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.

Project Frequency


Project Time Commitment

Ongoing representation for 2-4 weeks.

Project Location

Remote Electronic (service completed by phone or internet)

Area of Law

  • Prisoner

Geographic Areas

  • Statewide

Project For

  • Paralegal
  • Attorney

Population Served

  • Prisoners/Ex-Offenders

Skills to be Developed

  • Document Drafting (Contracts
  • Advance Directives
  • Petitions
  • etc.)
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Post-Trial Advocacy (Case Review
  • Expunctions
  • etc.)
  • Trial Advocacy
  • Training Provided for Project Volunteers
  • Volunteers Who Speak an Additional Language Requested for this Project
  • Malpractice Insurance Provided for this Project
  • Mentorship Provided for this Project