Early in 2021 Lagniappe Law Lab launched their redesigned Pro Bono Net site, ProBonoNet/LA (probono.net/la). For over a decade the ProBonoNet/LA site has served as an online hub connecting public interest lawyers, pro bono volunteers, and the entire Louisiana Civil Justice Community. 

With nearly 150 site members and a rich collection of legal materials, the ProBonoNet/LA site is a well-used resource for attorneys and advocates across Louisiana. This meant that any site redesign effort had to make both the users’ needs and the visibility of the resources first and foremost. “Getting the most out of a site redesign meant understanding the ‘most valuable features’ of the existing site, and thinking strategically about enabling new features that foster a sense of community and purpose” said Amanda Brown, director of the Lagniappe Law Lab. “In our design working group we found that featuring the most-used site tools prominently in the design was key to our users getting the most out of the site. We also used this opportunity to highlight important features that were not used as commonly, but are critical to building up a culture of pro bono in Louisiana.” 

Lagniappe Law Lab engaged Pro Bono Net’s longtime design collaborator, Kristen Argenio of Ideal Design Co, to develop several different options, with different looks and color palettes. “In the end we chose a site design that is a bit of a clean take on traditional colors, and incorporates some Louisiana-specific design elements,” said Brown. “Our users are definitely excited about engaging with the new site. Since we’ve launched, recurring site traffic has grown, unique visitors are up, and people are staying longer on the site. We’re thrilled to have this refreshed resource for the Louisiana Civil Justice Community.” 

Pro Bono Net will be represented at the 2021 Equal Justice Conference (EJC) this week. This virtual conference takes place May 3rd-7th and is hosted by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association. 

“The emphasis of this Conference is on strengthening partnerships among the key players in the civil justice system. Through plenary sessions, workshops, networking opportunities and special programming, the Conference provides a wide range of learning and sharing experiences for all attendees.”

Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit leader in increasing access to justice through innovative uses of technology and collaboration. Our staff is made up of a cross-disciplinary team from legal, technology and community engagement backgrounds who are committed to creating innovative, sustainable solutions for expanding access to justice. The Equal Justice Conference brings together all sectors of the legal community to discuss equal justice issues as they relate to the delivery of legal services to low income and vulnerable communities. 

We are also looking forward to celebrating Pro Bono Net’s Board member Betty Balli Torres, Executive Director of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, who is being recognized with the Innovations in Equal Justice Award on Thursday from noon 12:00 – 12:30pm ET. The awards ceremony will be live streamed via the ABA and NLADA’s Facebook pages. We hope you will join! 

Monday, May 3rd

1:00pm-2:30pm: Minding the Gap: Addressing Inequity & Disparity in Disaster Legal Services

Disaster recovery can be challenging to many underrepresented survivors, who often have more barriers than others to overcome. Presenters will discuss the disparities in impact and services provided in specific disaster areas, practices that programs can implement for successful legal service delivery, and the key elements of equitable rapid response models.

  • Moderator: Cheryl Naja, Alston & Bird
  • Tiela Chalmers, Alameda County Bar Association and Legal Access Alameda
  • Iris Peoples Green, Disability Rights North Carolina
  • Katherine Asaro, North Carolina Legal Education Assistance Foundation and North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center
  • Jeanne Ortiz-Ortiz, Pro Bono Net

1:00 – 2:30pm: From Participation to Power: Co-Design and Tech Strategies to Support Legal Empowerment

This session will highlight participatory design and technology strategies from the US and beyond to help communities know and shape laws that impact them. Panelists will discuss projects that draw on equity design principles and strategic uses of technology and data to help connect individual casework with systemic advocacy.

  • David Rodriguez Andino, Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico
  • Ariadna Godreau Aubert, Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico 
  • Matthew Burnett, Open Society Justice Initiative
  • Liz Keith, Pro Bono Net

Tuesday, May 4th

12:00pm-1:30 pm: Innovations in Remote Delivery Models

This session will focus on innovative programs in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, aimed at remote and rural service delivery. The ripple effects of the pandemic have disproportionately impacted racial minorities, who have been hit the hardest concerning housing, health, family, and employment issues. This session will offer examples of solutions and outreach strategies that advance a just and equitable recovery for rural communities and other communities affected by the crisis. 

