Self-Help/Democracy NC/ Southern Coalition for Social Justice/Lawyers Committee
The North Carolina nonpartisan Election Protection (EP) coalition works to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have their vote count. Volunteers will staff the hotline in downtown Durham during the Primary on March 3rd and the General Election on Nov. 3 to provide assistance to voters around the state.
We are currently recruiting for the March 3rd Primary and hope that anyone who signs up for that will join us again in November.
To serve as a hotline volunteer, you must hold a JD or currently be enrolled in law school. Volunteers must be able to commute to Morrisville and Durham.
NC Bar Association Appellate Practice Section, NC Pro Bono Resource Center, & NC Court of Appeals
The Appellate Pro Bono Project seeks pro bono attorneys to help pro se litigants for cases before the NC Court of Appeals or the NC Supreme Court that meet the following requirements:
(1) The appeal involves one or more pro se litigants who would qualify for in forma pauperis status, as set out in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-288, regardless of whether the litigant has applied for in forma pauperis status;
(2) The appeal presents at least one non-frivolous issue; and
(3) The pro se litigant consents to be represented by a pro bono attorney and an attorney, chosen from a list maintained by the NCBA’s Appellate Practice Section, consents to represent the litigant free of charge.
The Program will be coordinated by the Pro Bono Committee of the N.C. Court of Appeals, which will consist of Court of Appeals judges selected by the Court, and by the NCBA’s Appellate Practice Section and its Pro Bono Committee.
The BIA Pro Bono Appeals Project matches vulnerable immigrants with pro bono counsel to defend their cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). One of the nation's most successful pro bono initiatives, the BIA Project partners with attorneys and law school clinics to provide pro bono legal representation to indigent immigrants.
Through a network of committed volunteers, trainers, and mentors, the BIA Project facilitates access to justice, a critical component to safeguarding the rights of vulnerable asylum-seekers and long time lawful permanent residents. Since the Project’s inception in 2001, it has reviewed over 7,200 appeals cases. The Project's cases regularly result in significant decisions, including favorable, published BIA decisions, as well as Federal and Supreme Court decisions. In a published study, the Department of Justice found that immigrants who had been provided representation through the Project were up to four times more likely to win a favorable decision before the BIA.
Due to this unprecedented public health crisis, Prisoner Legal Services (PLS), a nonprofit law firm that advocates for the rights of those incarcerated in North Carolina state prisons, is seeking pro bono attorneys and paralegals to help PLS file Motions for Appropriate Relief to amend sentences for people who are particularly vulnerable to infection and/ or have other compelling mitigating factors.
Prisoner Legal Services…
- Identifies clients who are good candidates for MAR relief based on a combination of factors, including age, percentage of sentence served, type of conviction, and possible medical risk.
- Assigns appropriate cases to pro bono attorneys.
- Provides training and malpractice insurance to volunteers.
- Provides templates and clear, step-by-step instructions to pro bono attorneys.
- Provides ongoing supervision and mentoring as needed.
Pro bono attorneys must…
- Communicate with their client via letter and phone as instructed by PLS and within one week of having the case assigned.
- Communicate with the district attorney in the volunteer’s local jurisdiction to find out if they consent to the motion.
- If the district attorney does not consent, determine whether grounds exist to file the MAR without district attorney support.
- File the MAR and appear in court for a hearing if required to do so.
- Communicate with PLS staff about the status of the case.
After signing up to volunteer, you will be sent a link to sign up for a North Carolina Advocates for Justice webinar training taking place this Friday, May 1 at 12 pm. You will also be provided with a detailed training manual. Criminal law or litigation experience is helpful but not necessary.
This is a project of North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services in partnership with the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center, and the North Carolina Justice Center.
Community Legal Project is a joint collaboration with UNC Law School. Law Students meet in-person with a client to assess their situation regarding family law or domestic violence. After the initial assessment, the student writes an official law school memo that is reviewed by an attorney. The volunteer attorney provides feedback and edits to the memo, which is presented to the client in person.
LANC’s legal information pro bono project where legal information videos are webcast across the state to community partners for the general public. Then a live Q&A is provide afterwards with a volunteer attorney.
The Compass Center is an organization that provides domestic violence and self-sufficiency services to women and families throughout the triangle area.
The Community Legal project connects Compass Center clients to law students who draft memoranda providing information about a clients specific legal needs, usually relating to family law or landlord/tenant claims. The program maintains a directory of volunteer attorneys who review student memos before transmission to clients. Not only does the program provide an important service, but it also has the benefit of exposing attorneys to potential clients.
The program thrives off of the generosity of our volunteer attorney reviewers, and we are in great need of new volunteers for this vital pro-bono opportunity.
"The Custody Advocacy Program is appointed by Mecklenburg County Family Court Judges to advocate for the best interests of children in custody cases in which the issues of and/or between their parents threatens to impede the judge’s inquiry into and determination of the children’s best interests.
What We Do:
CAP accepts court appointments to represent any child residing in Mecklenburg County whose parents are engaged in a highly contested custody case. These cases involve high conflicts, sexual or physical abuse allegations, substance abuse allegations, or psychological disorders; often some of the most difficult cases to resolve.
Our program utilizes a structured team approach to investigate each case. Each team consists of a staff attorney, a volunteer attorney, and a lay custody advocate. We investigate all the circumstances and the facts of the case by interviewing clients and collateral witnesses, conducting home visits, gathering a variety of records and documents, which enables us to take a position regarding what is in the children’s best interest.
What We Don’t Do:
We are unable to take custody related cases over the phone as we only take court-appointed cases.
We cannot answer custody questions or hear about a case that we have not been appointed to because this can compromise our neutrality if a judge later appoints us to become involved in the case.
When we are court appointed to a case, we never represent adults or parents involved. We only represent the best interests of the child(ren) involved."
We the Action on behalf of Dilley Pro Bono Project
In recent weeks, over 700 immigrant children, including more than 100 under 4 years old, have been separated from their parents at the border.
Want to help? Volunteer to spend a week at the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) with the Dilley Pro Bono Project, preparing detained mothers and their children for their asylum screening interviews and documenting experiences of family separation and other mistreatment at the border.
Can’t come to Texas? We need telephonic interpreters to be at the ready to help the on-site team serve detained clients.
Volunteers are *urgently* needed for the following weeks:
The Dilley Pro Bono Project operates a non-traditional pro bono model of legal services that directly represents the families detained at the STFRC. We organize volunteer teams for each week. We ask volunteers to commit to a Sunday to Friday work schedule and to arrive Sunday evening for a mandatory on the ground orientation meeting. After an exhilarating and exhausting week, the team leaves the following Saturday, and a new team arrives to take over the caseload and carry the work forward.
Pro bono work is important because there are so many unmet legal needs in our state today, and we as lawyers have the specialized skills to address those needs.
LeeAnne Quattrucci, Owner, LeeAnne Quattrucci, PA
Everyone deserves a good attorney no matter their economic status; pro bono service ensures that this balance is created.
Micah Huggins, Owner, Micah Huggins Law
Opportunities abound for our helping with the unmet legal needs in our state, whether in the urban, suburban or rural areas – and especially in response to disasters like Hurricane Matthew.
Mike McIntyre, Partner, Poyner Spruill LLP
After spending most of the week working on business-to-business issues, pro bono work reminds us that there is a personal element to our work.