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Benefits of Volunteering for Pro Bono Work
- Gain practical legal experience. You will get the opportunity to do hands-on legal work that will provide you with experience and add value to your resume.
- Make connections with legal professionals in the community. Through your volunteer work, you will be rewarded with several valuable networking opportunities.
- Serve your community and individuals in need. You are providing a real service and making a difference in peoples' lives.
- You will stand out in the job market by volunteering. Legal volunteer work demonstrates character, maturity and work ethic.
- Improve professional skills, such as legal research and writing, and public speaking.
- Develop a writing sample.
The Volunteer Lawyers Programs
It is estimated that more than 900,000 people live in poverty in Alabama. One in four low-income family members will require legal assistance during any given year. This means at least 225,000 Alabama citizens will need legal help. LSA has approximately one attorney for every 5,000 persons that qualify for and need civil legal assistance in Alabama. It is obvious that LSA with its current staff and resources, cannot adequately serve the low-income citizens of our state using its staff alone.
The Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) in Alabama began statewide in 1991 and is a project of the Alabama State Bar. Modeled after the highly successful Mobile Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Program, it provides a way for lawyers in Alabama to help their communities. Attorneys enroll in the program by agreeing to provide up to 20 hours, per year, of free legal service to poor citizens of Alabama. Cases are referred to the VLP from Legal Services Alabama offices around the state. Before referral, legal services staff screen the cases for merit and complexity (each case should be resolvable in 20 hours or less) and the potential client is screened for income eligibility (they must live at or below 125 percent of the poverty level, currently $2,484 monthly, for a household of four).
For more information about VLP in Alabama, visit the Alabama State Bar/Volunteer Lawyers Program.
If you are in Birmingham, visit the Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Program.
If you are in Huntsville, visit the Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program.
If you are in Mobile, visit the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program (formerly Mobile Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Program).
If you are in Montgomery, call the Montgomery Volunteer Lawyers Program at 334/265-0222.
Revised September 2014