Updated: June 1, 2020

The following is a non-exhaustive and developing list of pro-bono opportunities arising out of the coronavirus pandemic and consequential economic impacts. Check back for updates as the WSBA will update this list as we learn of additional resources.

If you have additional information you would like included, please contact publicservice@wsba.org.

Other COVID-19 resources and information for the public and WSBA members.

Tips and information for volunteers at legal clinics

Washington Legal Aid Volunteer Opportunities

COVID-19 Pro Bono Research Project Clearinghouse

The University of Washington, Seattle University, and Gonzaga University schools of law, in partnership with Foster Garvey, recently launched a COVID-19 pro bono research initiative. Through this project, questions and research needs from Qualified Legal Services Providers (QLSPs) and Pro Bono Providers are matched with law student teams and pro bono attorney supervisors who perform research and answer the questions. If you are an attorney, volunteer to supervise a law student team. Law student can volunteer here. If you are a pro bono provider and have a research project, get involved here. Email Haiyun Damon-Feng, Co-Chair of Pro Bono at Foster Garvey, with any questions, at haiyun.damon-feng@foster.com.

Attorneys Needed to Help With Unemployment Claims

With emergency funding from the State of Washington, the Office of Civil Legal Aid is looking for at least 100 attorneys who are licensed to practice law and willing to accept 20 referrals of unemployment insurance (UI) claimants in need of representation. More information about the Emergency UI Claimant Representation Program can be found here.

Eastside Legal Assistance Program

ELAP is responding to the evolving situation with COVID-19, and they need your help. They have an immediate need for volunteer attorneys to take phone consultations. To sign up, please use this brief form to let them know what days of the week and times of day you would be willing to help. They will promptly follow up.

QLAW Foundation

Our communities need assistance and support more than ever. Because of discrimination, LGBTQ+ people, and particularly queer and trans people of color, are much more likely to be unemployed, underemployed, working in the service industry being hit desperately hard by this crisis, unable to access healthcare safely, and to have a well-earned distrust of state and legal systems. QLAW Volunteer Opportunities.

Solid Ground Benefits Legal Assistance Program

The Solid Ground Benefits Legal Assistance Program helps people who need legal help with accessing public benefits including food, medical coverage, childcare and money. Anyone interested in volunteering with the Benefits Legal Assistance Program can contact Grete Schultz, managing attorney for the Solid Ground Benefits Legal Assistance team, at gretes@solid-ground.org or 206-694-6807.

Spokane County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Program

The SCBA Volunteer Lawyers Program is seeking pro bono attorneys who can assist their clients by telephone. Generally clients are seeking advice on family law, consumer law, housing, wills, and guardianship issues. The VLP welcomes attorneys from outside of Spokane, too! Contact JVC@SpokaneBar.org to connect with a VLP client today.

Tenant Law Center

As of this writing, the Tenant Law Center does not have an immediate need for volunteers, but it expects a rapid increase in client requests in the coming weeks, particularly after the April 17 sunset of Gov. Jay Inslee’s moratorium on residential evictions. Contact Directing Attorney Mark Chattin, 206-324-6890.

Unemployment Law Project

The Unemployment Law Project is preparing for a flood of unemployment benefit appeals and is in urgent need of both volunteer attorneys to represent claimants at phone hearings before the Office of Administrative Hearings and non-attorney volunteers to help with intake interviews. Pro bono volunteers can contact Anne Paxton at apaxton@ulproject.org. Non-attorneys, please contact Hyun-Ji Lee at hlee@ulproject.org. We will respond with details about training and do our best to link volunteers as soon as possible with a claimant who may need advice or representation from a pro bono attorney or an intake interview by a non-attorney volunteer. Please see our website front page at UnemploymentLawProject.org for the COVID-19 special information page.

Communities Rise

Communities Rise offers opportunities and resources for pro bono attorneys and firms to help small businesses and non-profits. Pro bono coordinators at firms can get more information by submitting the Lawyers for Good Government interest form. Attorneys can enroll as volunteers here.

WSBA Pro Bono Opportunities

Visit the Pro Bono Portal, which can also be accessed via the WSBA’s Public Service and Pro Bono Opportunities page. The WSBA also maintains a list, by county, of Qualified Legal Service Providers dedicated to serving low income individuals and families.

National Legal Aid Volunteer Opportunities and Resources

National Disaster Legal Aid Advocacy Center

Advocates interested in sharing resources and strategies are welcome to join a new COVID-19 Legal Response listserv available in the National Disaster Legal Aid Advocacy Center. The Center also has information on COVID-19 legal response needs, resources and service delivery strategies identified in national calls of nonprofit legal aid, pro bono and other advocates. You can also view a Google Doc of COVID-19 Legal Response Resources.

Coronavirus-Related Legal Advocacy in Washington

Legal Foundation of Washington

LFW is a nonprofit organization created in 1984 at the direction of the Washington Supreme Court to distribute IOLTA funds to legal aid organizations across the state. Sign up for The Brief, a newsletter to keep you updated on the latest happenings in the civil legal aid community, and view past newsletters.

Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

WACDL and other organizations request an emergency order from the Washington Supreme Court in response to COVID-19.

Washington Defender Association (WDA)

Advocating for release and other relief during COVID-19 health crisis: tools for release including motions, briefing and more: A resource page and clearing house for public defenders and other advocates working on COVID-19-related advocacy.

 

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Public Service Authentication : Access free trainings available to you as a volunteer for a Qualified Legal Service Provider (QLSP), or a participant with the Call to Duty Initiative or Moderate Means Program. Email publicservice@wsba.org with your name, bar number and the name of your program/organization.

Public Service List Serve : Join the Public Service list serve to learn about opportunities. Email publicservice@wsba.org

Please Note : All applicants are subject to a character and fitness review prior to being admitted to practice law in Washington.  Factors considered by Admissions staff and Bar Counsel when determining whether an applicant should be referred to the Character and Fitness Board are set forth in Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rules (APR)  20-24.2(a). 

Any discrepancy or conflict between the information provided here and the rules and regulations set by the Washington Supreme Court, or the Bylaws and policies of the Washington State Bar Association, is unintentional and will be resolved in favor of strict compliance with the rules, regulations, Bylaws and policies.

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Please note : These resources and opportunities are provided solely for the convenience of section members. No endorsement of any resource, mentor and/or mentorship relationship is intended, and no warranty is made as to the accuracy of the information by either the Washington State Bar Association or the Low Bono Section.