The workshop will feature 1) www.GeorgiaLegalConnect.org, a technology-inspired program that connects low-income Georgians to attorneys for legal advice, 2) the Rural Economic Improvement Project in Alabama, which aims at better serving rural counties by coordinating with non-lawyers and using technology to reach clients, and 3 ) a comprehensive system of pro bono clinics in Mississippi, including the challenges of transitioning these clinics in the time of COVID-19. 

  • Cari H. King, Atlanta Legal Aid 
  • Jeanne Ortiz-Ortiz, Pro Bono Net 
  • Farah Majid, Legal Services Alabama
  • Nicole McLaughlin, Mississippi Access to Justice Commission and The Mississippi Bar’s Access to Justice Initiative

Wednesday, May 5th

12pm-1:30pm: A Hands-On Training for Creating Online Interactive Interviews

Interactive online interviews help with self-screening, connecting to the right legal information, filling out legal or intake forms, and more. Learn how to write an interview script for diverse client situations, and how to build an app for your script. 

  • Alison Corn, Pro Bono Net
  • Sam Harden, Pro Bono Net
  • Pat Malone, Pro Bono Net

5pm – 6:30pm: 50 Tech Tips 2021

This fast-paced, engaging session will provide tips about free and low-cost technology, including mobile apps, remote work tools, web platforms, and solutions for Windows and macOS. Technology leaders will share new tips relevant to the access to justice community at what is always one of the most popular sessions at the EJC.

  • David Bonebrake, Legal Services Corporation
  • Liz Keith, Pro Bono Net
  • LaDierdre D. McKinney, Michigan Legal Help Program
  • Glenn Rawdon, Legal Services Corporation
  • Jane Ribadeneyra, Legal Services Corporation

Friday, May 7th 

3pm-4:30pm: Online Forms Are Cornerstones for Access: In Good Times and In Bad Times

In 2020, the world was shut down due to Covid 19. The problems created by poverty and lack of legal representation did not stop, in fact for many, new problems developed, including DV, hunger, housing insecurity as it tends to happen in economic crisis. In this workshop will provide two examples from two very different states of how well developed and managed online forms projects play a vital role during emergencies and disasters, as well to meet pent up demand by those who can’t afford attorneys and representation. We will look at how forms are placed in a context of reducing barriers for those in need and share approaches that are helping 10,000s of people in need across multiple areas of civil law–including housing, family law, protection from abuse, benefits, etc. Laurie Garber and LaDeidre Mckinney, who manage two of the most successful online projects in the US, will share on partnership, and incrementally growing a collection that automates how they place their forms in the online universe to make it helpful and relevant to all, starting from simple to complex.

  • Laurie Garber, Northwest Justice Project
  • Claudia Johnson, Pro Bono Net  
  • LaDierdre McKinney, Michigan Poverty Law Program

Pro Bono Net, a national, nonprofit leader in innovative programs that increase access to justice, is pleased to announce that Tiffany Graves, Pro Bono Counsel at Bradley and Charley Moore, Founder and CEO of Rocket Lawyer, have joined the Pro Bono Net Board of Directors. 

Tiffany Graves serves as Bradley’s Pro Bono Counsel, where she oversees the development and administration of the firm’s pro bono programs. Tiffany says, “I have long admired the work of Pro Bono Net. As Pro Bono Counsel, my full-time work is focused on finding ways to connect our attorneys with those most in need. Like other law firms, we benefit from the crucial services provided by Pro Bono Net that increase access to attorneys and equalize the legal system. I am excited to serve on the Board and look forward to supporting Pro Bono Net’s important work in this way.” Prior to joining Bradley, Tiffany was the executive director of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission, where she led a 21-member commission created by the Mississippi Supreme Court and promoted its initiatives to improve and expand access to civil justice to the nearly 700,000 Mississippians living in poverty. Tiffany also currently serves as Co-President of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCo). 

