This webpage is intended as a national source of information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the delivery of legal services. It includes resources on remote service delivery, court access and rules changes, legal needs, public benefits programs, and pro bono mobilization. We appreciate receiving new information for inclusion on the site, preferably links to dynamic content that is updated regularly. Please contact Denise Dempsey at email@example.com with submissions for consideration.
In response to the growing legal needs of Americans arising from the coronavirus (COVID-19), the American Bar Association has created a nationwide task force of volunteer lawyers and judges from across the legal profession. The task force will identify the legal needs arising from the pandemic, make recommendations to address those needs, and help mobilize volunteer lawyers and legal professionals to assist people who need help.
The task force includes experts in disaster response; health law; insurance; legal needs of families to protect basic human needs such as food, shelter, medical and employment benefits; criminal justice; domestic violence; civil rights and social justice.
Survey Regarding Legal Needs Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic
In May 2020, the Task Force conducted a survey to help identify current and future legal needs arising from the Coronavirus Pandemic. The survey was conducted from May 8 – May 14, and sent to the Task Force Members and Liaisons, Section Officers Conference, and the Chairs of the Special and Standing Committees and Commissions. The survey results and summary report can be found here.
Practice Tools and Remote Work
- The Connecticut Bar Association has formed the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic Task Force to respond to the growing legal issues and needs in Connecticut arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Additionally, the Task Force has eight subcommittees to help meet the needs of the state of Connecticut including liaison to the executive and legislative branch, legal aid, the public at large, and the legal profession, the financial impact on the legal profession, liaison to the judicial branch and federal courts, technology, and law students and law schools.
COVID-19 CLE and Videos
- The American Bar Association is pleased to offer a free video series on remote working during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, as well as a variety of CLE webinars and on-demand products free to ABA members. as part of the Member Benefit Library.
- Bloomberg Law is providing free access to comprehensive legal resources relating to COVID-19. The links below include information on judicial operations, state agency announcements and emergency rules, state-by-state unemployment insurance benefits, labor protections, checklists and toolkits, and state legislative activity.
- LexisNexis offers a Lexis Practice Advisor Coronavirus Resource Kit to help U.S. attorneys manage the evolving novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The Kit features select content addressing emerging issues related to coronavirus (COVID-19) across a variety of practice areas.
- BakerHostetler has established an online resource center to help address and answer legal questions about COVID-19, including actions business may or must take to address to protect employees and business operations.
- The National Institutes of Health offer guidance with work/life balance resources and many other topics with regards to telework.
- Leadership Strategies provides a free webinar entitled, "The Secrets to Virtual Facilitation."
- The National Conference of Bar Presidents offers guidance and resources on tools to assist with remote work for Bar Leaders.
- National Association of Bar Executives has dedicated a resource page for bar professionals facing challenges in light of COVID-19.
- The ABA’s Cybersecurity Legal Task Force has practice tools for remote work and legal needs. They have resources related to cybersecurity and data protection in the employer/workplace and teleworking, as well as information on data protection in the health industry.
- Fastcase is working to ensure lawyers have access to resources available to them. The Fastcase COVID-19 resource hub, bringing together legislative and government updates and COVID-19 content across leading news media sources.
- The ABA Committee on Disaster Response & Preparedness has resources for lawyers, bar associations and the justice system to help them prepare for and respond to disasters; provide resources to assist lawyers and the public recover from disasters; and ensure the rule of law in times of disaster.
- The ABA Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs provides mental health resources for the legal profession during COVID-19.
- The ABA Law Student Division’s blog, Before the Bar, has coronavirus resources and information for law students.
- Sidley Austin LLP has produced numerous podcasts, a brand new “e-magazine” as well as a COVID-19 resource center.
- Winston & Strawn LLP has developed a COVID-19 Client Resource Center which houses over 150 pieces of content in various practice areas ranging from Data Privacy & Security, Capital Markets, Energy, Pro Bono and Wellness Initiatives.
- The ABA Section of Litigation has a dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) page on articles and resources.
- Arnold & Porter has established a multidisciplinary Coronavirus Task Force with the crisis management, regulatory, litigation and transactional expertise necessary to plan for and navigate the legal and public policy impact of this pandemic.
- Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP developed a resource page which includes dynamic information related to updates, alerts and programming regarding coronavirus and the impact on clients and various industries.
- Standford Law School has a COVID-19 Memo Database, developed and maintained by the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University and Cornerstone Research. The Database aggregates 5,260 memoranda in a searchable format designed to help users quickly identify relevant information. These memoranda were generated by leading U.S. law firms, the four major audit firms, and a leading insurance broker.
