The Pro Bono Committee offers a wide variety of opportunities that are attractive to, and convenient for, members. These include pro bono clinics in collaboration with the DC Bar Pro Bono Center, Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Maryland Legal Aid, and Whitman-Walker Legal Services. In addition, the Pro Bono Committee hosts events on pro bono topics of interest and publicizes information about pro bono opportunities offered by various legal service providers.
Pro Bono Committee Members
- Michael Howson (Co-Chair), Associate General Counsel, Yahoo Inc.
- Kirsten Keating (Co-Chair), Employee Relations Associate General Counsel, Freddie Mac
- Mary Blatch, Senior Privacy Counsel, StockX
- Andrea Bridgeman, In-Transition
- Jennifer Fulmer, Staff Attorney, American Registry for Internet Numbers Ltd.
- Nichole Williams-Miller, Accenture
- Kevin Minsky, Legal Director, DocuSign
- Schevon Salmon, Corporate Counsel, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Companies
- Kathi Westcott, Senior Director, Legal Affairs and Deputy General Counsel, The Pew Charitable Trusts
ACC NCR is proud to be recognized as the 2023 Pro Bono Partner of the Year by Maryland Legal Aid’s Equal Justice Council. We are honored to have had many ACC NCR chapter members donate their time towards pro bono service and low-income individuals and families in Maryland.
Please contact the Pro Bono Committee co-chairs at email@example.com for information about how to get involved in the pro bono efforts of ACC NCR.
Upcoming ACC NCR Pro Bono Opportunities
Celebrate Valentine's Day as a volunteer for a Pro Bono Clinic with Legal Services of Northern Virginia
Topic: LSNV provides free training and clinic organization for the screening and drafting of uncontested divorce documents to LSNV-eligible clients allowing them to file pro se.
Partners: Legal Services of Northern Virginia
Clients: Low-income and disabled applicants
When: Wednesday, Feb. 14, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM. Training begins at 9:30 AM (1 hour) followed by client meetings from 10:30 AM-12:30 PM.
Where: Virtual via Zoom
Who: In-House Attorneys and Non-Attorneys. Non-Attorneys help draft and edit documents while the attorney conducts the client interview and advises on applicable law.
Experience: No specific training required
Training: 1 hour live/virtual training session at 9:30 AM (CLE credit pending).
Support: LSNV representative available for questions throughout the clinic.
Time: Client meeting and preparation of documents generally takes no longer than 2 hours.
Work: Volunteers will work directly with clients to advise them on whether their divorce would be contested and prepare complaints, affidavits, and draft orders of divorce during a 1-2 hour appointment.
Insurance: Provided by LSNV to all volunteers
*Please respond by February 5th.
Pro Bono Resources and Opportunities
District of Columbia
- DC Bar Pro Bono Center: https://www.dcbar.org/pro-bono
- Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP): http://www.nlsp.org/
- DC Volunteer Lawyers Project: http://www.dcvlp.org/
- Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project: http://www.dvleap.org/
- Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service: https://mvlslaw.org/pro-bono-portal/.
- Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center (In partnership with MSBA): https://probonomd.org/
- Maryland Pro Bono Rules: https://probonomd.org/maryland-pro-bono-rules/
- Pro Bono Public Service Volunteer Opportunities: https://probonomd.org/volunteers/
- Maryland Legal Aid (Mdlab.org): https://www.mdlab.org/pro-bono-attorney-opportunities/
- Legal Services of Northern Virginia: https://www.lsnv.org/
- Legal Aid Justice Center: http://www.justice4all.org/
- Virginia Legal Aid Society: http://www.vlas.org
- Virginia State Bar: https://www.vsb.org/site/sections/pro_bono/resources_public
RESOURCES FOR SETTING UP AN IN HOUSE PRO BONO PROGRAM
Pro Bono Institute - http://www.probonoinst.org/projects/corporate-pro-bono/
Corporate Pro Bono - Detailed Guide to set up In-House Pro Bono Program: http://www.cpbo.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Pro-Bono-Development-Guide-10-31-17.pdf
ACC Annual Meeting Presentation from Corporate Pro Bono - In-House Program Pro Bono: How to Start: https://www.acc.com/sites/default/files/resources/vl/membersonly/SampleFormPolicy/1388455_1.pdf
American Bar Association - Benefits of a Corporate Pro Bono Program: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/center-pro-bono/resources/pro-bono-role/corporate_counsel/
ACC Resources - Starting a Pro Bono Legal Program Is Easier Than You Think: https://www.accdocket.com/starting-pro-bono-legal-program-easier-you-think
ONGOING PRO BONO OPPORTUNITIES
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service: You can make the difference in the life of one of these Marylanders by volunteering with Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS). Training, mentoring and malpractice insurance are provided to all of our volunteers. Not a litigator? We have volunteer opportunities for you as well. To see what cases are currently awaiting an attorney, visit: https://mvlslaw.org/pro-bono-portal/. If you are new to volunteering with MVLS, complete a volunteer application at https://mvlslaw.org/volunteer/volunteer-sign-up/.
DC Bar Pro Bono Center Opportunities
The DC Bar Pro Bono Center offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for in-house counsel to assist individuals and families, nonprofits, and small businesses, either in a time-limited clinic or an ongoing basis, including the following:
- Advice and Referral Clinic
- Advocacy & Justice Clinic
- Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic COVID-19 Commercial Lease Brief Legal Advice to Nonprofits and small businesses
- Matches with Nonprofits for On-going Pro Bono Legal Assistance
- Lauching the Commercial Tenant Task Force
For details about each of these opportunities and information on how to volunteer contact the Training & Volunteer Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-780-2738.
Opportunities with Whitman-Walker Legal Services Program
The Whitman-Walker Legal Services Program offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for in-house counsel, including:
Remote Legal Clinics & Case Placements
- Name and Gender Change
- Health Insurance Coverage Appeals
- Estate Planning
- Medicare Part D
This work varies but currently includes issues such as (a) privacy and procedural issues related to name and gender changes; (b) sex workers’ rights; (c) HIV discrimination/ medical privacy; (d) access to HIV medications in the military; (e) immigrant rights; (f) telemedicine; and more.
For details about each of these opportunities and information on how to volunteer, contact Lee Hicks at LHicks@whitman-walker.org
PRIOR EVENTS - RECORDINGS
Virtual Brown Bag with Maryland Legal Aid on February 24, 2023
ACC NCR and Maryland Legal Aid hosted a working session on how to waive into the Maryland Bar in order to do pro bono work. The Maryland Court of Appeals has created a special process to allow out of state attorneys to provide pro bono legal services under the supervision of a legal services provider. Tune in to this program and you'll be ready to submit your application to Maryland Legal Aid! To access a recording of the program, click here.
ACC NCR & Washington Council of Lawyers 2023 Pro Bono Program and Fair
ACC NCR and WCL hosted an online program and fair to discuss remote representation in the pro bono setting. Our panel of in-house volunteers and legal service coordinators shared best practices, lessons learned and tools for success that enable pro bono volunteers to navigate all aspects of virtual client representation, including clinics, limited scope representations, and even remote court proceedings. To access a recording of the program, click here. If you would like more information from the legal service providers that participated in the Fair, please click here.
Pro Bono Committee Brown Bag with DC Bar Pro Bono Center
ACC NCR hosted the team from DC Bar Pro Bono Center to showcase volunteer opportunities through the Center, with a focus on clinics that in-house counsel are particularly well-suited to staff: the Brief Advice Clinics of the Nonprofit and Small Business Legal Assistance Programs. The Small Business Legal Assistance Program provides brief legal information to small business owners and prospective entrepreneurs who operate in economically disadvantaged areas or who have limited financial resources, and the Nonprofit Legal Assistance Program provides legal assistance to the District of Columbia’s community-based nonprofits. Representatives from the Pro Bono Center will share more about how you can get involved in these clinics. They will also describe the other volunteer opportunities at the Center to assist low-income residents of D.C. with legal questions in the areas of landlord/tenant, housing, public benefits, immigration, and other matters. Access a recording of the program here.
