FAQ

1. What are the benefits of joining the Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Network?


You will join a growing nationwide network of attorneys determined to impact and influence our legal system to more effectively protect the rights of people to freely live out their faith. Through the Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Network, you’ll connect with leading experts willing to consult with, co-counsel, and empower you to engage the culture and make a difference. You’ll also enjoy the benefits of:

• Dynamic continuing legal education that will train you to more effectively defend religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family, while incorporating your own faith into your practice;

• A grant program that provides you with the financial resources you need to advocate for clients who can’t afford to fight the forces moving to limit their liberties;

• Strategically designed legal projects that meaningfully impact the legal culture;

• Online discussion groups in which like-minded attorneys answer questions, give and receive referrals, provide encouragement, and offer practical ways to incorporate personal faith into a legal practice; and

• Significant legal resources, including sample briefs, pleadings, and litigation manuals.

 
2. Is there a place for me in the Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Network if I do not have a background in civil liberties law or litigation?

Absolutely.  Making positive, lasting changes in the legal culture requires attorneys with diverse backgrounds.  Whether you are a litigator or a transactional attorney, work in a large or small law firm, practice as corporate counsel, teach in a law school, or work for the government, there is a place for you to contribute and utilize your unique combination of talents, interests, and circumstances.  If you are unsure how you can plug in, contact attorneyinfo@alliancedefendingfreedom.org for additional information or to set up a phone conference with a member of the Allied Attorney support team.

3. Are there different ways to be a part of the Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Network?

Yes.  The best way to get involved is to attend the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy, which provides CLE credits, offers in-person access to leading legal experts, and allows you to get to know the legal team.  However, not everyone has the flexibility to attend an Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy, so the legal ministry has created additional ways to join the allied network.
 
• Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy Alumni - an attorney who has successfully completed the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy. Attendance at the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy is exclusively by invitation for approved applicants.  Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy alumni have access to resources, materials, and the complete Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Network for referrals, resume/job postings, support, and consultation, in addition to specialized training and free CLE.
 
• Allied Attorney – an attorney who has satisfied the requirements for attending an Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy, but may not have actually attended one yet.  Allied Attorneys have access to resources, materials, discussion groups, and discounted CLE, along with support from the legal team.
 
• Volunteer Attorney – an attorney who has interest in working on a case or project, or otherwise assisting Alliance Defending Freedom legal efforts. Volunteer attorneys have limited access to resources.

You can join the network in any of these roles. Join the Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Network.

4. How do the benefits change based on the level of involvement?

 
Benefits Volunteer Allied Attorney Alumni Attorney Honor Corps
Pro bono opportunities and referrals X X X X
Regional Legal Academy invitiations X X X X
Allied successes email list X X X X
Online resources   X X X
Google Groups   X X X
Job / resume posting   X X X
Attorney referral network     X X
Webinars     X X
Confidential updates / presentations     X X
Free Regional Academy attendance       X
Eligible for recognition awards       X
Eligible for special Academy invitations       X
  

•    Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy Alumni: An attorney who is aligned with our mission, has filled out an extensive application, supplied references, signed and agrees to our statement of faith, has attended an Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy, and has committed to report pro bono hours. Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy alumni have extensive access to resources, materials, referrals, and support.  Application forms are available here.
•    Allied Attorney: An attorney who is aligned with our mission, has filled out an extensive application, supplied references, and signed and agrees with our statement of faith. Allied Attorneys have greater access to resources, materials, and referrals. Application forms are available here.
•     Volunteer Attorney: An attorney who is willing to work on an Alliance Defending Freedom case or project or otherwise assist our legal efforts. As a volunteer attorney, you are not required to sign the statement of faith or agree with Alliance Defending Freedom on all of its core issues. Volunteer attorneys have limited access to resources.  Registration forms are available here.
•    Honor Corps: Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy alumni who have reported at least 450 qualifying pro bono hours become a member of the Honor Corps.
•    * Regional Legal Academy (RLA) events involve 1 to 1½-day seminars presented in various locations around the country.
•    ** Alliance Defending Freedom periodically circulates information about significant successes enjoyed by our allies.
 

5. What is the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy?

The Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy is a one-of-a-kind program that provides legal training to enhance the ability of attorneys who practice law in any area to successfully engage the culture and defend religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.  In most cases, the training includes 12-15 hours of CLE focused on these crucial issues.  
 
At Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy sessions, you will hear from exceptional speakers on worldview analysis, be inspired by meaningful daily devotions and worship, and fellowship with like-minded attorneys from across the country and around the world.
 
Alliance Defending Freedom also provides world-class CLE sessions to Academy participants and other members of the legal community. These CLE sessions are distinct from designated Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy sessions. Attendees of the CLE portions who are not admitted to the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy pay all of their own expenses, plus a registration fee. (If you are interested in the CLE-only component, please contact attorneyinfo@alliancedefendingfreedom.org.)

Attorneys who attend the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy are asked to report pro bono service.