- The Practising Law Institute (PLI) has a dedicated page on Coronavirus Developments which offers resources on the latest legal developments, changes to CLE requirements, PLI program updates and more.
- FEMA and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are collecting and sharing best practices for responding to COVID-19. Read FEMA Coronavirus Emergency Management Best Practices and the HHS Novel Coronavirus Resources page
- The executive leadership of the National Council for Bar Presidents has been producing COVID-19 response videos with bar leaders and others about their responses to the pandemic.
National Affinity Bars COVID-19 Resources
Court Access and Rules Changes
- The Justice in Government Project director Karen Lash recently spoke with Danielle Hirsch and Zach Zarnow of the National Center for State Courts about federal pass-through funds available to state and local courts navigating the COVID-19 crisis. Their discussion highlights a new Grants Matrix of curated state-administered federal funds (including block, formula, and open-ended reimbursement grants) that can support court technology innovations that are especially important during COVID-19, such as teleconferencing for remote hearings, document assembly tools, or self-help websites. Karen also walks through the first steps of the funding application process and gives helpful tips to consider when pursuing these opportunities. Watch the Tiny Chat here.
- National Center for State Courts (NCSC)
- NCSC Website: Coronavirus and the Courts
- NCSC Interactive Map with Links to State Court COVID-19 Websites
- NCSC Coronavirus and the Courts State Profiles
- NCSC Examples of COVID-19 Administrative Orders Relating to Substantive Law Areas
- NCSC White Paper: Remote Court Operations Incorporating A2J Principles – A Pandemic Resource
- The Federal Judiciary website has dedicated resources and information on Judiciary Preparedness for the Coronavirus.
- Conducting Effective Remote Hearings in Child Welfare Cases during COVID-19.
- Law360 offers the latest updates on court closures and restrictions, including federal courts, due to COVID-19.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation joins coalition urging judicial transparency during the COVID-19 emergency.
- National Association of Drug Court Professionals offers best practices for Treatment Courts.
- The Legal Services Corporation has created a webpage with information about how COVID-19 is affecting the legal aid programs it funds and their clients.
- The Self-Represented Litigation Network has collected resources on serving self-represented litigants during the pandemic.
- LawSites has developed a page that lists products and services offered by companies for free to support the work of legal professionals during the coronavirus crisis.
- ABA Asks CISA to Deem Lawyers' Legal Services to Clients to be Essential Services in Any National “Stay at Home” Order (March 24, 2020)
ABA letter to the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) requests that if the agency recommends that a national “stay at home” order be issued as part of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency include the critical legal services that lawyers provide to their clients in any definition of “essential services” contained in that order.
- The Rhode Island Judiciary has launched a COVID-19 Business Recovery Program to assist businesses whose operations have been seriously disrupted by the pandemic. The program permits qualifying businesses that were current on their financial obligations as of January 15, 2020 to operate under non-liquidating receiverships.
- ABA Letter in Support of Emergency Supplemental Funding for Court Improvement Programs (April 17, 2020)
ABA letter to House and Senate leaders supports emergency supplemental funding in the next stimulus bill to ensure that the child welfare system has the tools it needs to prevent or address child maltreatment caused or made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- US District Court of the Eastern District of Texas, issues order extending certain statutory deadlines for administrative and civil judicial forfeiture proceedings and actions.
- The Administrative Office of the Courts has developed COVID-19 Recovery Guidelines for the Federal Judiciary.
- The Judicial Division’s Gavel Talks is an audio and video library exploring best practices and judicial advice on topics of professional development for judges, lawyers and law students. Season Two of the podcast has focused on COVID-19 crisis and the effects on the courts.
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit posted a notice concerning the conducting and scheduling of Oral Argument.
- Wisconsin Lawyers Once Again Permitted to Provide Ghostwriting Services
- The California Commission on Access to Justice has developed a guide for courts and court users, entitled “Remote Hearings and Access to Justice During COVID-19 and Beyond.”
- The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), has launched a new project to create Initial Discovery Protocols for COVID-19 Insurance Claims.
- Texas Supreme Court Issues Amended Coronavirus Emergency Order. The amended order extends deadlines, allows testing jury proceedings.
- Court Issued Orders in Maryland –
- The Maryland Judiciary’s Chief Judge, Mary Ellen Barbera, issued the Judiciary’s comprehensive reopening plan, in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- The Administrative Order Lifting Statewide Suspension of Jury Trials and Resuming Grand Juries.
- The Revised Administrative Order on the Emergency Tolling or Suspension of Statues of Limitations and Statutory and Rules Deadlines Related to the Initiation of Matters and Certain Statutory and Rules Deadline in Pending Matters.