Charley Moore, is the Founder and CEO of Rocket Lawyer. Rocket Lawyer is one of the most widely used legal services in the world, with operations in the US, the UK and Europe. Millions of people and organizations use Rocket Lawyer to access affordable and complete digital legal services. Charley says, “I look forward to serving on the board and helping to facilitate much needed assistance to people and organizations who otherwise may find justice out of reach.”

Pro Bono Net is fortunate to have Tiffany’s experience as a leader in racial justice issues and Charley’s hands on knowledge serving consumer needs to lend perspective to our public facing programs.

Please help us welcome Tiffany and Charley and visit our website to see their full bio’s and the complete board of directors’ listing. 

Legal Aid of Nebraska, in partnership with Pro Bono Net, is pleased to announce the launch of Legal Aid Connect (https://www.legalaidconnect.org/LAN). Legal Aid Connect is an on-line platform that enables Legal Aid of Nebraska to enroll, manage, and connect staff and pro bono attorneys with remotely located clients for advice, counsel and form preparation. Legal Aid of Nebraska offers free legal services to low-income people across the State of Nebraska. 

Through Legal Aid Connect, Legal Aid of Nebraska can connect clients and pro bono attorneys, no matter where the client lives in the State. The attorneys meet virtually with their clients and simultaneously share, store, and complete documents during a consultation. This resource is particularly valuable during the ongoing pandemic. “The acquisition of Legal Aid Connect has helped us bridge the communication gap, caused by the pandemic, between attorneys and clients,” said Muirne Heaney, Managing Attorney of the Access to Justice Program at Legal Aid of Nebraska. “We already have used the platform for two name change clinics. The platform ran seamlessly. We were able to help many people with the name change process because of the platform. The platform has become an essential tool for communicating with clients.” 

Because the platform operates through the internet, clients do not have to download or install any software, application or plug-ins, making it easier for the client to connect to the attorney. Legal Aid Connect also is mobile-friendly, giving clients a way to connect from their phones or portable devices. When an attorney and client finish their meeting, which may include document preparation and review, the client can get to the completed documents at any time, download or print, and file with the court. Both clients and attorneys can also access content created, updated and uploaded to Legal Aid Connect by Legal Aid of Nebraska. 


To learn more about Remote Legal Connect’s uses in other regions, please visit https://www.probono.net/programs/rlc/. The Remote Legal Connect platform was originally created in partnership with Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT) to stand up Family Legal Connection, a remote pro bono service for self represented family court litigants in New York. The platform was enhanced for use in other states with support from an American Bar Endowment Opportunity Grant, among other funders.

 

After witnessing the recent attacks and harmful rhetoric against our community, I was reminded of what it meant to be an Asian-American in today’s society: invisible, dismissed, and unnoticed. Like other members of the Asian-American community, I was taught that our experiences did not matter – that we were side characters who were expected to keep our head down. 

However, it is long overdue for our stories, our struggles, and our pains to be recognized and heard.

After Donald Trump’s “Chinese Virus” tweet at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an alarming spike of violence and anti-Asian sentiment. The Atlanta spa shootings, destruction of Asian-American owned businesses, vicious assaults, and racial slurs across the country are few examples of this sudden escalation. Yet history has proven that these attitudes and attacks are not unfamiliar: we have always been the outsiders. The Yellow Peril, Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese internment camps, model minority myth, and more demonstrate the longstanding legacy of pervasive racism and violence that has existed within our society for decades. 

Pro Bono Net continues to stand beside all of the individuals that have been greatly affected and hurt during this time. We mourn the lives of the eight victims who died during the Atlanta spa shoots, we send out condolences to the loved ones who survive them, and we stand together with all those who are targeted by racist rhetoric and violent attacks in our country.


