Pro Bono Action Items: Regional Opportunities to Donate Attorney Hours for Early October

National Pro Bono Week is only three weeks away! For the past five years, the event has provided an annual, national spotlight on lawyers’ professional responsibility to those unable to pay for legal services. Hopefully, October is a month when all of us ask ourselves what else we might do to contribute in our communities, despite our busy schedules.

Some pro bono work can involve long-term commitments, but we tend to forget how much even a few moments of legal advice mean to someone unable to afford more. Isolated free evenings can make a difference.

The tricky part can be figuring out what to do with them. The legal needs of individuals unable to afford our professional rates are great, and a plethora of organizations in cities across the country need volunteer assistance as they attempt to meet them. Tools like ProBono.net’s National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide and Pro Bono Students Canada’s Community Placement Program and the Court and Tribunal Program do excellent work cataloging these programs. Unfortunately, it is sometimes unclear what these organizations need. Lawyers fill out a form or send an email without knowing where and when they might be asked to contribute.

Starting this year, PSJD would like to make it a little easier to find a use for your free moments. Once or twice a month (depending on demand) we will highlight specific opportunities in each NALP region for attorneys to turn up and get involved in pro bono work on the spot. Some of these opportunities will require activity beyond the initial starting time and date; please read each event page carefully. Also be sure to read event pages to determine whether you must pre-register for the event. Our goal is to let you know when and where your services are needed in your community.

In order for this initiative to work, we will need your help. Public interest organizations that rely on legal volunteers: please reach out to us at psjd@nalp.org if you know of orientation events, trainings, or walk-in opportunities for volunteer lawyering in your community in the coming month and we will consider including your event in the next edition of this feature.

Enjoy giving back!

— PSJD

Pro Bono Action Items By Region

Northeast

Organization: The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association

Practice: Civil representation for the indigent Boston-area community.

Action Item: Attend their New Volunteer Attorney Orientation

When: Monday, October 6, 4pm – 5pm

Where: 99 Chauncy Street, Boston MA 02111

Questions: Tiara D. Mahoney Paulino

Notes: Volunteer opportunities include both case handling and short-term (one-day) projects.

Mid-Atlantic

Organization: District of Columbia Bar Association Probate Resource Center

Practice: Walk-in legal information to unrepresented parties probating large estates for people who lived in the District of Columbia.

Action Item: Attend their Training Session.

When: Wednesday, October 8, 12pm – 2:30pm

Where: D.C. Superior Court; 1101 K Street NW, Washington DC 20005

Questions: kdebruhl@dcbar.org | 202-626-3489

NOTES: Malpractice insurance provided. Resource center open Tuesday afternoons. Volunteers must commit to at least four afternoons within a year of the training.

Midwest

Organization: Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota Pro Bono Naturalization Project

Practice: Legal representation in citizenship cases for low-income immigrants and refugees.

Action Item: Attend their Training Session.

When: Thursday, October 9, 9am – 12:30pm

Where: Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi | 800 LaSalle Ave. Ste. 2800, Minneapolis, MN 55402

Questions: Ann Applebaum

NOTES: Cases are pre-screened and should only require 15-20 hours of attorney work. No immigration experience or second language skills needed. Training is free for attorneys who accept a pro bono case from ILCM, otherwise $100.

Southeast

Organization: Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Association Domestic Violence Project

Practice: Legal assistance and representation for victims of intimate partner violence/stalking seeking civil protective orders in Fulton County Superior Court.

Action Item: Attend their Training Session.

When: Tuesday, October 7, 11:30am – 3:30pm

Where: Alston & Bird LLP | 1201 West Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta GA 30309

Questions: Julia Black

NOTES: 3.5 CLE credits available ($17.50). Training is free to those who do not want CLE credit. Lunch will be provided.

West/Rocky Mountain

Organization: South Asian Bar Association of Northern California Legal Clinic

Practice: Informal counsel on immigration and various generalist issues (family law, small claims, employment, etc.). No direct representation provided and no guaranteed referrals.Action Item: Volunteer at their Columbia Neighborhood Center Clinic.

When: Saturday, October 4, 10am – 12pm

Where: Columbia Neighborhood Center | 785 Morse Avenue, Sunnyvale CA 94087

Questions: probono@southasianbar.org

NOTES: Please review this orientation presentation before volunteering.

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