The strength of the Lawyers' Committee resides in its dedicated volunteers. By leveraging the power of the private bar, the Lawyers' Committee engages in impact litigation, policy advocacy, and direct legal services. In 2011, the Lawyers' Committee mobilized over 1,000 pro bono attorneys who contributed more than 48,000 hours of free legal assistance - services valued at over $19 million.
Volunteer opportunities are available for both attorneys and non-attorneys. Click below to learn more, or contact Paul Chavez at email@example.com. Our Pro Bono Coordinator will contact you to discuss your skills and interests and will get you the information you need to determine which project is right for you.
Asylum Pro Bono Program
"Your Honor, we are feeling good today because we helped save a life."
- Quote from a pro bono attorney after a judge granted asylum to a Lawyers' Committee client
The Pro Bono Asylum Program needs your help as a volunteer attorney, interpreter, or mentor attorney. We provide volunteers with the opportunity to save refugees' lives by helping them win asylum in the U.S. Immigrants who have escaped persecution in their native countries based on their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion are eligible to seek protection under U.S. asylum laws.
Without legal status, immigrants are often trapped in abusive working conditions, denied basic health care, and separated from their families. They also risk being deported by U.S. immigration officials to countries where they may be persecuted, tortured, or killed. Your help is critical for refugees who cannot afford an attorney.
We assemble a volunteer legal team for each client. Our volunteer attorneys do not need to have past experience or training in immigration law. We offer comprehensive training on asylum law and procedure, and the website Probono.Net/Asylum contains manuals and model pleadings. Volunteer attorneys are also assigned mentors from the immigration bar to guide them in preparing their cases. Finally, our program provides ongoing support, "brown bag lunch" workshops, and networking opportunities to learn from and share information with other volunteers.
Volunteers assist clients in preparing asylum applications and represent clients before the U.S. Asylum Office, in Immigration Court, and at the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Some of our cases have reached the U.S. Supreme Court.
Legal Services for Entrepreneurs
Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE) is an economic justice project that was first started at Lawyers' Committee in 1997. LSE provides free business legal services to low-income individuals, including women and people of color, who want to start or develop for-profit businesses and for-profit businesses committed to community economic development. To date, LSE has served over 1,000 clients.
LSE offers business attorneys a unique opportunity to work on pro bono matters that are more relevant to their practice areas than traditional pro bono litigation work. These matters cover the entire range of legal services necessary to begin or develop a business, including business entity, intellectual property, real estate, labor, and employment issues. The legal services provided by LSE and its participating pro bono attorneys are limited to discrete business law matters and do not include disputes, claims, or lawsuits. LSE also has numerous opportunities for transactional attorneys to lead legal workshops on business law issues to classes of low-income entrepreneurs, and to participate in monthly legal clinics.
Second Chance Legal Services Clinic
The Second Chance Legal Services Clinic assists individuals who are working to overcome barriers to employment and housing resulting from past contact with the criminal justice system. The Clinic offers a range of services, from brief services to full-scope representation, on the following legal issues:
- Criminal record remedies ("expungement")
- Occupational licensing
- Criminal background reports
- Public and private housing applications and denials
- Employment applications, terminations and denials
- Driver's license suspensions
Volunteers will receive training and mentoring from experienced attorneys, develop critical skills, and help clients rebuild their lives. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Second Chance Legal Services Clinic page.