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2017 ABA Pro Bono Survey Results

In January your participation was requested in a statewide survey hosted by the American Bar Association to quantify and recognize the bro bono work done by attorneys, as well as to understand factors that encourage or discourage pro bono service. The survey was designed to better understand what types of improvements would motivate more lawyers to participate in providing pro bono services. The results of the survey are available below. On behalf of the Kansas Supreme Court Access to Justice Committee, the Kansas Bar Association and Kansas Legal Services, we thank you for your time and participation in taking the survey. You can read a summary of the results written by Marilyn Harp, KLS Executive Director, below in the upcoming October 2017 issue of the Journal.

View Report

Kansas Legal Services Pro Bono Program

The KLS Pro Bono Program provides service to low-income clients or children on an uncompensated basis. No potential client is given an attorney's name without specific approval from the attorney. All potential clients will be screened for financial eligibility through KLS. Many of the cases referred will be cases that KLS cannot accept due to conflicts or other barriers. Clients using this program understand that the attorney has agreed to provide services at no cost for the referred case only. Clients also understand that they may be required to pay filing fees, witness fees, etc. Acceptance of the case is with no expectation of payment for my time or office expenses. KLS may be able to help with extraordinary litigation expenses, when the interests of justice require it.

For more information visit the KLS Pro Bono Resources page.

Online Site Provides Free Answers to Civil Legal Questions – Attorney Volunteers Needed!

Many things that are simple for lawyers are baffling to those without legal training. In an effort to provide some guidance for lower income persons who need legal information or advice to help them understand their situation, Kansas is joining other states in a national effort to provide online answers to civil legal questions. There are no requirements on the number of volunteer hours you provide. Work will be done via computer and the client will not have your direct email address or phone number. Nothing from the client will come directly to you. You will be able to go online and select the questions you will answer, based on geography or legal matters involved.

Click the link below for additional information and to complete a form to indicate your interest. We will contact you soon with additional information. The program is led by the American Bar Association and you do not have to be an ABA or KBA member to volunteer.

Click Here to Volunteer

Legal Connection: Military Matters is a program of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation.

The program provides pro bono and low cost legal assistance for veterans and active duty military that don’t qualify for aid from other agencies. Those needing assistance are referred to Military Matters by the program’s community partners including the Kansas City VA, United Way of Kansas City, Legal Aid of Western Missouri and Kansas Legal Services. All potential clients are screened for eligibility such as verification of military status and income and are informed that pro bono or low cost assistance is provided for the referred case only. Military Matters may be able to assist with litigation expenses in certain situations.

Volunteer Today

KBA Members—Please Record Your Pro Bono Hours

Your KBA member profile is an excellent place to record pro bono hours. In an effort to learn more about the number of hours KBA members contribute each year, we have added a space for you to keep them updated. Under Professional Information when you edit your bio (Manage Profile > Edit Bio) you will find Pro Bono Hours 2016. Just enter the hours in the box. Thank you for your participation!

Elder Law Hotline

Join other Kansas attorneys in providing legal services to Kansans, age 60 and older. The Kansas Elder Law Hotline is a project of Kansas Legal Services Inc. There is no income eligibility for callers to participate in this program. Volunteers can expect to talk to clients of widely varying economic and social backgrounds. The Hotline provides Kansas senior citizens access to an attorney willing to advise them about legal issues and may also refer them to other resources for additional assistance. You might be referred cases that may not match your experience/expertise; however, we provide Internet resources to help you guide those callers. The Elder Law Hotline asks that attorneys volunteer a three and ½ hour block of time every other month. Calls will be transferred to your office, along with demographic information about each client.

Celebrate Pro Bono logo The KBA, KLS, and other organizations will be partnering to organize events to highlight the need for pro bono services and to recognize attorneys who give their time and expertise to pro bono efforts. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

KBA Jeans for Justice and My Ties and Trivia Night at the Bar

Would you like to host a casual day with proceeds benefiting Kansas Legal Services? Law firms, government agencies, Kansas businesses, and partner organizations can show their support by helping to promote Jeans for Justice and My Ties and Trivia Night at the Bar. Visit for more information.

