Pro Bono
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How to Volunteer

The Pro Bono Center offers volunteer opportunities in multiple legal disciplines. The Center serves more than 20,000 D.C. residents per year thanks to the generous efforts of its hardworking volunteers.

The spring 2022 season has concluded. Please email [email protected] to obtain updated information for the fall season.

Ensuring Safe and Stable Housing During COVID-19

Join the Pro Bono Center in Answering the Call to Help

Throughout the pandemic, the Pro Bono Center has matched tenants with pro bono representation in critical housing matters. For example, we help tenants forced to withstand the pandemic in substandard and unsafe housing conditions file for affirmative relief in D.C.’s Housing Conditions Calendar. We also help tenants seal their prior eviction records to increase their access to safe and clean housing.

On August 30, 2021, Attorney General Merrick Garland called upon the legal community to join him in helping to address the housing and evictions crisis facing our country. Attorney General said, “The impact of evictions on these families and on exacerbating the pandemic would be devastating.” Every day, the Pro Bono Center strives to answer the Attorney General’s Call to Action. We invite you to join us!

Get Involved

Since 1993, the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center’s Advocacy & Justice Clinic has matched thousands of D.C. residents with pro bono counsel in housing, custody, public benefits, consumer, and personal injury defense matters.

The Pro Bono Center supports volunteers by providing expert mentors, guidance from our experienced legal staff, and training and resources to successfully represent their clients. We work with law firms, federal government employees, and individual volunteers.

More information about working with a client through the Advocacy & Justice Clinic.

Volunteering Through Your Employer

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 Center Training Program

The spring 2022 season has concluded. Please email Alison Percich to obtain updated information for the fall season.

Pro Bono Programs for Individuals

The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center has several types of programs that need individual volunteers. Our Bankruptcy Clinic provides counseling and legal assistance to potential Chapter 7 debtors. Individual volunteers also serve our Immigration Legal Advice & Referral Clinic.

Pro Bono Programs for Transactional Attorneys

Transactional lawyers can also find unique opportunities to serve through the Pro Bono Center’s Nonprofit & Small Business Legal Assistance Programs. These programs provide legal information, representation, and training to community-based nonprofits and small businesses that strengthen District of Columbia neighborhoods. Volunteers can participate in a brief advice legal clinic, provide on-going legal counsel to a nonprofit organization, or help with workshops that train nonprofit executives 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 & Referral Clinic are coordinated through participating law firms, D.C. Bar Communities, 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 202-780-2738 for further assistance.

Pro Bono Participation for Nonmembers

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 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

The Pro Bono Center provides malpractice insurance for all of its volunteers.

If you are training through the Pro Bono Center, please check with the co-sponsoring organization that you will be fulfilling the pro bono requirement through. 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.

Do you want to get involved in the Pro Bono Center’s work, but you are not sure how to do so? Contact our Training & Volunteer Specialist at [email protected] or 202-780-2738.

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