6. Is Alliance Defending Freedom associated with a specific Christian denomination?

Allied Attorneys come from a wide variety of Christian traditions. We simply ask that all allies agree with the historical Trinitarian statement of faith (Apostles’ Creed):  
 
“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day He rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and life everlasting. Amen.”

7. Do I have to fully agree with the statement of faith to participate in the Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Network?

No. Alliance Defending Freedom recognizes that attorneys who share some of our legal objectives may respectfully differ from us in their faith beliefs.  Participation in the Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Network as a volunteer attorney is not contingent on an attorney affirming a specific statement of faith.

8. Why does Alliance Defending Freedom ask attorneys to report pro bono hours?

All organizations must be able to demonstrate measurable results.  A significant aspect of the Alliance Defending Freedom mission is to mobilize Christian attorneys to impact the culture by engaging the legal system.  Tracking pro bono hours provides tangible evidence of the progress being made toward this goal.  Reported pro bono service can be used to encourage and spark mobilizing ideas for other Allied Attorneys.  And, for those who attend the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy, reporting pro bono hours demonstrates a return on investment for the Allied Ministry Friends whose sacrificial gifts make the event possible.

9. What is the pro bono commitment to attend the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy?

The goal of Alliance Defending Freedom is to create a long-term relationship with Allied Attorneys.  When applying to attend an Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy, attorneys are simply asked to commit to report qualifying pro bono service.  Alliance Defending Freedom suggests voluntary short-term targets for the amount of this service, depending upon the attorney’s circumstances.  
 
The suggested target for most attorneys is 450 hours within the three years following Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy attendance.  Attorneys who work in a large firm environment that inhibits a 450-hour commitment may opt for a three-year target of 200 hours, focused on litigation.  Similarly, Alliance Defending Freedom suggests a five-year target of 150 hours for attorneys who work for the government and are prohibited from representing private clients.  
 
Alliance Defending Freedom encourages ongoing reporting of pro bono services, even if an attorney commits to a short-term target. To that end, Alliance Defending Freedom recognizes significant milestones in reported pro bono service. Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy alumni become members of the Honor Corps upon reporting 450 hours of pro bono service.  A series of Service Recognition Awards recognize members of the Honor Corps who report far more than 450 hours of service.
 
An attorney may apply to attend an Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy without committing to a specific short-term target of pro bono service hours; however, the willingness to make a commitment is one of several factors considered when evaluating candidates who want to attend the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy.

10. What is considered qualifying pro bono service?

In addition to participating in litigation or an amicus effort on a case within the scope of the Alliance Defending Freedom mission, activities that qualify for pro bono commitment credit include:
 
(a) Performing research on specified topics;
 
(b) Performing specified services, such as collecting information, for one or more Alliance Defending Freedom strategic projects;
 
(c) Joining and being active in bar association activities that impact the mission areas of Alliance Defending Freedom;
 
(d) Publicly speaking about Alliance Defending Freedom or about one or more of the ministry’s mission areas;
 
(e) Serving on boards or otherwise being involved in organizations that are dedicated to Alliance Defending Freedom mission areas; and
 
(f) Writing and publishing articles related to Alliance Defending Freedom mission areas.  
 
For additional information refer to the “Pro Bono Hours” memo or contact us at attorneyinfo@alliancedefendingfreedom.org  to discuss whether an activity will count toward your pro bono service commitment.

11. What if I'm a government attorney who is prohibited from doing private pro bono litigation?

Pro bono work need not involve litigation or even the representation of a client. It may involve legal research, educational presentations, or other type of work related to Alliance Defending Freedom mission areas.  In acknowledgement of the special circumstances facing government attorneys, their suggested pro bono target is only 150 hours over a five-year period.

12. If I am an Allied Attorney who has not attended the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy, may I report pro bono hours in advance of my attendance that will count toward a commitment made at the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy?

Yes, all Allied Attorneys are encouraged to report qualifying pro bono hours, beginning from the time the attorney first considered joining with Alliance Defending Freedom.  Those recorded hours can be used to reduce a pro bono target connected with attending an Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy.  It is not uncommon for attorneys to report their hours so that their objective is fulfilled or the target is substantially met prior to attending an Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy.

13. What if I want to come to the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy, but am not sure I can commit to the pro bono targets recommended by Alliance Defending Freedom?

We recognize that every attorney has individual life circumstances that impact the ability to do pro bono service, so we do not require a commitment to a specific number of hours as a prerequisite for attending the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy.  However, we do request a commitment to report the qualifying pro bono hours you do serve, and whether you make a short-term commitment may be taken into consideration when evaluating your application to attend the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy.

14. Once I fulfil my short-term pro bono objective, should I continue reporting hours?

Yes. Your commitment is to report your qualifying pro bono hours, and we would like to maintain an ongoing relationship with you throughout your career.  Reporting pro bono hours creates opportunities for Alliance Defending Freedom to inform the public about the challenges facing people of faith, and how the Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Network is responding to those challenges.  
 