Pro Bono Committee Voter Protection Program Presented by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights
On September 16, 2022, ACC NCR partnered with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law for a presentation regarding volunteer opportunities with Election Protection’s 2022 national voter hotlines. Opportunities are open to lawyers, paralegals, legal assistants, and law students. This non-partisan resource for all American voters guides them through the process and utilizes a wide range of tools and activities to protect, advance and defend the right to vote.
Interested volunteers could sign up for self-scheduled 1-1/2 hours of on-demand training and then remotely staff specific shifts through an online platform, supported by comprehensive resource materials and “captains” available for immediate consultation. The program was presented by Nancy Anderson, Esq., Director of Pro Bono, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the NCR Pro Bono Committee. Access a recording of the program here.
Pro Bono Clinic - Name Change with Whitman Walker Health
ACC NCR partnered with Whitman Walker Health and hosted a virtual training to assist low-income transgender individuals with the name change process in all 3 local jurisdictions. The pandemic has made the process even more challenging, and client demand far exceeds Whitman-Walker’s in-house resources.
ACC NCR volunteers will be paired up and assigned a single client to assist in completing name change documents and will help clients file the documents pro se with the relevant court system. Following the session, interested volunteers will be sent a formal case placement email with client contact information. Volunteers will be asked to coordinate with the client to meet via Zoom, phone call, or work via email within a specified time period. Volunteers will work in teams and a Whitman-Walker staff mentor will be assigned to each team/case assigned. Resource materials are readily accessible through Google Docs and Whitman-Walker holds monthly virtual briefing sessions for all volunteer attorneys to have questions answered and to share tips and new guidance. If you are interested in volunteering, you can access a recording of the session here and should also reach out to Lee Hicks, Legal Services Operations Manager at Whitman Walker Health, to obtain information on getting started.
Hardship on Obtaining Security Deposits
On April 6, 2022, ACC NCR co-hosted a brown bag lunch session with Maryland Legal Aid. The session focused on poverty and the potential hardship for almost 40% of Maryland's population to afford an attorney if needed in civil and administrative matters. Maryland Legal Aid (MLA) also gave an introduction into the specific need for pro bono attorneys to help MLA clients in securing back security deposits as well as an overview on how to waive in (for free!) to the Maryland bar to do pro bono work. Click here for a recording of the program.
How-Tos for Developing a New Pro Bono Program
On September 14, 2021, ACC NCR co-hosted How-Tos for Developing a New Pro Bono Program featuring best practices for creating new programs and collaborating with other in-house, law firm, government, and legal services lawyers to build community and serve pro bono clients. Presenters provided practical advice on the decisions to be made and steps to take to build a strong foundation that will both encourage and support volunteers using their legal skills to help those unable to afford legal services. Thank you to the following organizations that have signed on to participate, Ayuda, Children's Law Center, Corporate Pro Bono, DC Bar Pro Bono Program, DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Legal Counsel for the Elderly, Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Maryland Legal Aid, Whitman-Walker Health Legal Services
In-House Pro Bono in the Time of Covid-19
On September 23, 2020, ACC NCR co-hosted the program In-House Pro Bono in the Time of Covid-19, featuring representatives of legal services organizations and in-house volunteers sharing information about pro bono opportunities involving transactional work, litigation, wills, voting rights, immigration, and more – all of which are currently seeking volunteers for remote work during the pandemic. For more information, click on the links below:
- Recording of the Program
- List of Resources and Contact Information
- Washington Council of Lawyers Recap