Volunteer

Attorneys and other professionals work alongside LAF's staff to run a variety of pro bono projects such as legal clinics and help desks. All of these offer a unique opportunity to connect with a diverse population and help us reach clients that might otherwise go unserved.

We also engage volunteers with individual cases for research, co-counsel, and primary representation. To see available cases, click here.

We are currently seeking volunteers for the projects listed below. Please check back regularly, as these opportunities often change.

If you would like more information or want to get involved with a pro bono case or an opportunity below, please submit a volunteer application and indicate the case or projects that interest you. 

For Attorneys:

Attorney Volunteers must be licensed and in good standing with the Bar. Additional qualifications specified if applicable.

IN HOUSE AT LAF:

ADAPT (Advance Directives and Property Transfers)
Help seniors prepare for the future by assisting with advance directives: powers of attorney for health care and property and living wills. Conduct telephone interviews with clients, then meet with them at LAF and prepare paperwork to complete the advance directive or property transfer documents.
•Time Commitment: 3-hour shifts, minimum of 3 shifts per month
•Training & Benefits: eLearning training which can be done from your home or office. Manuals, online resources, and other materials provided along with support from LAF attorneys.

Education Law Pro Bono Project
Interview and advise parents and students with special education and school discipline needs. Draft and review documents. Provide extended representation when cases require it, if able and available.
•Time Commitment: 2.5-5 hours per month with opportunities for extended representation
•Training & Benefits: 3-hour one-time Intro to Education Law training. Manuals, online resources, and other materials provided along with support from LAF attorneys.

Pro Bono Counsel Corps
Function as a part-time staff attorney assigned to one of LAF’s five practice groups (Consumer, Children & Family, Housing, Immigrants & Workers’ Rights, and Public Benefits) according to interest, experience, and need. Take on a comfortable caseload and participate in agency trainings and meetings.
•Time Commitment: At least 1 full day a week for at least 1 year; 2 years preferred
•Additional Qualifications: Senior level attorney preferred; newer attorneys may volunteer if they are able to fulfill the time commitment.
•Training & Benefits: Extensive training on the substantive law of the practice group and ongoing mentorship with an experienced attorney in the field will be provided.

OUTSIDE OF LAF:

Bankruptcy Help Desk
Work alongside LAF staff at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse to help clients prepare forms and draft motions. Answer clients' questions about bankruptcy in general or their cases in particular.
•Time Commitment: 3-4 hour shifts, minimum of 6 shifts per year
•Additional Qualifications: At least 1 year of experience practicing bankruptcy law.
•Training & Benefits: Mandatory 90-minute online training that can be completed at the volunteer’s home or office.

The William J. Hibbler Memorial Pro Se Assistance Program
Assist pro se litigants at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse by reviewing documents, providing guidance on the discovery process, and assisting them through all phases of litigation.
•Time Commitment: One 3-hour shift per month.
•Additional Qualifications: 3-5 years of federal court experience; experience in employment discrimination law is helpful, but not required.
•Training & Benefits: Half-day on-site training consisting of observing one shift of appointments, followed by an opportunity for the LAF staff attorney to observe and provide feedback to the volunteer. Volunteers receive ongoing mentoring and support from an experienced staff attorney.

Orders of Protection Litigation Project
Provide direct representation to victims of domestic violence who are seeking to obtain an Order of Protection at the west suburban Maybrook Courthouse.
•Time Commitment: 3-9 weeks with 1-2 court appearances
•Training & Benefits: Online training provided through the Pro Bono Network with ongoing support from LAF.

FROM YOUR HOME OR OFFICE:

SNAP Pro Bono Project
Provide telephone advocacy on behalf of food stamp recipients who are having problems receiving their benefits.
•Time Commitment: Varies by case. Most cases can be resolved with phone calls and emails. For cases that cannot be resolved, volunteers may provide continued representation through the hearing. LAF staff are also available to take cases to hearing as needed.
•Training & Benefits: CLE training and reference manuals provided.

Pro Bono Panel
Receive a monthly email containing cases where LAF seeks collaboration with or help from a volunteer attorney. Cases include both transactional and litigation matters.
•Time Commitment: Varies based on the case.
•Training & Benefits: No formal training is provided, but LAF will provide mentorship and ongoing support as needed.

