What are the benefits of joining the Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Network?
You will become part of a growing 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 Attorney Network, you’ll also connect with leading experts who are eager to empower—and stand with—you as you engage the culture. You’ll also enjoy the benefits of:
- Training opportunities that will equip you to more effectively defend religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family;
- A grant program that enables you to advocate for clients who can’t afford to defend 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 your legal career; and
- Significant legal resources, including sample briefs, pleadings, and litigation manuals.
Is there a place for me in the Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Network if I do not have experience in civil liberties law or litigation?
Absolutely. Making positive, lasting changes in the legal culture requires attorneys with diverse backgrounds, skills, and interests. 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 are ways for you to utilize your unique combination of talents, experience, and passion. If you are unsure how you could best contribute, given your unique life circumstances or how your skill set, could best be used, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information or to schedule a phone conference with a member of the Allied Attorney support team.
How do you become a part of the Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Network?
You become a part of the ADF Attorney Network by formally applying and being accepted as an Allied Attorney.
There are many benefits to serving as an Allied Attorney, including:
- Pro bono opportunities and referrals
- Legal training opportunities
- Access to the Allied Attorney Community Site
- Free Webinars
- Subscription to the Attorney Network email newsletter
- Career development resources / job search / resume posting
- Attorney referral network
- Confidential updates
- Eligibility for recognition awards*
* An Allied Attorney who provides and reports 450 hours or more of qualifying pro bono service becomes a member of the Honor Corps, and is eligible for award recognition.
Learn more and apply to become an Allied Attorney.
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 following statement of faith:
“I affirm my belief in and commitment to the historic Trinitarian Christian faith as revealed in the canon of the Old and New Testaments and commonly expressed in the Nicene-Constantinople and Apostles’ Creeds.”
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. It also 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 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.
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, many other activities qualify for pro bono commitment credit, including:
(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 ADFAttorneyNetwork@ADFlegal.org to discuss whether an activity will count toward your pro bono service commitment.
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 types of work related to Alliance Defending Freedom mission areas.
How do I report my pro bono hours?
The easiest way to report is via our secure Allied Attorney website.
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.
Does my pro bono service need to be provided exclusively to Alliance Defending Freedom or on Alliance Defending Freedom-related cases in order to report it on the secure Allied Attorney site?
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 ADFAttorneyNetwork@ADFlegal.org.)
Will you help me find pro bono opportunities?
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 matters to our attention.
That said, one of the primary goals of the Alliance Defending Freedom team is to help you succeed, both in finding pro bono opportunities, and also in winning your legal battles. While the team cannot promise to find cases for you, the Alliance Defending Freedom Allied Attorney Community website offers a number of interesting projects for your consideration as you look for pro bono opportunities. The Allied Attorney Community Discussion 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.
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.
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 Allied Attorneys?
The fastest way to share your idea is through the Discussion Forums on the Allied Attorney Community Site. These forums are monitored by Allied Attorneys as well as Alliance Defending Freedom staff. Allied Attorneys are automatically invited to join the Community Site.
If you are an Allied Attorney, but not already a member of the Community Site, please contact the Allied Attorney support team at ADFAttorneyNetwork@ADFlegal.org.
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@ADFlegal.org to find out about materials and resources we can provide to help your audience know and protect their personal rights, as well as those of their families and churches.
Grants and Funding
How can I view the guidelines that summarizes the grant application process?
How do I submit an application?
All applications must be submitted using our online application form.
Apply for a Grant
Below are some of the helpful tips you will need to prepare in advance in order to be able to complete an Alliance Defending Freedom online grant application:
- Attorney’s Resume (for 1st time applicant if you are not an Alliance Defending Freedom Blackstone, YLA, or Summit alumni)
- Names and role of all attorneys involved on the case/project.
- Client information.
- Text and citation of any challenged laws, statute, ordinance, regulation, or other authority.
- Electronic copies of initial filings or dispositive motions, key briefing (i.e. Complaint, Answer, Motion for Summary Judgment, Amicus Brief), and any substantive ruling in the case.
- Information to be considered in advance (Note: It is not acceptable to simply refer to attachments in completing the application):
- Anticipated costs and expenses associated with case or project.
- Prepare a succinct paragraph summarizing the facts of the case.
- Prepare a succinct paragraph of the claims in dispute.
- Prepare a succinct paragraph summarizing the procedural history of the case./li>
In addition to the online application; some additional material must be submitted as exhibits to the application. Please submit application exhibits by:
- Emailing to Grants@ADFlegal.org (Preferred)
- Faxing the additional materials to 480-444-0028, Attn: Grants & Funding Dept.
- Mailing a disk with the materials stored to:
Alliance Defending Freedom
Attn: Grants & Funding Dept.
15100 N. 90th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
However, whatever method of delivery you use, all required information must be received by our Arizona office before close of business (4:30pm, MST) on the cut-off day.
What type of case or project qualifies for a grant?
Alliance Defending Freedom funds pro-active litigation and advocacy to protect the right of Christians to speak and act consistent with their faith, defend the sanctity and dignity of life from conception to natural end, and protect family values, including a biblical definition of marriage and parental rights. Alliance Defending Freedom also funds legal projects that support or promote such advocacy.
How does Alliance Defending Freedom prioritize cases and projects to be funded?
The volume of grant requests received always exceeds the available resources, and there are cases with great merit that Alliance Defending Freedom is not able to fund. Limited resources require requests to be prioritized. Preference is given to cases aligned with priorities identified by the ADF advocacy teams and those with high potential to set major national and regional precedents that will contribute to the body of case law others can use to litigate future cases. ADF has developed an objective grading system to help evaluate the potential impact of a matter. Due to funding demands, grants cannot be awarded for cases that only affect individual rights.
