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Pro Bono Volunteer Opportunities

Do you want to volunteer to provide pro bono legal assistance? No matter what your practice or practice setting is, there are opportunities for you. Through the resources linked below, you will find the program, the case, the issue and the location best suited for your needs and interests.

Find a Pro Bono Opportunity

  • No matter where you live or work, there is a pro bono program that will be of interest to you and that needs your help. To find the program that is best for you, use The National Pro Bono Volunteer Opportunities Guide, a joint project of the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, its project, the ABA Center for Pro Bono, and Pro Bono Net.

  • The Immigrant Child Advocacy Network (ICAN) is a project responding to the immigration crisis caused by the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children seeking refuge in the United States and the critical need for additional pro bono lawyers to ensure children are provided legal representation in immigration proceedings. The project can be found at ambar.org/ican and you may contact the project at abaican@americanbar.org or volunteer through this form.
  • If you are a retired lawyer, a lawyer in career transition or scaling back your practice, and you are interested in opportunities to do pro bono or public service work, you will be interested in the American Bar Association Second Season of Service. Many Bar Associations are also providing volunteer opportunities for senior lawyers, for example The Senior Lawyer Public Interest Project of the DC Bar.
  • The ABA Offers a Dues Waiver for Senior or Inactive Members Who Provide Pro Bono Service. More information about the Dues Waiver
  • People, businesses and organizations affected by hurricanes and other disasters need legal assistance. You can help by clicking here and selecting the affected state: Volunteer for Pro Bono

  • The Military Pro Bono Project, unlike several legal service programs that have surfaced to assist veterans, is uniquely focused on provision of pro bono services to active-duty service members, many of whom remain deployed to areas of conflict. The Project will directly help service members by moving cleared pro bono referrals straight from military law offices to willing-and-able private sector lawyer volunteers throughout the country. Needs are arising in the areas of consumer law, family law, landlord-tenant, employment law, and other areas. Their families often unfortunately require assistance in the area of probate, trusts and estates, or guardianship law. The Military Pro Bono Project is a joint venture of the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP) and the ABA Section of Litigation, with assistance from the ABA Center for Pro Bono.

  • Do you want to help the children in your community who need legal representation? Click here. Directory of Programs Serving Children

  • Do you want to help victims of domestic violence in your community who need legal representation? The ABA Commission on Domestic Violence has set up The National Domestic Violence Pro Bono Directory

  • If you are a paralegal, or if you know a paralegal, who wants to volunteer to do pro bono, click here. Paralegals and Pro Bono

  • Your state or local bar association has a pro bono committee or program that needs your assistance, and you can find more by clicking here. Your local and/or state bar association

  • There are legal aid and legal services providers in your community that have pro bono and other programs that will be of interest to you and enable you to serve the poor in your community. Find more information here. Your local legal aid/legal services office

  • The American Bar Association supports a plethora of pro bono programs and you can learn more about them here.ABA Sections, Divisions & Committees

  • And here. ABA Pro Bono activities in the Section Officers Conference (SOC)

  • And here. ABA Pro Bono activities outside of the SOC

  • Are you at a point in your career that affords you the time to do pro bono work in another country, or can you assist international programs from your home community? If so, learn more about international pro bono programs here at ABA International Activities and Programs or volunteer for International Pro Bono. One may also engage with the International Legal Resource Center (ILRC) of the American Bar Association and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Also Latham & Watkins LLP and the Pro Bono Institute have published their 2012 Survey of Pro Bono Practices and Opportunities in 71 Jurisdictions that is a useful guide to international pro bono by country.

  • The American Bar Association's Volunteer Legal Project ("VLP") was created in 1986 to assist the ABA's lawyer staff in fulfilling their professional obligation to perform pro bono service. Over the years, lawyers have provided legal services to numerous indigent clients in matters involving bankruptcy, divorce, custody, adoptions, guardianships, public benefits, wills and other matters. Read more about the VLP here. Volunteer Legal Project -- Pro Bono for Staff of the American Bar Association

    If you are a lawyer employed by the ABA and wish to participate in this program,

    ABA Dues Waiver for Senior or Inactive Members Who Provide Pro Bono Service

    Pro bono work has long been supported and encouraged by the ABA, and the association's Board of Governors approved a plan it hopes will further encourage lawyers to contribute to their community by making retired and inactive members who have provided 500 hours of pro bono service in the prior year eligible for a waiver of their ABA membership dues the following year.

    Upon request, an ABA member who is no longer in the active practice of law who completes 500 hours of pro bono legal service within a calendar year may receive a dues waiver with appropriate documentation. The definition of pro bono legal services work is set forth in Model Rule 6.1. The applicant must show proof that at least 250 of the 500 hours of pro bono work involved direct representation of persons of limited means or organizations that provide services to those individuals, service on boards of organizations serving the poor, or serving as non-compensated legal staff for such organizations. To participate in this program, contact the ABA Service Center at 1-800-285-2221 or Service@americanbar.org.

For more information on pro bono opportunities, you may .

Updated: 8/20/2015

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