Additionally, the more pro bono hours reported, the greater the opportunity for Alliance Defending Freedom to demonstrate to our Allied Ministry Friends a good return on the investment of their sacrificial gifts.  Finally, continued reporting encourages other Allied Attorneys engaged in this ongoing cultural battle.
 
15. How do I report my pro bono hours?
 
The easiest way to report is via our secure Alumni website.  We suggest that you update your records at least monthly as you report on your short-term objectives.
 
The specific format of the report is not critical.  It is not necessary to provide detailed billing records, but we do need general information on the type of work performed.  If you are able to provide this information through your normal billing program, we will gladly accept those time records.  Be assured that Alliance Defending Freedom will not reveal the details of your specific service without your permission, so client identities and attorney-client matters that we become aware of through this reporting will remain confidential.
 
To assist in identifying the specific information needed and to help you provide information in a simplified manner, Alliance Defending Freedom has also developed a reporting form that will be provided upon request.

16. If I attend an Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy and set a short-term target for reporting pro bono legal services, do I have to provide that service exclusively to Alliance Defending Freedom or on Alliance Defending Freedom-related cases?

No.  You may find pro bono opportunities in a variety of ways.  You may serve individual clients, other faith-based legal organizations, churches, etc., in areas related to the mission of Alliance Defending Freedom.  See memo on qualifying pro bono hours. (Additional information is available upon request at attorneyinfo@alliancedefendingfreedom.org.) 

17. Whose responsibility is it to find work and report pro bono service?

Yours. While Alliance Defending Freedom may make occasional referrals or suggest projects in which you could be involved, the most successful allies are those who find their own creative ways to invest their legal skills in the service of others.  Indeed, Alliance Defending Freedom depends upon its network of attorneys and others to bring appropriate cases to our attention.  
 
That said, one of the primary goals of the Alliance Defending Freedom team is to help you succeed, both in fulfilling any short-term target and in winning your legal battles.  While the team cannot promise to find cases for you, the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Alumni website offers a number of interesting projects for your consideration as you look for pro bono opportunities.  The Google Group networking forums are also used to locate volunteers for specific projects or cases. The Alliance Defending Freedom team is always willing to consult on potential cases in our core areas and to provide resources for litigating them.  

18. I am committed to providing Christian legal aid to the poor. Does Alliance Defending Freedom support my commitment?

Yes.  Alliance Defending Freedom has allied with a number of attorneys contributing their services in efforts to dramatically increase Christian legal aid to the poor.  However, qualifying legal aid efforts should be directed in a manner that helps advance religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.  Some alternative programs established to aid the poor do not always support or promote biblical principles; legal aid to these programs may be reported for up to 50 hours of a 450-hour pro bono target.

19. I work full-time (40-60 hours weekly) for a Christian ministry as an attorney. May I attend an Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy?
 
You may attend an Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy if you otherwise qualify and are accepted. Attorneys providing legal services as a fulltime employee in a qualifying, non-profit organization will be deemed to have provided 450 hours of pro bono service, as long as they remain so employed for at least 18 months following the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy session.

If you are uncertain if this applies to you, contact ADFattorneynetwork@alliancedefendingfreedom.org for additional information.

20. I have a great idea for a pro bono project for myself and other Allied Attorneys to help protect and reclaim religious liberty. How can I connect with other Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy alumni?

The fastest way to share your idea is through an Allied Attorney Google Group.  These discussion forums are monitored by Allied Attorneys as well as Alliance Defending Freedom staff.  New alumni are automatically added to the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy Google Group.  

If you are an Allied Attorney, but not already a member of a Google Group, go to the Alumni site and sign up for one or more of these networking forums.   We will be delighted to review your ideas and will consider helping implement projects that further our mission. Please contact the Allied Attorney support team at ADFattorneynetwork@alliancedefendingfreedom.org to discuss your ideas.

21. I have a relationship with an association of churches that gives me access to many church leaders. May I report opportunities to teach the Christian community about their legal rights and duties as citizens as part of my pro bono service?

Yes. Education relating to areas of the Alliance Defending Freedom mission is critical to awakening Christians to the dangers that threaten religious liberty in America and around the world. Many good opportunities for both litigious and non-litigious resolutions of religious discrimination have resulted from the alert actions of educated laypersons. Please contact us at ADFattorneynetwork@alliancedefendingfreedom.org to find out about brochures and other resources we can provide to help your audience know and protect their personal rights, as well as those of their families and churches.

22. How many hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) will I receive for attending the Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy?  

Individual Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy sessions may vary in subject matter and in hours of general and ethics instruction, and each state bar/continuing legal education association may calculate credits differently.  We typically present between 12 to 15 hours of CLE per session.

23. Does Alliance Defending Freedom provide CLE opportunities for those not attending an Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy?

Yes. Alliance Defending Freedom also conducts a series of one-day, minimal cost CLE opportunities in various parts of the country, on one or more legal subjects relating to the mission of Alliance Defending Freedom. These provide an opportunity to meet like-minded attorneys who practice in your region and nationally. 

Join the Network.