Pro Bono Net is grateful to Jillian Jin, AmeriCorps Vista working with our Immigration Advocates Network program, for writing this important piece addressing the recent hate crimes committed against the Asian American community. You can read Jillian’s bio on our website, here.

In recognition of Farmworker Awareness Week (March 25th – 31st) and Cesar Chavez Day (March 31st), we invited Iris Figueroa, Director of Economic and Environmental Justice at Farmworker Justice, to guest author today’s blog post reminding us of some of the unique challenges of farmworker’s today. A workforce that truly embodies the definition of essential worker – farmworkers continue to be excluded from labor protections and immigration benefits and the threat of COVID-19 has made the occupation that more difficult and dangerous. 


More than 2.4 million farmworkers labor in fields across the country to ensure the stability of our food supply. Despite their designation as essential workers, farmworkers continue to be subjected to discriminatory exclusions from basic labor rights. Additionally, due to the many barriers farmworkers face, those labor protections that do exist are often not enforced. This must change.

Agricultural work is a dangerous—and sometimes deadly—occupation. Violations of basic health and safety protections are all too common.  But because many farmworkers are undocumented, they fear retaliation when speaking up about mistreatment or seeking help. And those who do complain often discover that our labor laws lack the basic but critical protections guaranteed to other workers. The people who risk their lives to put food on our tables deserve better.

Farmworkers continue to be excluded from many of the most fundamental wage and hour protections guaranteed to workers in almost every other sector of the American economy. These unequal labor laws are the result of compromises from the 1930s in which southern legislators agreed to only vote for vital labor protections if farmworkers and domestic workers, who were predominantly Black, were excluded from the law’s coverage. It is past time that Congress addresses this by striking the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) exclusion of farmworkers from overtime, remaining exemptions to the minimum wage, and exclusions from unionizing and collective bargaining rights.

At the same time, more than half of the country’s farmworkers are undocumented immigrants. Without legal status, these workers are unable to challenge dangerous and unfair working conditions without fear of retaliation and deportation; conditions for all workers suffer as a consequence. Legislation creating a pathway to immigration status and citizenship for farmworkers and their families is urgently needed to ensure a more just, stable, and secure agricultural system.

Additionally, a growing number of the nation’s farmworkers are guestworkers on H-2A temporary agricultural visas. The H-2A program allows growers to apply for guestworker visas, so long as they are able to show (1) that there are not enough available, willing and qualified U.S. workers, and (2) that the recruitment of guestworkers will not adversely affect wage and work conditions in the U.S. The number of visas approved each year has exploded, with more than 275,000 visas granted in FY 2020. These H-2A visa holders are denied a true immigration status and often arrive indebted due to the costs of obtaining the job. For these and other reasons, H-2A guestworkers are vulnerable and often experience abuse and exploitation.

Farmworkers have also been hit especially hard by the COVID pandemic. Because many farmworkers survive on very low wages, they often experience overcrowding in housing and transportation, increasing their exposure to the virus. Conditions are rarely better on the job, where many report that their employers fail to provide them with adequate information, masks, handwashing facilities, or other protective gear. And because of the migratory nature of the work, farmworkers rarely have consistent or reliable access to health care, including vaccines.

Yet even before the COVID pandemic, agricultural work was one of the most dangerous occupations in the country, despite the fact that many of the injuries, illnesses, and deaths suffered by farmworkers are preventable. The frequent use of pesticides and the resulting toxic drift across rural communities endangers the health of farmworkers and their families. Climate change also has a disparate impact on this community due to the dangerous temperatures that increase the already high risk of heat stress.

Lack of immigration status, exclusions from basic labor rights, economic insecurity and occupational health and safety risks are all factors that affect the daily lives of farmworkers and their families. This reality is the result of decades of unequal policies that continue to this day. It is long past the time for this shameful legacy to be addressed.

For more information on these issues and how you can support farmworkers, please visit www.farmworkerjustice.org

You can also access a state-by-state summary of farmworker rights, including links to farmworker legal services organizations, here.

