Updated: April 27, 2022

Low Bono Section

The Low Bono Section is a community for lawyers, law students, and other professionals who are committed to providing, promoting, and learning about low bono services.

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Shape Your Section for the Future: Apply Today to Become a Section Leader

Applications open on March 14, 2022, and close at 5 p.m. April 15, 2022.

The following section executive committee positions are open for applications. All terms begin Oct. 1, 2022.

  • Chair-elect: one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2023.
  • Secretary: one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2023.
  • Treasurer: one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2023.
  • At-Large Member (two positions open): two-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.

To learn more about roles and expectations for serving on the section executive committee, review this volunteer position description, which provides a general overview of section executive committee positions—these may differ for each section.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be a current section member and should be eligible to vote in accordance with the section’s bylaws.

Application Process

Go to the myWSBA portal to complete the online application for open executive committee positions. The Section has requested that each applicant submit a statement of interest with your application. This document can be uploaded with your online application (pdf format only). Please be advised that application materials may be posted on this website for public viewing.

Note: If you are applying for more than one position on this or multiple sections’ committees, you must complete and submit all applications at the same time, as you will not be allowed back into the portal at a later time. Please make sure you are completing the applications within the application window for all of the relevant sections.

Nomination Process

Each year, the executive committee or Chair shall appoint a nominating committee of no fewer than three (3) section members, one of whom is not a current member of the executive committee. All applicants will apply through an electronic process administered by the Washington State Bar Association. The nominating committee shall nominate one or more voting members of the Section for each officer position, may nominate one or more voting members of the Section for open non-officer voting member positions on the executive committee, and may nominate one or more subscribers of the Section for any number of non-voting liaison positions. As an alternative process to allow for nominations to occur outside of the nominating committee process, any member of the Section may nominate himself or herself for open positions. All nominees must meet the prerequisites for the position for which they are running. The executive committee will approve a list of nominees for each open position.

Alternate Nomination Process

As an alternative process to allow for nominations to occur outside of the nominating committee process, any member of the Section may nominate himself or herself for open positions.

Elections Process

All voting members of the section will receive an electronic ballot sent to their email in June 2022. Visit this webpage in early June for election updates and voting instructions.

Questions? 
For more information about the Section, its executive committee roles, and elections process, please review the Section’s bylaws. You may also contact any member of the current Section Executive Committee or email sections@wsba.org.


Read Access to Justice Champions

The Low Bono Section Newsletter

March issue now available.

COVID-19 Law Office Reopening Guide

WSBA's new Reopening Safely: A Guide to Washington State Law Offices produced by the Coronavirus Response Task Force.


What Is Low Bono?

In a broad sense, low bono is the principle of increasing access to law-related services for people of moderate means who do not qualify for pro bono assistance, but cannot afford the fees private attorneys typically charge under traditional law firm models. There are opportunities to provide low bono services in the legal profession, and in every other profession that intersects with the delivery of legal services.

Low bono service providers find many creative ways to provide their services, and the list of possibilities continues to grow as practitioners try out new models of service delivery. Some examples of low bono services include:

  • Using flexible pricing models, including sliding-fee scales, flat fees, payment plans, third-party payments, even crowdfunding
  • Unbundling services
  • Increasing the efficiency of delivering common services, such as adopting back office technologies and appropriately delegating tasks
  • Commoditizing certain services, including online service delivery, automated intake, publication of legal guides, self-help kiosks, and document automation for common documents
  • Mindfully and creatively using clients’ limited legal budgets, such as when crafting discovery requests
  • Adopting a methodology of client counseling and litigation in which practitioners seek early and affordable resolutions when appropriate, even when it would be more profitable to engage in protracted conflict

Section Benefits

The greatest benefit of joining the Low Bono Section is the opportunity to build lasting relationships with a community of like-minded professionals. For its members, the Low Bono Section provides a forum and opportunity for education, training, sharing of forms, practice tips, client counseling techniques, and alternative techniques for conflict resolution. The section provides its members with free mentorship opportunities, discounted admission to low-bono-oriented CLEs, networking and referral opportunities with other low bono professionals, leadership development opportunities, and more.

Join the Low Bono Section

The cost to join the Low Bono Section is $30.


Join the Conversation

All professionals with an interest in low bono (lawyers and non-lawyers alike) are invited to join the low bono community discussions, hosted through Groups.io. Membership in the section is not currently required to join.. 

Stay informed of Low Bono Section activities on Twitter and Facebook.

1:1 Mentoring Program

We invite members to contact the Executive Committee if looking for a low bono mentor. We will do our best to pair you up with an experienced low bono practitioner.

Disclaimer: These resources and opportunities are provided solely for the convenience of section members. No endorsement of any resource, mentor and/or mentorship relationship is intended, and no warranty is made as to the accuracy of the information by either the Washington State Bar Association or the Low Bono Section.


Executive Committee

Chair: Sart Rowe (2021-2022) 

Chair-Elect: Marya Noyes (2021-2022) 

Secretary: vacant

Treasurer: Sarah Bove (2021-2022) 

Immediate Past Chair: Jennifer Ortega  (2021-2022) 

Board of Governors Liaison*: Brett Purtzer (2021-2022) 

At-Large Members:
Clay Wilson (2021-2023) 
Jeff Hamilton  (2021-2023)
Lesli Ashley  (2021-2023)

Law Student Positions*:
vacant (University of Washington)
vacant (Seattle University)
vacant (Gonzaga University)

* Nonvoting member

Meetings

The Executive Committee of the Low Bono Section conducts meetings at the WSBA offices on the third Tuesday of each month 4–5:30 p.m. Meetings are held via Zoom — check the listing in the event calendar for the Zoom meeting link. Please contact committee members for any further details needed on their upcoming meetings.

If you have questions about the Low Bono Section, contact any member of the Section's Executive Committee. For all other inquiries, contact sections@wsba.org.