The Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct do not require lawyers to provide pro bono representation. However, Colo. RPC 6.1 Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service states, “Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay.” The Rule further explains, “A lawyer should aspire to render at least fifty hours of pro bono public legal services per year.” Importantly, both the Colorado Attorney Oath of Admission and the Preamble to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct recognize and encourage lawyers to participate in pro bono representation.
The Colorado Attorney Oath of Admission provides: I DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR…OR AFFIRM... I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Colorado; I will maintain the respect due to Courts and judicial officers; I will employ only such means as are consistent with truth and honor; I will treat all persons whom I encounter through my practice of law with fairness, courtesy, respect and honesty; I will use my knowledge of the law for the betterment of society and the improvement of the legal system; I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed; I will at all times faithfully and diligently adhere to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct. (emphasis added)
The Preamble and Scope to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct provides at paragraph 6: “A lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies in the administration of justice and of the fact that the poor, and sometimes persons who are not poor, cannot afford adequate legal assistance. Therefore, all lawyers should devote professional time and resources and use civic influence to ensure equal access to our system of justice for all those who because of economic or social barriers cannot afford or secure adequate legal counsel.”
One way to provide pro bono representation is through legal clinics. Generally, in these settings, a lawyer will meet with multiple clients during the clinic and have a brief attorney-client relationship with each client. Colo. RPC 1.2(c) authorizes this type of limited representation