Below is a Q&A with Pro Bono Net’s LawHelpNY Program Associate. This Q&A was originally published in the NY Crime Victims Legal Network’s newsletter

What do you do at LawHelpNY/ Pro Bono Net?

I look to deliver on our program goals, particularly with the NY Crime Victims Legal Help and the LawHelpNY platforms. I focus on adding reliable content to our sites and engage with legal aid organizations and our partners in ensuring their information is up-to-date. I also look ahead at technical and visual ways to practically make our online community more engaging and useful to the advocates who are doing the important work on the ground assisting those in search of legal help.

What motivates you to be active in this work?

I know firsthand that getting legal help is incredibly daunting when you don’t know where or who to go to for assistance, or even that you have the right to do so. I’m motivated to make getting Know Your Rights information and access to a pro bono lawyer as easy as I possibly can for those visiting our sites.

How can technology help crime victims, advocates & legal professionals?

Technology is helping us break barriers in getting crime victims the help they need, whether it’s legal information now accessible from a smartphone to e-filing platforms to virtual hearings. There is still much to be done; we have to address the lack of access to wi-fi for many, especially in rural areas, and the loss of social supports amidst the current pandemic. That said, strides are being made across the country in using technology to make legal help as accessible as possible, no matter what your financial situation or background may be.

What has been your favorite project to work on thus far?

This isn’t so much a project as an ongoing favorite, but I love working with the Advocate Gateway on NY Crime Victims Legal Help. I’m always excited to ask myself what could be more intuitive about the area for advocates using it and then go through the process of brainstorming with our team on what we can do to make it more logical and visually clean so that the key content, things like our library resources, can stand out.

What is your favorite thing about your job/career?

I love being able to connect with such a diverse community from advocates and attorneys, to law students to program managers; I’m in a position where I can teach others about our work and sites, but also learn so much from them about the direct service work that they do. It is a rich experience, and it’s in these conversations that I am informed to make our online community that much better.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you?

I’ll try a lot of things once, just to take a chance and then I’m kind of reserved the rest of the time! I’ve tried out for a reality show once, ran one marathon, spoken at one conference, published one poem… what to try next?!

Pro Bono Net is pleased to join leading civil legal aid and immigrant rights organizations in Georgia in announcing the launch of GeorgiaVictimNetwork.org, a new statewide resource to help victims of crime learn about their rights, identify their legal needs, and connect with resources and representation opportunities. 

GeorgiaVictimNetwork.org was created in collaboration with the Georgia Victim Legal Assistance Network (VLAN), which includes the Georgia Legal Services Program, the Georgia Asylum and Immigrant Network, Atlanta Legal Aid Society, and Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Network. Funding for the project was provided by the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC). Georgia’s VLAN network also uses Navigators with the four main civil legal agency partners as advocates who can assist crime victims using the website.

The site was developed using the probono.net platform and dynamically integrates referral information from GeorgiaLegalAid.org, Georgia’s statewide legal information website. The project builds off Pro Bono Net’s experience co-designing CrimeVictimsHelpNY.org, New York’s statewide resource for victims to learn about their rights, connect with resources and obtain assistance. 

Civil legal resources can be scarce or difficult to access in Georgia in rural and urban communities. The website features a searchable legal service help directory with filters to help victims find organizations that can assist with specific issues; a self-help resource library to inform them of their rights; and access to online self-help forms on a range of issues. It also features a dedicated gateway for nonprofit legal and victim services advocates assisting victims to access and share practitioner resources and trainings.

GLSP/VLAN Project Director, Vicky Kimbrell said: Georgia Legal Services is proud to be part of this project and we are really excited about its potential. The ‘Know Your Rights’ library and the free legal forms sections available to provide current, accurate information to any victim of crime who has civil legal concerns.  Survivors can get forms for Family Violence Protective Orders, Divorce forms, and applications for TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, Victims Compensation, and child support assistance to provide financial supports for families to establish their independence from violence.” 

