Five Pro Bono Projects You Can Do Without Leaving Your House

Sarah Mills | October 23, 2019

Editor's note, April 10, 2020: We're glad you found this post! While all the projects listed here are still functioning, if you are looking for Covid-19 related projects to work on, please be sure to check out our more recent post Five Great Ways to Do Pro Bono Online (Coronavirus Edition). Thanks for making a difference in your community!

Did you know that October 20 - 26 is National Pro Bono Week? Pro bono work is good for your community and your career, but it can be hard to find time to make a meaningful commitment, especially when you work long hours or have kids at home. Luckily, as improved online access has expanded work from home opportunities, it has become possible to volunteer remotely as well. If one of of your resolutions this year was to give back and get involved, check out these five great remote volunteer opportunities.

  1. Represent detained migrants at bond hearings. The Immigration Justice Campaign is partnering with attorneys all over the country to represent detained immigrants at bond hearings so that they can return to their families while they prepare their legal case, and you can do it all from your computer. For more information, email Crystal Massey or sign up here.

  2. Answer legal questions online. The American Bar Association runs Free Legal Answers, a virtual advice clinic where people can ask legal questions through participating state websites. Volunteer attorneys then pick questions to answer, which usually take about an hour each. Sign up here by selecting the state where you are admitted, or contact the site administrator with any questions.

  3. Perform legal research and writing to promote justice for juvenile offenders. The National Juvenile Defender Center works tirelessly to ensure that youth in court across the country receive lawyers that are well-trained, skilled, and fully understand the unique aspects of representing children. To volunteer, contact pro-bono coordinator Serena Holte.

  4. Monitor proposed regulatory changes. Right now, there is no single repository of proposedbigstock-Young-Business-Woman-Using-Lap-258538294 regulatory changes across all fifty states. The Notice and Comment project, part of the American Constitution Society, is recruiting volunteer attorneys to monitor state notices of proposed rulemaking, research comments, and provide expert talking points to guide comment writing.

  5. Join the Transgender Law Center’s network of attorneys. From performing intake on the legal information hotline, assisting trans immigrants, or drafting case summaries of legal information for trans and gender nonconforming people in prison or jail, the Transgender Law Center offers a number of remote opportunities for volunteer attorneys at every level of experience.

Since most pro bono services are provided locally, find out whether your state has a program where you can volunteer virtually, such as this Pro Bono Project in California, Online Legal Counseling in Illinois, or Virtual Legal Aid Clinic in Washington State.

Do you know of a state level remote opportunity that isn’t listed here? Leave us a comment and we’ll update this list.

This post was originally published on January 8, 2019. 

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About the Author

Written by Sarah Mills

Sarah graduated from Simon's Rock College in 2005 with a BA in Linguistics, then worked in events production for several years before obtaining a JD from New York Law School in 2012. Before joining Lawline, they worked in litigation management. They love working as a program attorney as it combines their legal knowledge and production background. They have two kids, two cats, and they love public transit and rainy days.


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