New Jersey Pro Bono Information

Pro bono cases
In Madden v. Delran, 126 N.J. 591 (1992), the Supreme Court reaffirmed the bar’s duty to represent indigent defendants without pay where the Legislature has made no provision for the Public Defender to represent defendants who are entitled to counsel.  Attorneys are assigned pro bono cases through the Administrative Office of the Court’s pro bono computer system, which maintains an alphabetical list of attorneys eligible for pro bono assignment for each county. 

Text Box: “Pro bono work is vital to our court system. One of the most cherished protections citizens have is the constitutional right to be represented by counsel.”      - Chief Justice Stuart Rabner    Other pro bono service
Attorneys who certify that they have performed at least 25 hours of voluntary qualifying pro bono service in New Jersey are exempt from being appointed to take a Madden v. Delran pro bono case for the following year. Rule 1:21-12. Organizations which provide qualifying service are listed in the Pro Bono Organizations Portal, below.

In addition to the performance of 25 hours of certified pro bono service for a qualifying organization, attorneys may be exempt from taking Madden v. Delran cases for other reasons, such as retirement. 2015 Exemptions from Pro Bono Counsel Assignment.

For organizations that are certified or seek to be certified 
Certified pro bono service providers can be found in the Pro Bono Organizations portal link below. Pro bono organizations seeking to become certified must submit an application. Certification applications may be submitted at any time during the year. Rule 1:21-11.  These applications may be made by entering information into the pro bono resource portal, then printing and mailing in the completed form to Pro Bono Organizations, PO Box 037, Trenton, NJ 08625-0037. Beginning January 1, 2016, existing certified pro bono organizations must file an annual recertification by April 30th. Rule 1:21-11. Full details may be found here

Pro Bono Organizations Portal
The pro bono resource portal below provides information about approved pro bono organizations, law school clinics, and government programs. It also provides an opportunity for entities seeking to be certified to apply for approval.
The searchable listings include:

  • approved organizations for New Jersey and out-of-state attorneys who seek to perform pro bono work;
  • approved law school clinic programs and government organizations for law students or law school graduates to appear in court or with an agency;
  • organizations which qualify for fee waiver status
  • Click here for Pro Bono Organizations Portal

    Any questions regarding the use of the resource portal, the information contained in it, or for an update on the status of a certification application can be directed to

    Information about Attorney Annual Registration and Payment
    The Supreme Court requires every member of the bar to annually register, update personal information, and pay the applicable fees, provide pro bono information, and certify compliance with mandatory continuing legal education. Beginning in 2016, attorneys must register online -- this allows completion of the above obligations in one convenient location.

  • Online Registration and Payment Center
  • Training Information for Attorneys Receiving Pro Bono Assignments

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