Your Time is Valuable. That's Why Our Clients Need It.

Whether you're an attorney, law student, paralegal or someone who wants to help but isn't sure how, we have a spot for you...for as long as you like.  Click here for a detailed guide of Pro Bono volunteer opportunities.

 

Be Their Voice

With the help of pro bono lawyers, we provide a powerful voice for our neighbors in need, standing up for those who are from lower income households and victims of domestic violence. We strive to give equal access to justice with the help of volunteers like you.

Volunteer Opportunities With NLS

Attorneys

Through NLS’s pro bono and reduced-fee referral programs, you can represent clients in areas that may be keeping them from improving their situations: bankruptcy, expungement, SSI termination and unemployment compensation, as well as cases that mean more than money: child custody, Protection From Abuse and orphan’s court cases. Refer to this detailed guide on ways you can help.

Law Students

With an internship at NLS during the summer or the school year, you can gain experience in the practice of poverty law through hands-on, real-life cases.

Paralegals

Work with NLS to gain the credential law offices look for when hiring a paralegal: Experience. You’ll assist with pro bono projects and contact clients, maintain databases and organize data for reports.

Other Skills

We have opportunities in other areas, too: web development, grants research and writing, language translation services and more. We routinely post skill-specific volunteer opportunities at taprootplus.org volunteer platform. Refer to this current list of skill-specific and/or specialty projects.

Frequently Asked Questions for Volunteers

“If I accept a referral from NLS, can I get CLE credit for it?”

Yes, you can earn one CLE credit for every 5 hours of pro bono work that you do for NLS, up to 3 CLE credits per year. Credits are reported at the completion of the case.

“I am an in-house or government employee, and do not have malpractice insurance. Can I still volunteer?”

Malpractice insurance will be provided by NLS for all pro bono cases.

“Do I have to pay all the client’s litigation costs out of my own pocket or can I bill the client?”

Volunteers will charge no fee for services but may be reimbursed by NLS for out-of-pocket and litigation expenses with the prior approval of NLS. The volunteer may accept any attorney fees awarded by the court, so long as the client pays nothing. Volunteers may elect to donate/direct attorney fees to NLS’s Equal Justice Campaign.

“How many cases do I have to undertake?”

NLS needs volunteers who will accept one or more cases a year (depending on difficulty and time required) or participate in various projects.

“What kind of training does NLS provide for its volunteers?”

Attorneys, law students and paralegals need some knowledge of substantive civil law for most case referrals (other than PFAs). NLS offers periodic training sessions, and participants who accept case referrals can earn free Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits. Also, experienced NLS staff attorneys are willing to answer questions and mentor volunteer attorneys, along with a number of private attorneys with specialized skills who have agreed to serve as mentors and/or consultants.

Training Resources: PAProbono.net

The online community PAProbono.net shares resources for pro bono attorneys, legal aid attorneys, paralegals and other legal advocates. Simply follow the “Join the Pennsylvania Civil Law Practice Area” link on the home page to become a member. If you’ve already joined, click here to access fillable court documents, webinars and more.

 

What Our Volunteers Say

"As the capacity of such organizations is reduced due to the limitation of public resources, lawyers bear an even greater burden to ensure access to justice."

Carol S.

“Support of NLS by donation of time, talent, or treasure allows us to serve others while serving the law, a noteworthy goal for all lawyers.”

Marie M.

"In representing our clients, we ‘stand up for justice’ every day. The rules of Professional Conduct require us to do the same on behalf of those who cannot afford a private attorney. That’s why I support NLS."

Gary P.

Transform Lives. Theirs and Yours.

A family in winter facing eviction. A victim of spousal abuse. An elderly couple struggling with debt. When you volunteer with NLS, you help transform lives in crisis. And in doing so, your own life is changed for good. Get involved today.

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