Volunteer Attorneys

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
— Psalm 82:3-4
 
 
Walk-in Legal Intakes

Walk-in Legal Intakes

Intakes are a great way for attorneys to get a taste of what the Clinic does as a legal services agency. Intakes are held every day of the week except Sundays at different churches and community centers in Marion and the surrounding counties. Intakes are designed as a point of entry for potential clients of the Clinic. At intakes, potential clients are interviewed about their legal issue(s) and their information is entered into the Clinic’s case system. Intakes are held at varying times and locations and each intake is two hours long. Your commitment as an attorney is one intake location and timeslot a month with a regular monthly commitment; for example: Attorney Sarah Smith covers the 1st Monday of every month at St. Vincent Primary Care Center from 4pm-6pm.

This volunteer opportunity is great for new attorneys and for those attorneys who want to volunteer but need a regular and minimal time commitment. 

 
Case Referral

Case Referrals

We are always in need of attorneys in the community to take pro bono case referrals. Due to the Clinic’s limited resources and the overwhelming need in the community for legal assistance we often have good and viable legal cases that must be rejected simply because our staff does not have the time or resources to take every case. Before we dismiss these cases, however, we look for volunteer attorneys in the community willing to take a case referral. We serve clients in many legal areas and could use experienced attorneys willing to take case referrals in the following areas: Bankruptcy and general consumer law such as Property Tax and Probate; Family law for domestic violence victims such as Protective Orders, Divorce and in the areas of Child Support, Paternity and both contested and uncontested Guardianships; Immigration in the areas of Refugee Adjustments, Family Reunifications, UVisas and VAWAs; Ex-offender case issues such as Clearing Records and License cases.

If you are experienced in an area not listed here, please let us know. Often we will come across cases that do not fall under our regular service areas but are viable cases that need help.

This volunteer opportunity is good for experienced attorneys who have time to commit to one case referral at a time. The volunteer needs limited training and supervision and can work autonomously. This volunteer typically uses their own office and resources to assist the client, however the Clinic office and resources, such as meeting space, are available during regular business hours from 9am-5pm.

 
One-Day Events

One-Day Events

The Clinic will often host one-day events where multiple volunteers come in to assist forty or more clients with application based legal cases. For example, Refugee Adjustment Day is a Saturday event where up to fifteen volunteer attorneys come in to assist the Clinic’s Refugee clients. Training is conducted in the morning for volunteers and then all volunteers are released to interview and assist clients with their application for adjustment to obtain their green card. The one-day events are energetic, action-packed and fun Saturdays at the Clinic. The Clinic does these types of one-day events with multiple application-based case types.

One-day event opportunities are great for a Volunteer Attorney who wants to have client interaction, experience working on a case and can be for anyone no matter their level of legal experience in the area. 

 
Program Volunteers

Program Volunteers

This opportunity is a great way for new attorneys or attorneys who want to learn more about a different legal area, to volunteer for the Clinic. Program Volunteers are committed as a Volunteer Attorney to one of our Legal Programs: Immigrant Justice, Victim Justice and Project GRACE. The commitment for Program Volunteers is one year and each volunteer is required to take 3-5 case referrals within that year in the area of the legal program of which they are a part. In exchange, Program Volunteers are part of a cohort and are given regular trainings, mentoring by the Clinic attorney for that program area and the opportunity to attend CLE seminars sponsored by the Clinic for free.

This is an excellent opportunity for volunteers who want to expand their knowledge of a legal area and have the time to commit to volunteering more intensely over the course of a year. This volunteer needs to be willing to learn, challenge themselves, communicate regularly and effectively with Clinic staff, and commit to a minimum of 3 case referrals within 12 months. 

 
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PLEWs & CLEs 

PLEWs stands for Preventive Legal Education Workshops. PLEWs are workshops held at different partner organizations and service agencies in the city. These workshops are created on an as-needed basis and the legal areas these workshops cover may vary. We could use experienced Volunteer Attorneys to lead these PLEWs. This is an opportunity that does not have a regular commitment and can be arranged around the volunteer’s schedule.

The Clinic puts on many CLEs (Continuing Legal Education Seminars) over the course of a given year and could always use speakers experienced in the legal areas in which the Clinic serves its clients. These areas include: Immigration, Domestic Violence and Family Law, Consumer Law and Ex-offender legal issues. This commitment would be no more than a one hour prepared presentation at a Clinic CLE. Prep work, regular and consistent communication with Clinic staff and legal expertise is a must for this volunteer opportunity.

For both opportunities is it a requirement that the Volunteer Attorney have experience and enough legal knowledge in a particular and corresponding legal area to instruct the community, clients and attorneys. 

 
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Attorney Mentoring 

Often the Clinic will have eager Volunteer Attorneys who are willing and have enough basic experience to take case referrals but who may need assistance along the way as the particularities of a case bring questions. While our staff does not have time to give advice regularly to all the Volunteer Attorneys in this particular situation we still want to provide assistance. Volunteers can act as a mentor to another Volunteer Attorney taking a case referral, especially those attorneys who have experience and expertise in a particular legal area.

This opportunity is great for those volunteers who do not have enough time to take a case referral but want to help the Clinic with their legal knowledge. This work can be done via email and/or phone communication and has a fairly low time commitment but is extremely helpful to our Volunteer Attorneys taking cases and our Clinic staff attorneys.