Kansas Emeritus Attorney Program

Any attorney who currently has a status of inactive or retired on their license to practice law 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 and has offices throughout the state. The "Questions-and-Answers About the Kansas Emeritus Attorney Program" will answer many of your questions.

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence’s Legal Assistance for Victims Project

The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence’s Legal Assistance for Victims Project is a grant-based pro bono referral program for victims of sexual and domestic violence. No cases are referred without specific approval from the attorney. All potential clients have been screened by advocates for victimization and by the LAV project attorney for appropriateness and income. Clients are informed about and understand the extent to which pro bono attorneys are able to provide services. In addition, attorneys are recruited to represent Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault programs to quash subpoenas to testify in ongoing litigation. Contact Jessica Nasternak, KCSDV Director of Legal and Policy Division,

KBA Members Recognized for Pro Bono Work

  • Jill Bremyer
    Adoption Law LLC, McPherson

    Jill Bremyer previously practiced with Bremyer & Wise (now Wise & Reber) law firm in McPherson before starting her own adoption practice, Adoption Law LLC in 2009.

    Jill received a master’s degree from Kansas State University in family and child development before pursuing a law degree at Washburn University. She has always felt privileged to be able to combine her interest in families with her law practice.

    Jill has been active as a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys since 1993, and is also a member of the Kansas Women Attorneys Association, the Kansas Bar Association, and the McPherson County Bar Association.
  • Debra Egli James
    Hampton & Royce, L.C., Salina

    Debra Egli James is a member of the Salina firm of Hampton & Royce, L.C., where she has been a partner since 1990. She has a broad range of experience in litigation involving personal injury, commercial, business and employment disputes, agricultural law issues, and automobile liability, and she practices in both state and federal courts. Deb is a graduate of Iowa State University and Drake University Law School and is licensed in Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska. In 1997, Deb was appointed by the Kansas Supreme Court to the Kansas Board of Discipline for Attorneys and served 17 years in that position. Since 1996, Deb has been a member of the Professional Ethics and Grievance Committee of the Kansas Bar Association and has conducted investigations of ethical complaints, when called upon, for 20 years. She has served on the Federal Judicial Nominating Task Force and the Kansas Bar Association’s Membership and Fee Dispute Resolution Committees. She is a Fellow of the Kansas Bar Association Foundation. For six years, Deb served on the Board of Governors of the Kansas Bar Association for District 6 and the Board of Governors for the Kansas Association of Defense Counsel. Deb is the Past President of the Litigation Section of the Kansas Bar Association. She has also been an active member of her community, serving two terms as President of the Board of Directors of the Salina YWCA and two terms as President of the Great Plains Theater in Abilene, Kan. Deb also serves as a member of the Kansas Lawyer Assistance Program Foundation Board, is a KALAP volunteer and mentor, and represents adoptive parents on a pro bono basis in cases involving children adopted out of the foster care system in central Kansas.
  • Summer Ott-Dierks
    Seaton, Seaton & Dierks, LLP, Manhattan

    Summer Ott Dierks is a partner in Seaton, Seaton & Dierks, LLP. She was born in Kiowa, Kan., raised in Coffeyville, and graduated from Kansas State University in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Communications and Journalism.

    Before attending law school, Summer worked at the Kansas State University Foundation, fundraising for the College of Agriculture from 2005-2007. She then worked at the Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau as the Convention Sales Manager until 2010.

    During law school, Summer clerked for the Honorable Steve Leben, Judge at the Kansas Court of Appeals as well as the Kansas Attorney General, Criminal Litigation Division. She was also licensed to practice law as a student in the Washburn University Law Clinic. She was awarded her Juris Doctor in 2012 from Washburn University School of Law.

Click here for more about the Pro Bono award and a listing of past recipients.

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