Pro Bono Net Program Director Liz Keith said, “Georgia VLAN offers a victim-centered  online resource to help survivors access a network of resources and services that can help them in legal matters pertaining to housing, family law, employment and more. Pro Bono Net is honored to be part of this effort to expand VLAN’s capacity to reach more victims statewide and to strengthen the essential work of organizations and advocates assisting them.”

During summer 2020, Pro Bono Net and Georgia VLAN partnered with the Weil, Gotshal & Manges associates’ Summer of Service program to develop legal rights resources for GeorgiaVictimNetwork.org. Weil associate Elizabeth Barras provided vital legal research and content development support for the project. 

Visit GeorgiaVictimNetwork.org to learn more about the Georgia Victim Legal Assistance Network. To learn more about the history of Victim Legal Assistance Networks and similar projects in other states, visit the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI)’s Victim Networks toolkit.

According to the AmeriCorps website, the AmeriCorps Vista program began in 1965 and “over 220,000 AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program have joined the fight against poverty by helping local organizations expand their capacity to make change.”

The 2021 AmeriCorps Week commenced March 7th and continues until March 13th. To mark the occasion, we are proud to highlight two of our current Vistas: Dennis Brink, our LawHelpNY AmeriCorps Vista; and Jillian Jin, our Immigration Advocates Network AmeriCorps Vista. We asked them to share their experiences with the Vista program and the work they are doing with Pro Bono Net. 

How did you learn about the AmeriCorps Vista program and what made you interested in joining?

Dennis Brink: When I was studying my undergraduate degree at Arcadia University, I had a work study with the Community Service Office on campus. While working with the office, I was exposed to the Americorps and Vista programs, through  constant engagement with Cindy Rubino the director of the office, and fellow students and alumni. 

Upon graduating from Arcadia University, I became part of a Young Adults in Global Mission program run by the ELCA. I moved to Budapest, Hungary, and began working with a local non profit organization, Phiren Amenca. During my time at Phiren  Amenca, I was exposed to the innate injustices which exist within our society, and how access to justice remains unreachable by large portions of the global community. Fueled by my desire to assist in closing the justice gap, I decided to join the Vista program.  I felt like becoming a Vista would allow me to channel my passion for  social justice into my daily life and future career in the public sector. Selecting the LawHelp NY Vista position, allowed me to work on developing sustainable solutions to gaps within the communities access to justice.

Jillian Jin: In college, I worked under a federal grant that focused on preventing and responding to sexual violence on campus. I made revisions to college policies, provided advocacy and support to students, and expanded resources within the community. Realizing the barriers that survivors faced when obtaining and understanding complicated legal information, I wanted to gain more experience with an organization that focused on access to justice. When discussing these goals with other partners in the nonprofit sphere, they all recommended doing a year of service with AmeriCorps VISTA before I applied to law school. After researching more about the program, it was an easy decision to apply – it seemed like a great opportunity to gain work experience with underserved communities, enhance my understanding of how to combat inequality, improve my personal skills, and more. 

Dennis, how long have you been a Vista and what is the nature of the work you are doing with LawHelpNY?

Dennis: I am in my third consecutive year long term, serving as the Vista for LawHelpNY. 

My role with LawHelpNY is mostly committed to assisting in the running of our premier LiveHelp program. I assist in the day to day operations of the programming by assisting with volunteer management. My duties include, scheduling volunteers for shifts, aiding in the volunteer onboarding process; assisting with volunteer recruitment, and reviewing all volunteer applications for program admittance. 

My role also includes providing innovative solutions and insight to  building both the capacity and sustainability of the LiveHelp Program. I assist in the development of new tools we have for volunteer management, like the implementation and creation of our Galaxy management software, as well the potential expansion of volunteers ability to engage users throughout our social media platforms. Furthermore, I also run projects on expanding the scope and reach of our current platform, to expand our service delivery model, expanding the reach of meaningful legal access to the community.

