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Pro Bono and Volunteer Opportunities

The Legal Aid Society’s (LAS’s) Pro Bono Program allows volunteers to make equal access to justice a reality. We match volunteer attorneys, paralegals, and student interns with litigation/non-litigation opportunities based on their interests and availability. Volunteers learn new skills in an intimate setting, use their current skills to broaden resources for LAS clients and provide vital legal services to the most vulnerable individuals living in communities served by Metropolitan Family Services’ community centers.

Attorney and Paralegal Volunteer Opportunities

Pro Bono opportunities in family law, elder law, and poverty law include client interviews, contested litigation and/or presenting at “Know Your Rights” workshops. Please click here to fill out the Legal Aid volunteer form. (Please be sure to specify that you are seeking pro bono opportunities with the Legal Aid Society.)

Student Intern Volunteer Opportunities

The Legal Aid Society pairs law and undergrad students with staff attorneys and paralegals. Volunteers have opportunities to:

  • Interview clients
  • Prepare pleadings and discovery requests/responses
  • Conduct legal research on actual cases
  • Present cases at Case Acceptance meetings
  • Handling status dates in court (711 license required)
  • Argue uncontested or contested motions in court (711 license required)

Additional Pro Bono Programs Include

  • Domestic Violence Courthouse Project (in partnership with DePaul University’s Family Law Clinic)
  • Collaborative Law Project
  • Child Support Clinic (third Tuesday of the month) in partnership with the Law Offices of Cowell Taradash P.C. for clients trying to enforce child support orders

If you are interested in volunteering for the Legal Aid Society, please fill out the volunteer form. Do Free Law. It Pays. – click here to volunteer.

Pro Bono Opportunities

For attorneys and 711-eligible law students:

#Uncontested Prove-Ups

Responsibilities:

  • Elicit testimony from client in court and enter Judgment of Dissolution

Training

  • One hour training

Time Commitment

  • One morning or afternoon in court

#Uncontested divorces

Responsibilities:

  • Draft/file petition for dissolution of marriage
  • Draft Judgment of Dissolution
  • Appear in court to obtain final Judgment of Dissolution

Training

  • One hour training

Time Commitment

  • 5-10 hours over 3 month period

#Contested cases

Responsibilities:

  • Co-counseling family law cases
  • Handling Orders of Protection

Training

  • Litigation and/or family law experience
  • Two hour training

Time Commitment

  • Depends on case
  • 10-15 hours per case

Poverty and Elderly Law

#Litigation opportunities & Contested cases

Responsibilities:

  • Represent clients in cases involving appeals, guardianship, bankruptcy, consumer, housing, etc.
  • Impact litigation

Training

  • Requires litigation and/or background experience

Time Commitment

  • Depends on case

#Non-litigation opportunities

Responsibilities:

  • Community legal education at MFS community centers, including bankruptcy, consumer, housing, adoption/guardianship, etc.
  • Drafting wills and advising on trusts and estates issues

Training

  • Requires expertise in substantive area

Time Commitment

  • One afternoon or evening, 1.5 hour presentation
  • Depends on case

LAS Provides

  • MCLE accredited training and mentoring (in some substantive areas)
  • Intake, client screening and scheduling
  • Court filing, file checking, obtaining court dates
  • Preparation of documents for Uncontested Prove-Ups
  • Malpractice insurance

For paralegals, students, and administrative assistants:

#Non-litigation opportunities

Responsibilities:

  • Assisting with community education and presentations
  • Client intake interviews
  • Assist Pro Bono Coordinator and/or Executive Director
  • Assist with outreach and publicity

Training

  • Requires expertise in substantive area

Time Commitment

  • One afternoon or evening, 1.5 hour presentation
  • Must be available on Tues., Wed., or Thursdays, 3.5/hours per week, for at least 6 months
  • School-year and summer internships available