Attorney Volunteers Make A Difference
When the pandemic struck last March, NLS attorneys mobilized and pivoted services as quickly as possible to make sure families stayed safe when forced to stay at home, often under the same roof as an abuser. Since many PA courts are back to holding hearings, NLS has begun the process of assigning pro bono attorneys to cases and are providing guidance and training on how to handle Protection from Abuse (PFA) cases through the remote process. "We are inundated with PFAs, as we expected and so are rolling out a 'working remotely' approach to get help to families as quickly as possible," said Susan Abramowich, Managing Director for Family Law at NLS. For an overview on how the PFA process is working in Allegheny county during Covid click here. If you want more information on NLS Family Law services click here.
Pandemic or not, the clients at NLS always need pro bono attorney assistance. NLS is looking especially for pro bono attorneys to help with Protection from Abuse cases. We will provide guidance and training. Your triage, analysis, and negotiation skills will help to process cases in an efficient manner benefiting both the court, the litigants, and the NLS attorneys. If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities please contact Mary Ann Troper Malley at [email protected] or call her at (412) - 586 - 6134.
NLS is also looking for volunteer lawyers and paralegals to assist in the Disability Advocacy Project. If you are an attorney looking for more client contact or have a minimal amount of time available, you could make a big difference. NLS will provide free virtual training and other resources for interested volunteers. For more information please call or email Jennifer Modell.
Approximately 17% of the 7,523 cases handled by Neighborhood Legal Services in 2019 were assisted by pro bono programs. Click here for a detailed guide of NLS's current pro bono volunteer opportunities.
If you are already a Pro Bono Attorney for NLS click here for resources and other helpful information.
Why Pro Bono?
Pro Bono Attorneys improve the lives of those in your community and uphold the promise of our profession – a legal system in which every voice will be heard.
Having adequate legal representation often means the difference between shelter and homelessness, nourishment and hunger, economic stability and bankruptcy, or productive work and unemployment. In a very clear way, the availability of civil legal aid helps prevent a costly spiral into poverty. Legal needs studies consistently report that legal aid programs serve only one person out of every five who need civil legal assistance.
Ways you can help meet the legal needs of our community:
- handle pro bono cases involving Protection from Abuse, credit card defense, unemployment compensation, bankruptcy, SSI, and expungements;
- provide telephone custody advice; provide advice at our debt clinic;
- take reduced fee referrals for bankruptcy, divorce, custody, and support;
- assist with fundraising efforts and resource development; and
Ways pro bono can benefit you:
- Earn up to 3 CLE credits per year for your pro bono hours;
- Earn free credits at NLS sponsored CLE courses when you agree to take pro bono cases;
- Gain access to NLS’s network of mentors and consultants as well as experienced NLS staff
- Free malpractice coverage while working on pro bono cases
Apply to Volunteer Today
If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the form below with your contact information and area(s) of interest.
What Our Volunteers Say
"As the capacity of such organizations is reduced due to the limitation of public resources, lawyers bear an even greater burden to ensure access to justice."
“Support of NLS by donation of time, talent, or treasure allows us to serve others while serving the law, a noteworthy goal for all lawyers.”
"In representing our clients, we ‘stand up for justice’ every day. The rules of Professional Conduct require us to do the same on behalf of those who cannot afford a private attorney. That’s why I support NLS."