Data analytics is also a major feature and function of my day to day responsibilities. I assist in the collection program numbers for grant reporting metrics, as well as providing numbers for new potential grant opportunities. In addition, I run, and structure monthly livehelp data reports, and work on creating a more fluid and sustainable data system structure for the LawHelpNY program.

Jillian, how long have you been a Vista and what is the nature of the work you are doing with Immigration Advocates Network?

Jillian: I have been a VISTA with Pro Bono Net and Immigration Advocates Network since last June. My role is to connect legal service providers and nonprofit organizations to rural and underserved communities in New York and across the country. During COVID-19, my project has been particularly critical since everything has transitioned into remote services. So far, I have created new, user-informed materials, supported community education pilot projects, and helped expand efforts to offer remote legal information and service delivery. A few examples of this work include:

  • creating a how-to-guide for pro bonos and clients who are meeting on Zoom, Google Meets, etc., especially helpful to rural and hard-to-reach communities;
  • organizing and recording the Creative Outreach Webinar, attended by 126 legal service providers and nonprofit staff;
  • conducted a second national survey to follow up with the first edition of the Remote Legal Support Guide;
  • helping with newsletters and social media to engage pro bonos, nonprofits, and members of the community to support PBN’s work to promote access to justice;
  • researching and creating a COVID-19 Resource List and more.

What has the Vista Program taught you?

Dennis: Throughout my last three years, the Vista program has taught me so much about life and myself. It has allowed me to become more motivated in committing to a career in public service, as well the internal confidence to take on any obstacle that life throws at me. It taught me that  innovative solutions require creative thinking, teamwork, and careful planning and strategy. In addition, it has allowed me to understand the depths and scope of poverty, and the impact that poverty has on our communities and populations. Progress requires individuals to   have humility, compassion, and courage to stand up  and be proactive in providing solutions to the problems which face our society. Being a Vista, has allowed me to see what is required for progress, and how allying your passions in life to the work you do, allows you to become an agent of change. Without the Vista program, I would have never become who I am today, and I will always be grateful for LawHelp NY and Vista for providing me with the space and work I needed to become an agent of change. 

Jillian: Being able to assist with these projects and be a part of such an amazing organization has been a great learning experience. My time here has prepared me for law school, affirmed my dedication to social justice work, and allowed me to connect with others in the public interest world. If you are passionate about making a difference, please apply to the VISTA program – it is an amazing opportunity that you will find incredibly rewarding!

Is there any other information or advice you would offer or give to someone applying to the program?

Dennis: I would tell them to find a position in Vista that speaks to who they are and their passion in public service. Visa positions cover a wide range of fields and interest areas, there is a position for individuals from all walks of life. I would advise them to really look into the wealth of Vista positions and seek out the opportunities they are passionate about, and commit to doing the work required to eradicate poverty. I would also tell them to be open to different types of work and assignments. The Vista program is truly unique, in the sense that it allows individuals to gain a wide range of knowledge and skills, if volunteers commit to the experience. It also allows The Vista experience is what a volunteer chooses to make it, volunteers have many different areas within their assignments that they can explore their own passion and skills. 


For the opportunity to carry on this project, you can apply here:  https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=101889

Throughout the past two years, through tumult and crisis, tragedy and inspiration, Pro Bono Net has been focused and unified by the certainty that our mission has never been more important: to use innovative technology solutions and collaboration to fulfill America’s promise of equal justice for all.

Pro Bono Net has a 20-year record of hard work and success providing online resources to help the legal community respond with speed and efficacy to unexpected and pressing events. The past two years have tested our resilience, and we have met the challenge.

Moving through 2021 determined to support the civil legal sector and contribute to social justice by every means possible, we invite you now to take a few minutes to read through our latest Annual Report and revisit some highlights of hard work and positive change from a fraught time we now hope to leave in the past.


You can view our latest Annual Report, here. You can also view this annual report as well as our past annual reports on our website: https://www.probono.net/get-involved/media/