On January 18, attorneys all over the country will have the day off in honor of civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr. To honor this great man on this day, and throughout the year, here are five ways attorneys can provide acts of service, uphold the civic values of the profession, and use their training to fight for the civil rights issues of today.
The projects highlighted below are hosted by the innovative online platform We the Action and most of them can be supported remotely, from anywhere in the country. To find pro bono projects close to home, check out Pro Bono Net’s map of volunteer opportunities in every state, or check in with your local bar association.
Sue Police for Violence, Abuse, and Illegal Action in Houston, TX. Every day, Houston Police Department officers stop people for “Driving While Black,” assault civilians with brutal and unjustifiable force, fabricate police reports, and commit other unlawful abuses. This project tackles that lack of consequences and accountability head-on. Volunteer here.
Write Briefs for Immigrants Seeking Asylum. Keep Tucson Together is a small organization with a regular need for volunteers to help submit briefs to immigration court, most frequently for people who fear cartel violence in Mexico, as well as clients who are fleeing political persecution, and clients who are LGBTQ+. Volunteer here.
Advocate for Asylum Seekers in Bond Hearings. Many asylum seekers are kept in detention while they await their immigration court hearings, which can take months or years. The Immigration Justice Campaign organizes pro bono attorneys to prepare bond motions and advocate for asylum seekers to be released at telephonic bond hearings. Volunteer here.
Fight Workplace Sexual Harassment. The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund is looking for attorneys across the country to join a new Legal Network for Gender Equity so that workers who are facing sexual harassment can access legal resources and other help to fight their case. Volunteers will receive training on trauma informed advocacy and other legal issues. Sign up here.
Provide Local Counsel in Reproductive Rights Litigation. Access to reproductive healthcare is a critical civil right. Nationwide litigation requires the Center for Reproductive Rights to partner with local counsel all over the country. Volunteer here.