Volunteer

Pro Bono Program: How to Volunteer


Volunteer Interest Form
Submit this form to receive monthly emails from the Pro Bono Program announcing pro bono trainings and opportunities offered by the Pro Bono Program and other legal services providers in D.C.

Volunteering Through Your Firm
If your law firm, government agency, or in–house legal department has a pro bono coordinator, he or she will be able to tell you about how you can become involved in ongoing public service activities through your employer. Many voluntary bar associations also undertake pro bono projects.

Pro Bono Training Sessions
Consider attending a D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program training session to familiarize yourself with an area of the law in which pro bono services are particularly needed. Trainees generally commit to accepting two pro bono case referrals from the Pro Bono Program or a sponsoring legal services provider within a specified time. This is a great way to learn a new practice area and gain practical experience quickly.

Pro Bono Programs for Individuals
The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program has several types of programs that need individual volunteers. Our Bankruptcy Clinic provides counseling and legal assistance to potential Chapter 7 debtors. Our Pro-Se-Plus Divorce Clinic teaches pro se litigants how to file for divorce, from serving their complaints to representing themselves in court. Individual volunteers also serve our Health Care Access Project and Immigration Legal Advice Clinic.

Pro Bono Programs for Transactional Attorneys
Transational lawyers can also find unique opportunities to serve through the Pro Bono Program's Community Economic Development (CED) Project. The CED Project provides legal information, representation and training to community-based nonprofits and small businesses that strengthen District neighborhoods. Volunteers can participate in our Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic, provide legal counsel to a nonprofit organization, or help with workshops that train nonprofit managers and small business owners in legal topics.

Pro Bono Programs for Firms
If you are interested in boosting pro bono participation by your firm, agency, or department as a whole, we can help. Our Advocacy & Justice Clinic, Landlord Tenant Resource Center, Consumer Law Resource Center, and Advice and Referral Clinic are coordinated through participating law firms, D.C. Bar Sections, and voluntary bar associations. We would be happy to speak with organization representatives about participating in our clinics or undertaking new pro bono projects. Please contact 202-737-4700 ext. 3293 for further assistance.

Pro Bono Participation for Non-Members
Not a D.C. Bar member? D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 specifies certain exemptions for attorneys licensed in other states who are not D.C. Bar members and who are engaged in pro bono work in D.C. Please check the rule to see whether you fall within one of these exemptions. Non-Bar members who fall within one of the Rule 49 exemptions are welcome to attend pro bono training sessions.

Other Pro Bono Resources
If you aren’t currently employed, or if your organization does not have a pro bono program or is not doing the type of pro bono work that interests you, research our online directory of legal services providers and look at www.probono.net/dc to learn about opportunities to work on specific types of cases or with specific populations of clients. Probono.net/dc, the online clearinghouse for pro bono opportunities in the District, contains information and resources for pro bono attorneys in a variety of subject areas. Membership is free. The site also contains an area specially dedicated to U.S. Government attorneys.

Malpractice Insurance
Not currently carrying malpractice insurance? Most local nonprofit legal services providers provide malpractice insurance for their volunteers. If this is a concern, please contact the organization for which you are considering volunteering to verify that you will be covered.