Pro Bono and Community Service Resources
Interested in pro bono opportunities? Check out these resources to learn about pro bono projects, some of which may include malpractice coverage.
- Allegheny County Bar Foundation: this link provides a great listing of a variety of local pro bono projects. http://www.pittsburghprobono.org/Pro_Bono_Volunteer_opportunities.asp
- VetLex: ABA sponsored national project to match pro bono lawyers with veterans for limited representation matters. https://vetlex.org/
- PA Rule 6.1 – Pro bono: https://www.pacode.com/secure/data/204/chapter81/s6.1.html
- ABA Model Rule 6.1 – Pro bono: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/probono_public_service/policy/aba_model_rule_6_1.html
PRO BONO/VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
From Pro Bono Centre: Volunteer Opportunities During the COVID-19 Shutdown
With the courts closed, evictions halted, and legal services limited to being provided remotely, many pro bono services are now being provided differently, and in some cases are on hold. The Pro Bono Center and other legal aid organizations are working hard to stay on top of constant changes from the courts and all levels of government. We're assessing priorities and adjusting the way services are delivered, such as by presenting online webinars to community groups. And we're looking for ways to leverage law students to assist attorneys with cases. Thank you for your patience during this time.
Local, statewide, and national pro bono programs that continue to be in need of volunteers and which can assign clients remotely include the following:
- North Hills Community Outreach's "Ask the Attorney" program is currently referring clients to volunteers for phone advice. Contact Melissa Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts provides advice and representation to artists with low incomes and small non-profit organizations with arts-related needs, and uses attorneys to present informational sessions targeted to those groups. Contact Larry Castner, email@example.com.
- ABA Military Pro Bono Project accepts case referrals from military legal assistance offices anywhere in the world on behalf of junior enlisted service members facing civil legal issues, and places cases with pro bono attorneys where the legal assistance is needed in the U.S.
- PBA Lawyers Saluting Veterans Program matches Pennsylvania's military veterans with PBA members who volunteer to handle cases in their areas of practice or expertise.
- VetLex links veterans with volunteer attorneys in southwestern Pennsylvania and other parts of the country.
Additionally, the Pro Bono Center sometimes receives requests for services that are not within the scope of the matters that staff attorneys or other legal aid programs handle. If you are interested in taking a referral for a phone consultation with a client, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know your areas of practice. Areas in which we commonly need help are: probate, estate planning, residential real estate transfers, employment discrimination and wrongful termination, non-profit organizations, and general civil litigation.
Looking for a community service project to get engaged in now? Check out some of these local resources that maintain ongoing lists of volunteer opportunities:
BIG BROTHERS & BIG SISTERS:
During this time of social distancing, Big Brothers Big Sisters is still virtually enrolling volunteers and our need is great. You can learn more about our three core programs in the descriptions below.
- Community-Based Program: Volunteer “Big” takes their “Little” to do activities in the community based on their own schedules. Outings should occur twice a month for 3-5 hours at a time. We ask for a 12 month commitment for this program. In order to volunteer as Community-Based Big, you must be at least 21 years old, have a driver’s license, and have a reliable car. You can apply for the community-based program directly online at bbbspgh.org/beabig
a. SPORTS BUDDIES: This is our NEWEST program at BBBS so we are currently picking our first draft of volunteers! Sports Buddies has all of the same requirements as the Community-Based matches, but instead of planning two outings each month, we plan one for you! We will host one active or sports-related activity each month for all Sports Buddies matches. These activities will range from a visit to the YMCA, various gyms across the area, playing a sport, doing outdoor activities, and spectating a sporting event. The second activity for the month will be one on one between the Big and Little, but we encourage all activities to have a sports or activity focus.
- Site-Based Program: The adult volunteer is matches with an elementary or middle-school aged student. The group program occurs weekly or bi-weekly, supervised by BBBS staff. During this 45 minute program, the matches do school work, structured activities and play together.
- Mentor 2.0: brings technology-enriched, one-to-one mentoring to high school students. Through collaboration with schools, companies and individuals, mentor2.0 provides high-impact mentoring relationships aimed at giving high school students the support and guidance they need to graduate high school and succeed in college and life. This program requires a 24 month commitment with weekly online communication with the high school student. There is a group activity once a month for 2 hours.
PITTSBURGH CARES: https://www.pittsburghcares.org
UNITED WAY OF SOUTH WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA: https://uwswpa.org/be-a-volunteer/