And how does Medicare/Medicaid compare to Legal Aid cases in those same areas?
And how does Medicare/Medicaid compare to Legal Aid cases in those same areas? Are lawyers compelled to take Legal Aid cases, and if so, what's the ratio?
DEVELOPMENT OF ABA MODEL RULE 6.1: HISTORICAL TIMELINE
1969 : the ABA adopted the Code of Professional Responsibility, which addresses for the first time the responsibility of the lawyer to engage in pro bono work, in Ethical Consideration 2-25. It states among other things: " Every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence or professional workload, should find time to participate in serving the disadvantaged."
1975 : the ABA House of Delegates adopted a resolution which formally acknowledges "the basic responsibility of each lawyer engaged in the practice of law to provide public interest legal services" (the "Montreal Resolution"). It defined pro bono in part by specifying areas in which the services should be rendered, namely: poverty law, civil rights law, public rights law charitable organization representation and the administration of justice.
1983 : the ABA adopted Model Rule 6.1, which states that a lawyer "should render public interest legal service." It specifies certain ways a lawyer can discharge the responsibility: "by service in activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession, and by financial support for organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means."
1988 : the ABA adopted the "Toronto Resolution," which, among other things, resolves to "[R]ecognize and support the professional obligation of all attorneys to devote a reasonable amount of time, but in no event less than 50 hours per year to pro bono and other public service activities that serve those in need or improve the law, the legal system or the legal profession."
1993 : the ABA revised Model Rule 6.1 to include a quantified aspirational goal (i.e. at least 50 hours per year), a more refined definition of pro bono, and more specific ways to discharge the pro bono responsibility. The substantial majority of the 50-hour responsibility should be discharged through the provision of legal services to low-income people and groups that serve low-income people.
2002 : the ABA revised Model Rule 6.1 to add a sentence at the beginning of the Rule to give greater prominence to the proposition that every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to persons unable to pay. A new Comment  was also added that calls upon law firms to act reasonably to enable all lawyers in a firm to provide the pro bono legal services called for by this Rule.
Last Updated: 06/23/2011
Rules vary from state to state, but to my knowledge no lawyer is required by law to take pro bono or legal aid cases as a condition of retaining his practice.
Apparently this is a fraud prevention clause.
gotta love the loose American approach to ethics
at least the consistency is admirable