Pro Bono
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How to Volunteer

The Pro Bono Center offers volunteer opportunities in multiple legal disciplines. The center serves more than 20,000 D.C. residents per year thanks to the generous efforts of our dedicated volunteers. We support volunteers by providing expert mentors, guidance from our experienced legal staff, training, and resources to successfully represent clients or provide brief legal advice or information.

Full Representation (For Individuals & Families)

Advocacy & Justice Clinic

The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center invites volunteer attorneys to apply to represent a client through the Advocacy & Justice Clinic . Available litigation matters include family law, eviction defense, housing conditions, eviction record sealing, consumer law, and social security denial matters.  We provide volunteer attorneys with the support they need for successful representation – recorded trainings, practice materials, expert mentors, and malpractice insurance. Interested volunteers may complete our volunteer questionnaire.

Bankruptcy Clinic

Our Bankruptcy Clinic provides full representation counseling and legal assistance to potential Chapter 7 debtors. Volunteer attorneys represent individuals filing personal bankruptcy by providing advice, preparing petitions and related schedules, attending meetings of creditors,   and otherwise handling all aspects of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Volunteers who are not experienced bankruptcy attorneys must attend one of our twice-yearly training sessions. All volunteers must be members in good standing of the D.C. Bar or the bar of another U.S. jurisdiction. If interested, please contact us at [email protected].

Brief Services (For Individuals & Families)

Immigration Legal Advice & Referral Clinic

Volunteers may assist individuals through our quarterly Immigration Legal Advice & Referral Clinic. Typically held in March, June, September, and December, this clinic provides legal information, brief advice, and referrals to individuals with civil legal problems concerning U.S. immigration law. We welcome active barred attorney volunteers to complete client intakes and provide brief legal advice, information, and referrals. Expert immigration attorneys are on-site at every clinic to supervise and mentor volunteers. Please click here to apply.

Business & Transactional Law (For Nonprofits & Small Businesses)

Our Nonprofit & Small Business Legal Assistance Programs (NPSB) provides brief advice legal services, information, full representation, and training to community-based nonprofit organizations that serve D.C. residents living on low incomes, as well as small businesses that contribute to the economic health and wellbeing of D.C. neighborhoods. We invite attorneys with transactional, business, or corporate law backgrounds to volunteer at our brief advice legal clinics, represent a nonprofit in an ongoing matter, train nonprofits and small businesses in legal basics, or draft educational guides on legal topics of importance to these organizations. We offer both virtual and in-person volunteer opportunities at our NPSB clinics.

Our NPSB volunteers provide assistance with entity formation, tax-exempt status, corporate governance, employment law from the small business perspective, intellectual property, commercial leases, contracts, and risk management. Most volunteers assist in areas of the law they already practice, but NPSB offers a library of trainings to volunteers who lack the relevant experience.

Attorneys interested in volunteering at the virtual version of our monthly Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic can fill out this form. For additional volunteer opportunities with our Nonprofit & Small Business Legal Assistance Program, please contact [email protected].

Non-Attorney Opportunities

The Pro Bono Center has opportunities for law students, paralegals, and other volunteers who are not attorneys.  Our Immigration Legal Advice & Referral Clinic provides legal information, brief advice, and referral services to those with civil legal issues concerning U.S. immigration laws. We welcome non-lawyer volunteers to assist with a variety of tasks ranging from setup and logistics to translation services. These clinics are held quarterly.  Interested volunteers may fill out this form or contact [email protected].

Another  opportunity available for non-attorney volunteers  is our monthly Advice & Referral Clinic, which provides low-income D.C. residents with legal information, advice, and brief services in civil matters ranging from bankruptcy and family law to public benefits and housing. Paralegals, law students, and other non-attorney volunteers can participate by conducting intake interviews with clinic attendees to gather information before the client meets with an attorney. For more information, visit our Advice & Referral web page or contact [email protected].

Our Nonprofit & Small Business Legal Assistance Programs welcome law students and paralegals to serve as intake volunteers at our in-person Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic, held every other month. This clinic provides brief advice and legal information to local small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs on corporate and transactional legal issues. Intake volunteers administer short screening interviews with clinic attendees so each business may be paired with an attorney who has the appropriate expertise to assist. No prior training or experience is required. Intake shifts last two and a half hours, and most clinics are held 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weeknights or 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday mornings. To join the email list for intake volunteer opportunities, email [email protected].

Pro Bono Center Volunteer Training Program

Pro bono service often starts with training. The Pro Bono Center offers training in the areas of law in which D.C. residents living on low incomes most need help. View our current training schedule here. Questions? Please email our training team at [email protected].

Other Pro Bono Resources

If you are interested in pro bono opportunities outside the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, we invite you to view our online directory of legal services providers along with, an online clearinghouse for pro bono opportunities in the District.

Resources for Federal Government Attorneys

Federal government attorneys may volunteer through the Federal Government Pro Bono Program. Please contact Laura Klein at [email protected] or Lara Eilhardt at [email protected].

Pro Bono Participation for Non-Members

Not a D.C. Bar member? D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 specifies certain exemptions for non-D.C. Bar members licensed in other states engaged in pro bono work in D.C. Please check the rule to determine whether you fall within one of these exemptions. Non-Bar members who fall within the Rule 49 exemptions are welcome to attend our training sessions.

The  Pro Bono Center provides malpractice insurance for all our volunteers.

Ready to get involved in the Pro Bono Center’s work, but not sure how to start? Contact our Training & Volunteer Specialist at [email protected] or 202-780-2591.