WHY PRO BONO?
An overwhelming demand exists for civil legal services in the U.S. and our mission is to provide legal aid to low-income residents of the District of Columbia. We accomplish this mission with the help of committed, pro bono lawyers like you.
OUR CLIENTS, YOUR NEIGHBORS
We represent the region's neediest residents and all of our pro bono clients are prescreened for financial need. Since the majority of our clients are District of Columbia residents, your pro bono assistance may have a direct impact on the residents of the communities where you live and work.
DIVERSE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PRO BONO LAWYERS
We provide direct, legal representation in a range of civil matters affecting the lives of low-income residents across the District of Columbia as well as legal training for community members and social service providers. We welcome the assistance of pro bono attorneys with all of these activities. We support our volunteers from case assignment to closure, screening each pro bono matter carefully, providing a staff mentor or co-counsel when requested, as well as access to case materials, electronic research databases and training.
Opportunities to Provide Direct Legal Representation
- Consumer Law: defend clients in debt collection cases and protect vulnerable persons from predatory or deceptive practices.
- Family Law: represent clients in divorce, custody and domestic violence cases.
- Housing Law: advocate for clients in housing conditions cases, defend tenants sued for eviction and help families maintain federal housing subsidies.
- Employment Law: help our hard-working clients collect their unpaid wages.
- Public Benefits: represent clients who have been denied a public benefit such as Social Security disability or unemployment benefits.
- Wills and Advance Directives: assist clients with drafting wills, powers of attorney and living wills.
Pro Se and Brief Services
- Brief Services Unit: Volunteers are needed in our office at 680 Rhode Island Avenue to interview clients, conduct legal research, prepare pleadings, and draft correspondence under the supervision of NLSP attorneys.
- Small Claims Resource Center: Volunteers are needed on Thursday mornings to provide information to pro se litigants about procedure in Small Claims Court.
Legal Training and Community Education
- Legal Skills Training: Experienced attorneys are needed to train our staff attorneys on a range of legal skills.
- Substantive Legal Training: We also welcome the opportunity to host presentations by practitioners with specialized legal knowledge on topics that impact our clients.
- Community Workshops: We regularly conduct "Know Your Rights" presentations in the community and we welcome the help of volunteer attorneys to organize and teach these workshops. We have a particular need for bilingual (Spanish-English) attorneys to assist with this work.
COMMUNITY-BASED OPPORTUNITY: WARD 7
NLSP currently has an urgent need for pro bono lawyers with a particular interest in helping the residents of Ward 7. We are the only full-service, civil legal aid provider in these underserved communities located east of the Anacostia River.
WHO CAN VOLUNTEER
As a general matter, all of our volunteer attorneys must be admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia. There are some exceptions, for example, for attorneys who work for the federal government or who have a pending application for admission to the D.C. Bar. Attorneys who are not licensed in the District of Columbia and recent law school graduates are advised to consult and review D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 governing the unauthorized pratice of law in the District of Columbia before engaging in pro bono work in the District.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Pro Bono Counsel Heather Hodges at email@example.com or (202) 269-5115.