SMRLS has been following the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota and the rest of our country. As the virus continues to spread, we are changing how you work with our clients during this time. All in-person clinics have been suspended. However, we are making continuous efforts to serve clients remotely. If you were scheduled to volunteer at a clinic within the next month, you should be receiving information on if and how the clinic will be taking place remotely.
20% of Minnesotans are living in poverty and qualify for free legal services from legal aid organizations. Of those Minnesotans, about 40% live in the SMRLS service area. To help meet the critical, civil legal needs of these individuals and families, we rely on volunteer attorneys.
Use your skills to make a difference
Opportunities to work with clients range from advice-only counseling, to brief services, to full representation. We match client needs to the practice areas preferred by each volunteer attorney. Volunteer attorneys handle a wide variety of cases, including:
- Consumer: Issues with credit or creditors, consumer contracts, bankruptcy, defective goods, consumer contracts
- Discrimination and Civil Rights: In housing, education, public services, including disability discrimination
- Employment: Discrimination, employee rights, wage and hour issues, termination
- Family: Domestic abuse, divorce, child custody, third party custody, pro se divorce clinics
- Housing and Real Estate: Foreclosure, eviction defense, repair of substandard housing, fair housing, utility shutoffs, subsidized housing, contract for deed cancellation, condemnation
- Probate: Guardianship, conservatorship, estate administration
- Public Benefits: Unemployment compensation, public benefit payments (GA, SSI, Social Security, Food Support) and medical needs (MA, MinnesotaCare), work requirements, and criminal records expungement
- Tax: Individual, federal and state
Good for you; good for others
Did you know there are over 2900 eligible clients for every paid legal aid attorney in Minnesota?
Serving as a volunteer can be a very rewarding experience, while providing valuable legal services to someone in need. It also helps fulfill the aspirational goal of providing 50 hours of pro bono service annually for those who cannot pay.
Volunteer attorneys earn 1 CLE credit for every 6 hours of volunteer work, for up to 6 credits in a CLE Reporting period. Learn more about the Minnesota Rules of Professional Responsibility 6.1 and the rules of the Minnesota State Board of Continuing Legal Education, Rule 6.D. Register for CLE credit by completing the Affidavit of Pro Bono Representation form and submitting it to email@example.com.