Imagine the impact we could make if every attorney took just one pro bono case a year. That single contribution could drastically reduce the enormous backlog of pro bono cases and significantly improve access to justice for all Florida residents.
Offer your legal expertise to one low-income client by contacting one of these legal services organizations:
Guardian ad Litem
When you volunteer with the Guardian ad Litem Program for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, you become a voice for a child in dependency court. Other pro bono opportunities with the GAL Program include assisting the GAL Program using your area of expertise, including special education, probate, guardianship, appeals, or immigration. Training is available. Contact Hilary Creary, supervising attorney, [email protected], for more information on pro bono opportunities.
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA):
JALA is a midsized law firm specializing in providing civil legal assistance to low-income persons. Requests for services are at critical levels. Pro bono attorneys are urgently needed to represent clients in a single legal matter. Attorneys specify practice areas and review cases prior to acceptance. Professional liability insurance is provided. Contact Kathy Para, Esq., Pro Bono Development Coordinator, [email protected], for more information on training available and all pro bono opportunities.
Family law attorneys and paralegals are needed to assist victims of domestic violence prepare pro se divorce documents. Missing Links meets once a month in the evening. For more information contact co-founder, Marla Buchanan, Esq., for schedule and location details. [email protected]
Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership (NFMLP)
When a doctor, nurse, social worker, or other member of a medical team, suspects that an environmental, economic, social or educational legal issue may exist, that person makes a referral to NFMLP for a legal diagnosis. The referrals come from various clinics serving the low-income population. The NFMLP attorney interviews the referred patient and evaluates whether he/she could benefit from legal assistance or another community service. If legal assistance is recommended the case is placed with the NFMLP for pro bono placement. Pro bono attorneys receive case summaries and full case information prior to acceptance of the case. Pro bono attorney support includes training and professional liability insurance. For more information contact Kathy Para, [email protected].
Office of Public Defender
Pro bono attorneys are needed to serve as special assistant public defenders (SAPD) representing clients in misdemeanor cases in criminal court. Training and support is provided. SAPDs help a low-income client seek justice allowing staff attorneys more time to focus on the thousands of cases they already handle. For more information contact Cynthia Hunold, Director of the County Court Unit, [email protected].
For more information on opportunities throughout the Fourth Judicial Circuit, attorneys are encouraged to call Kathy Para, Chairperson of The JBA Pro Bono Committee, [email protected], 356-8371, ext. 363.