What types of grants are available?
- Litigation Grant: Reimbursement for time invested by the legal team along with out of pocket expenses to assist an allied attorney in pursuing a qualifying legal matter.
- Cost Grant: Reimbursement for costs (out of pocket expenses) only to assist an allied attorney in pursuing a qualifying case or project.
- Dedicated Project Grant: Reimbursement for incurred expenses to assist with projects that are clearly designed to accomplish goals consistent with the mission and focus of ADF. For more detailed information see the Grants & Funding Guidelines.
- Amicus Grant: Reimbursement for time and expenses associated with the submission or coordination of amicus briefs at the courts indicated in the Grants & Funding Guidelines.
How is a matter reviewed for funding?
The primary mechanism for review is the Executive Legal Council review process. The Executive Legal Council (ELC) is an advisory group comprised of the CEO, the leaders of U.S. and International legal teams or their designees, and the senior attorney directing the grants and funding program. The ELC carefully reviews the applications and makes recommendations as to the merits of the applications and amount of funding. Grants are authorized by the Alliance Defending Freedom CEO and are reviewed by the Governing Board of Directors consistent with the Grants & Funding Guidelines.
When does a matter become eligible for a grant?
A legal matter is eligible for a grant when the case is: 1) in litigation at the time Alliance Defending Freedom receives the grant application; or 2) litigation is imminent (i.e., the case has progressed to a point where a demand letter has been sent or a complaint is being prepared) and all preliminary preparations and investigations are complete. As for remuneration, it is not Alliance Defending Freedom’s intent to pay for initial investigation into a case. Consequently, Alliance Defending Freedom may provide limited support for pre-filing work.
When are the grant application deadlines, meetings, and results publication dates?
Will Alliance Defending Freedom Extend The Cut-Off Date?
In general, Alliance Defending Freedom does not extend the time in which to submit applications. You may submit your application after the cut-off date and, if there is room on the pending ELC schedule and Alliance Defending Freedom can prepare the application for submission to the ELC in time, it may be considered. However, that is not often the case. Typically, applications submitted after the cut-off dates are held for consideration during the following ELC meeting, approximately one month later.
Application materials must be received by our Arizona office before close of business (4:30pm, MST) on the cut-off day.
How soon after the ELC meeting will I know whether I’ve been awarded funding?
A decision is generally reached within one week of the ELC meeting. We do not reveal the status of the application until the entire process has been completed. A letter will be forwarded to the applicant informing him or her of the decision made regarding the application.
How do I go about collecting the funds once they have been awarded?
Submit detailed invoices supported by appropriate documentation of work performed and expenses incurred that are within the scope of the grant.
Grant invoices are generally processed each Wednesday, and checks will be mailed within six working days from the day first processed. All invoices that have been received on or before Monday will be processed to be forwarded to the accounting department the following Wednesday with checks typically being sent out on Monday. Alliance Defending Freedom may be unable to process a payment and a delay in processing will occur if any of the following are missing:
- A report on the present status of the case or project;
- The dates on which work occurred;
- A description of the work/activity;
- Identification of the person who completed the task, by name and title;
- The amount of time spent on each activity;
- If the invoice is for an Amicus Brief, it must be accompanied by an electronic copy of the amicus brief as filed, including signatures, in searchable format;
- A completed case update form;
- Completed Disclosure Agreement (must be submitted during 1st payment only if not currently on file)
How much should I ask for and is there a limit to the amount of funding I may request?
Although you may ask for whatever funding you believe is necessary, ADF has set forth a funding table to identify our expected investment in typical public interest litigation based on the case stage, the anticipated impact, and its alignment with organizational priorities. The amount of the award is based upon the amount requested, available funds at the time of consideration, and the published funding targets. For exceptional matters, the applicants may petition for additional funds. Applicants are encouraged to request funding for completing a defined stage, i.e., trial, appeal, etc., rather than for the entire case from trial through final appeal. Repeat requests for additional funding for the same stage of litigation is discouraged.
Why would a grant award be less than expected or denied?
During each review cycle we receive many grant requests for evaluation. Each request is independently considered and the amount of funding is based on several factors including, availability of our grant funding resources and the potential broad impact of the matter as compared with other funding requests. Please note that the grant award recipient may apply for additional funding in the future as a supplemental grant request in a pending case or project.
There could be several factors in denying a grant request including the mission of Alliance Defending Freedom, limited availability of funding resources, and the review committee’s perspective on the potential impact of the matter as compared with the other pending applications.
Can I apply for additional funding?
Yes. Grant award recipients may apply for supplemental funding in a pending case or project. However, simply because Alliance Defending Freedom has funded the case or project in the past does not guarantee that supplemental funding will be granted. Each request for funding, whether for initial or supplemental funding, is considered on its own merits and will undergo the same review process. Applicants are encouraged to request funding for completing a defined stage, i.e., trial, appeal, etc., rather than for the entire case from trial through final appeal. Repeat requests for additional funding for the same stage of litigation is discouraged.
A request for supplemental funding is made by completing the supplemental grant application. The dates for submission of a supplemental request to Alliance Defending Freedom are the same as the cut-off dates for submission of a new grant request.
Can I apply for funding for work that I have already done??
Generally, the answer is no. Funding of grants is prospective only, commencing from the time Alliance Defending Freedom receives the grant application. The only exceptions to this policy are:
- When the grant application for a case is submitted before the court has made any interlocutory or dispositive rulings, and then, only in compliance with the Grants & Funding Guidelines.
- If a grant has been previously awarded for a matter, a limited amount of funding may be awarded for work performed between the exhaustion of prior grant funds and the award of additional funds.
- In the case of an amicus brief application.
Please see the Grants & Funding Guidelines for the parameters of these exceptions.