Each year, millions of people in the US face civil legal problems and are unable to afford an attorney. Many are turned away from civil legal aid because there are just not enough resources to go around. Pro bono and volunteer attorneys play an indispensable role in providing services to these people, and the impact of their work cannot be overstated. This National Volunteer Week, we would like say “Thank you!” to all attorneys who volunteer their time to ensure those who cannot afford an attorney do not go without their legal rights.
Tools and Resources for Volunteers
In this day and age, technology provides volunteer attorneys with greater resources than ever. Pro Bono Net has several resources and tools for attorneys who are interested in getting involved with pro bono work.
Our flagship site, probono.net is a national, online resource for pro bono and other volunteer attorneys, legal professionals, and other legal advocates. The site promotes collaboration and makes it easier for volunteers to get involved. Members can access a number of resources including the pro bono opportunities guide, the pro bono library tool, and pro bono CLE training calendars. Each statewide probono.net site has multiple practice areas, local opportunities, highlights and more. Learn more by going to www.probono.net and choosing your geographic area.
In addition to our statewide sites, we also offer resources on a national basis in several areas. The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) website houses its nonprofit and pro bono resource center which provides free web-based tools, resources and trainings for nonprofit immigration advocates, organizers and service providers. Military Pro Bono has online resources and a searchable directory that provides access to volunteer opportunities related to military and veteran issues. The Veterans Consortium website supports and engages both veterans and volunteer attorneys by making it easier for veterans to file federal court appeals and making it more efficient for attorneys to volunteer and ask for cases to represent veterans in need.
In addition to these sites, Pro Bono Net also has dedicated tools like LawHelp Interactive (LHI). LHI creates online legal forms that support volunteer attorneys in direct representation, limited scope and referral and screening contexts by helping them to do their pro bono work more efficiently and providing support in new areas of law.
Our newest addition
Launched this January, catholiccharitiesnyprobono.org is a new probono.net-powered site developed in partnership with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York with funding from New York State’s Liberty Defense Project.
The site serves as the centerpiece of Catholic Charities new statewide pro bono project to expand access to legal services for immigrant communities, particularly in dense and regionally isolated immigrant communities. The probono.net platform plays a central role in Catholic Charities Pro Bono Project’s volunteer mobilization strategy.
“The all-inclusive site provides volunteers with the ability to review available cases, sign up for short-term and case placement volunteer opportunities, learn more about the work of the Pro Bono Project and access a wealth of training materials and practice templates. The online volunteer portal comes with more than 100 practice tools and web-based trainings, with new materials added as needed,” according to Catholic Charities.
Pro Bono Net would like to again extend our gratitude to all the attorneys around the country working to ensure access to justice for people through volunteering. Volunteer attorneys truly make a difference in people’s lives.
If you are an attorney and would like to volunteer, please visit our Volunteer Tools page for a list of resources to help you get started.
Sponsored by Points of Light, National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and has grown exponentially each subsequent year, with literally thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week.