Ways to Volunteer
There are several ways to serve as a volunteer attorney with SMRLS. Take the first step by filling out your Volunteer Attorney Application. In the Application, indicate in which areas of the law you would like to counsel or represent clients and what jurisdictions.
- Direct Referrals. Based on your preferences, one of the SMRLS Volunteer Attorney Coordinators will contact you about clients who need assistance. You make the decision on whether you are able to take the case.
- In the Twin Cities metro area, the Tuesday Evening Clinic is held 3 times each month. The Thursday Evening Clinic is held once each month at the Shakopee Public Library. Client meetings are set up based on the case preferences of the Volunteer Attorneys. The cases range from advice-only counsel, to brief services, to full representation.
- In the Outstate area, an Evening Advice Clinic is held once a month at the Mankato office. Client appointments, whether by phone or in person, are set up based on the case preferences of the Volunteer Attorneys. All cases are advice cases. The time commitment for the Volunteer Attorney is 1-2 hours.
- Divorce Clinics. Volunteer Attorneys give brief advice to clinic participants, supervise volunteer law clerks, and review the forms. We offer clinics about 1 time each month and the time commitment for the Volunteer Attorney is 3-4 hours. See the list of Upcoming Divorce Clinics for dates and locations.
- Wills/Financial Powers of Attorney/Health Care Directive Clinics. Volunteer Estate Planning attorneys give brief advice to clinic participants (usually senior citizens) supervise volunteer law clerks, and review the forms. The time commitment for the Volunteer Attorney is 3-5 hours. See Upcoming Wills Clinics for dates.
- Criminal Record and Eviction Expungement Clinics. Volunteer attorneys give brief advice to clinic participants, supervise volunteer attorney and law clerks, review the forms. The time commitment for the Volunteer Attorney is about 3 hours. See Upcoming Criminal Record Expungement Clinics and Eviction Expungement Clinics for dates.
- Legal Checkup Clinics. In the Mankato area, Volunteer Attorneys screen clients for possible legal issues, help prevent future legal troubles, and give advice and resources. The time commitment for the Volunteer Attorney is 3-4 hours. See Upcoming Legal Checkup Clinics for dates.
- Ramsey County Housing Court Clinic. Clients received legal advice from a volunteer attorney before their first court appearance. They can also apply for Emergency Assistance or work with a mediator. This clinic runs every Tuesday and Thursday morning except court holidays. Time commitment for the Volunteer Attorney is 3-4 hours. Training information is available.
The Volunteer Attorney Guidelines explain in more detail the duties of the Volunteer Attorney. For more information, contact one of the SMRLS Volunteer Attorney Coordinators.