyone who is not a client of Kansas Legal Services.

• An emeritus attorney provides services under the general supervision of Kansas Legal Services and may perform the same types of activities that an active attorney can perform including advising clients, preparing documents and representing clients before courts and administrative agencies. The work can be performed from Kansas Legal Services offices or elsewhere.

• May only hold him/herself out as an emeritus attorney and must use the name of the approved organization as the law firm name on any pleadings filed with any courts, except those filed under limited scope rules (Supreme Court Rule 115A).

• Cannot receive compensation for work done, but may be reimbursed by the organization for actual expenses incurred. These expenses must be approved in advance.

• The attorney need not comply with the continuing legal education requirement, but is expected to accept supervision and training from KLS staff, as warranted.

• No license renewal fee is required of retired attorneys who volunteer in the emeritus program.

• Shall only be able to provide services through an organization approved by the Kansas Supreme Court.

As an emeritus attorney practicing with Kansas Legal Services, will I have malpractice coverage?

When you provide services to persons who are Kansas Legal Services clients, Kansas Legal Services’ malpractice coverage extends to cover any cases you take as a volunteer lawyer.

An information sheet with questions and answers about the program is attached here.

If you have further questions please contact:

  • Joy Springfield, Director of Pro Bono
  • Kansas Legal Services
  • 712 S Kansas Ave, Suite 201
  • Topeka, KS 66603

785-233-2068

springfieldj@klsinc.org

 

Read about other KLS pro bono activities here.
Last updated on .

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