ABA urges 10 hours of volunteer service to meet urgent needs

The American Bar Association urges attorney to commit to 10 hours of pro bono – or just under a quarter of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct aspirational goal of 50 hours annually per lawyer. The ABA suggests the following opportunities:

• ABA Free Legal Answers (www.abafree legalanswers.org) is an on-line virtual legal clinic through which income-eligible clients can post civil legal questions to be answered by pro bono attorneys from their jurisdiction. Currently, 40 jurisdictions are fully live. Malpractice insurance coverage is provided.

• Evictions threaten the safety of renters and the livelihoods of landlords. A letter to the legal community from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland provides steps for lawyers to volunteer.

• The ABA Pro Bono Disaster Relief Portal (https://aba.joinpaladin.com/aba-disaster-relief) is a free, centralized, sortable database that lists opportunities to serve those impacted by natural disasters. Issues include landlord/tenant problems, insurance claims, FEMA claims and consumer issues such as contractor fraud.

• The ABA Afghanistan Response Project website (www.americanbar.org/advocacy/rule_of_law/afghanistan-response) is a central source of information and opportunities.

• The ABA Commission on Immigration is seeking volunteers to help Haitian migrants apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The clinic is held via Zoom, on Thursday afternoons, Fridays, and Saturdays. Volunteers will be paired with a client and interpreter to help the client complete the TPS application. Experienced immigration attorneys will be available to answer questions and will review draft applications. Fill out the form at https://ona.salsalabs.org/tpshaitivolunteer/index.html to learn more.

• Pro Bono Matters for Children Facing Deportation (https://cilacademy.org/pro-bono/pro-bono-matters) offers pro bono opportunities nationwide to support children facing deportation.

• The Commission on Immigration provides many opportunities at www.americanbar.org/groups/public_interest/immigration/pro-bono-at-the-commission-on-immigration/pro-bono-opportunities.

• The ABA Military Pro Bono Project accepts case referrals from military attorneys on behalf of junior-enlisted, active-duty military personnel facing civil legal issues. The Project is also the platform for Operation Stand-By. Visit (www.militaryprobono.org).

• The ABA Death Penalty Representation Project’s greatest need is for attorneys who can represent a prisoner in his or her state post-conviction proceedings. (www.americanbar.org/groups/committees/death_penalty_representation/get_involved/volunteering)

• The National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide (www.probono.net/oppsguide) will assist attorneys in identifying organizations  that could use pro bono volunteers.

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