For Other Professionals:

SNAP Pro Bono Project - paralegals 
See description above. 

LAF Young Professionals Board
Support the mission and programs of LAF through social events, fundraising initiatives, and community outreach efforts.
•Time Commitment: Attend a minimum of two quarterly meetings and a minimum of two fundraising events per year.
•Qualifications: None. YPB membership is not limited to attorneys; law students, paralegals, and professionals outside the legal community are welcome and highly encouraged to get involved.  
•Training & Benefits: The Board offers great networking and board skill-development opportunities to professionals who are dedicated to making philanthropic engagement a core part of their careers.  

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Project 
Visit nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and skilled living facilities in suburban Cook County to investigate and resolve complaints. Assist people on a systemic level when multiple residents of a facility are facing a problem. Educate residents, family, staff and the community about residents’ rights.
•Time Commitment: 4 hours a month.
•Qualifications: Must be over the age of 18 and be able to travel.
•Training & Benefits: 2-day training at LAF. Volunteers receive ongoing support. 

Financial Consulting Project
Perform forensic investigations to detect hidden assets and financial modeling to determine the value of assets or a business. Assist in the preparation of materials for presentation in court, or in some cases, communicate their findings in the form of a written report or as oral testimony.  
•Time Commitment: Varies by case.
•Qualifications: Experience in litigation consulting, fraud investigations, forensic accounting, or business valuation.  

Health Coverage Enrollment Project
Provide in-person and/or telephone assistance to individuals purchasing health coverage through the Health insurance Marketplace or enrolling in Medicaid as a Volunteer Certified Application Counselor (CAC). Work from LAF or other locations in the community. While this service can be provided year round, the busiest time is the Open Enrollment Period which will be November 1, 2017 – December 15, 2017.
•Time Commitment: Varies based on case and volunteer availability.
•Training & Benefits: CLE training and reference manuals provided. Training length varies based on volunteer’s interest in becoming a CAC – please inquire for details.

Administrative Assistant 
Help one of our five practice groups (Consumer; Housing; Public Benefits; Children & Families; Immigrants & Workers' Rights) with scanning, filing, data management, and other administrative or clerical tasks.
•Time Commitment: At least 5-8 hours per week at our office in the Loop.
•Qualifications: Current college student or similar background.  

Graphic Designer 
Redesign and create brochures, flyers, and other outreach materials that we use to share information about our work.
•Time Commitment: Ongoing until the materials are finished. Volunteers may work from their home or office, at their convenience.
•Qualifications: Must be a graphic design student or professional.
•Training & Benefits: Access to graphic design software and other resources. Materials can be added to your portfolio.  

Web Designer/Developer 
Collaborate with LAF staff to design and develop a website for the Ready 2 Work project, which helps low wage workers with issues like wage theft, discrimination, and denial of unemployment benefits.
•Time Commitment: Ongoing until the project is completed.
•Qualifications: Proficient in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and familiar with platforms like WordPress or Squarespace.
•Training & Benefits: Work at your own pace while increasing access to free legal aid for low wage workers. Materials can be added to your portfolio.  

Web Consultant 
Provide support to LAF staff as we create a new website for LAF using WordPress. Answer technical questions and advise us regarding design and feasibility remotely via email or phone.
•Time Commitment: Ongoing until the project is completed.
•Qualifications: Must be very knowledgeable about WordPress and HTML/CSS.
•Training & Benefits: Help people in poverty gain access to free legal aid by ensuring that our website is intuitive and easy to use.  

Although you may not see a project that utilizes your skillset, we are always open to discussing a potential volunteer role. If you possess any of the following skills, we’d love to hear from you as well.
•Accounting & Finance
•Administration
•Community Engagement
•Data Management
•Fundraising or Special Events Support
•Marketing & Public Relations
•Medical
•Real Estate
•Social Work 

We are currently seeking volunteers.  Please check back regularly, as our pro bono opportunities often change.  If you would like to share your time and talents or are interested in receiving more information about any of our projects or cases, please submit a volunteer application.

Looking for internship and fellowship opportunities with LAF?

Visit our Jobs & Internships page