This year, National Pro Bono Week’s theme is “Voice of Democracy: Ensuring Justice for All.” Every day, millions of Americans are prevented from finding safe housing, meeting critical health care needs, and exercising other rights due to our country’s inability to ensure that everyone facing a legal problem can access help for it. As our Fast Company op-ed outlined, for communities of color, immigrants, rural communities, and those living on low incomes, the justice gap is simply the status quo.
Pro Bono Net would like to recognize the thousands of lawyers, advocates, paralegals, law students and others who put their legal expertise to use serving those in need and advocating for a more just world. Pro bono work doesn’t just fill a gap – it amplifies our collective ability to shape a more just and equitable society. Below are five resources for legal professionals looking to get involved and for organizations seeking to strengthen their pro bono efforts.
1. National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide
Pro Bono Net’s National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide is a joint project of Pro Bono Net, the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, and the ABA Center for Pro Bono, in collaboration with probono.net network partners across the country. Through the Guide, attorneys, law students, paralegals and other legal professionals can find organizations offering opportunities in their local community and areas of interest, and contact organizations to get involved. To access the Guide, visit probono.net/volunteer.
2. Immigration Advocates Network Volunteer Guide and Nonprofit Resource Center
The Immigration Advocates Network, a program of Justicia Lab, Pro Bono Net’s immigrant justice incubator, is a community of more than 11,000 lawyers, paralegals, students, and not for profit organizations committed to immigrant justice. IAN harnesses the power of technology and collaboration to provide nonprofit and pro bono immigration law practitioners with free online training resources, practice resources and access to experts on issues such as refugee/asylum advocacy, working with immigrant children and working with clients in detention. Get involved by joining the Nonprofit Resource Center. Membership is free for pro bono lawyers and nonprofit staff. Legal professionals interested in volunteering for immigrant justice can also search for opportunities through IAN’s Volunteer Guide.
3. The probono.net Network
Our probono.net platform supports more than 20 national and statewide justice networks and thousands of pro bono volunteers and legal advocates working collaboratively to tackle pressing justice issues, including probono.net/la, legalaidprobono.org, vetsprobono.org, and advocatesfordisasterjustice.org and more. Visit probono.net/network to find and join other pro bono networks.
4. Practising Law Institute’s Pro Bono Membership
Practising Law Institute (PLI) proudly offers Pro Bono Memberships, granting unlimited access to a wide selection of programming to qualifying legal aid organizations and other IRC Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations which provide direct representation, as well as law school public interest clinics. PLI also offers over 2,500 individual scholarships on a yearly basis. Learn more.
PLI also offers interactive pro bono programs through the Interactive Learning Center (ILC) to sharpen your skills in a fun and practical way. These innovative programs help new and seasoned attorneys taking on pro bono cases. Topics include: Communicating with Pro Bono Clients, Interviewing Pro Bono Clients, Working with Domestic Violence Survivors, and more.
5. Tech solutions to help volunteers reach and represent those in need
In addition to our resources for individual volunteers and those offered by our partners like PLI, Pro Bono Net creates scalable and sustainable tech solutions for nonprofits, courts, and law firms to empower volunteers to reach and represent those in need, including Remote Legal Connect, which powers remote advocacy initiatives in six states; LawHelp Interactive, our free online legal forms program used daily in pro bono services and clinics across the country; and Pro Bono Manager, used by leading law firms to more efficiently manage, promote and grow their pro bono program—and ultimately do more good.
Interested in learning more about these programs? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more more information about Pro Bono Net’s programs and initiatives, visit our website at: www.probono.net/programs