- The Administrative Order on Suspension during the COVID-19 Emergency of Foreclosures, Evictions, and Other Ejectments involving Residence
- With COVID-19 making it difficult for parties to get essential court document notarized, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an Order temporarily removing the notary requirement from domestic relations, juvenile, general and probate forms..
- In response to the unprecedented demands on the legal system in general and the judiciary in specific, the Judicial Division has gathered resources from its members and outside entities to provide assistance to judges who are operating in uncertain conditions.
- The Judicial Division’s National Conference of the Administrative Law Judiciary conducted a survey of administrative law judges to provide a snapshot of the actions taken by administrative tribunals across the country in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The survey sought to gauge the views and perspectives offered by judges in response to those actions along with suggestion for improving future responses to future pandemics or other natural disasters.
- Report of the Civil Justice Counsel of the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary of England and Wales on The Impact of COVID-19 Measures on the Civil Justice System.
- Judiciary Issues a comprehensive new report on conducting federal jury trials and convening grand juries during the pandemic.
- The National District Attorneys Association and CNA have partnered during the COVID-19 pandemic to assist prosecutors with the most current information, effective best practices, and targeted resources to keep their communities safe and secure.
- The National Center for State Courts conducted a national public opinion survey between June 8-11, in an effort to capture sentiment toward serving on a jury in person, serving on a jury remotely, and to better understand issues related to technology and remote access to court services. Please find the formal report from GBAO Strategies which contains analysis on demographic trends as well as the materials from the NCSC COVID-19 webinar on the poll presentation. The presentation was recorded and can be accessed here.
- Trial Strategies distributed a memorandum to its clients regarding jury panels during the COVID-19 pandemic
- The following Practical Law checklists include information on the federal courts and select state courts COVID-19 related operations, rules, orders and notices:
- The Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons amends its regulations to provide inmates in federal custody with the opportunity for free video-teleconferencing and telephone usage during the national emergency with respect to Coronavirus Disease 2019. This rule was effective June 22, 2020.
- The National Notary Association updates their site frequently on details about state emergency actions. Please note some emergency orders only cover documents to be filed in court and some do not allow remote witnessing.
- The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel has prepared a state-by-state compilation of information about remorse notarization and witnessing of documents.
Federal Administrative Agencies
- The Administrative Conference of the United States has a webpage dedicated to compiling relevant orders, policies, news releases, and other statements as agencies.
- As part of the 21st Century Lawyers Virtual Sessions, the National Conference of Bar Presidents is checking in with bar leaders and industry professionals to see how they are providing services to their members in this trying time.
- The ABA Commission on Disability Rights hosted two captioned webinars on the impact of COVID-19 on the legal rights of persons with disabilities focused on the discriminatory rationing of treatment and lack of special education services:
- The National Health Law Program is dedicated to protecting and expanding access to health rights for low-income and underserved individuals. Their site provides an assortment of resources related to coronavirus.
- The National Resource Center for Reaching Victims has resources to support victims of crimes in response to COVID-19. This site includes recordings from their national strategy sessions, webinars on critical topics and tip sheets.
- The National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center website includes resources on COVID-19 legal response needs and maintains a listserv for sharing resources and strategies.
- Tribal Law and Policy Institute has launched an Indian Country resource page with information and resources concerning tribal, state and federal initiatives, best practices, and service provision strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The National Center on Law & Elder Rights has a training on Strategies for Providing Remote Legal Services to Older Adults.
- Declarations for Death Penalty Representation During COVID-19 (April 3, 2020)
The ABA Death Penalty Representation Project signed Declarations to address issues of inadequate defense of persons facing the death penalty during the pandemic. Read the Declarations here and here.
- Support of H.R. 6414, the Correctional Facility Emergency Response Act of 2020 (April 7, 2020)
ABA thanked House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler for introducing H.R. 6414, the COVID-19 Correctional Facility Emergency Response Act of 2020.
- The ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) has launched a web page that consolidates resources from across the country to assist the access to justice community in addressing the many challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The ABA Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence has compiled a list of resources for survivors, lawyers, domestic violence providers and advocates.
- ABA Letter Regarding the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Memorandum (April 10, 2020)
Regarding Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Director’s March 17 Memorandum granting limited waivers from some of the federal contract compliance requirements that would otherwise be applicable to contracts for Coronavirus relief efforts, ABA recognizes that in this time of national emergency, the federal government needs to move quickly to acquire life-saving necessary goods and services. Nonetheless, the ABA has repeatedly, for decades, supported affirmative action, and even in these trying times we urge the Department to remain steadfastly and visibly committed to affirmative action and equal opportunity for minorities, women, the disabled, and veterans.
- ABA Legal Fact Check: State powers and public health during pandemics
- Equal Rights Advocates is hosting COVID-19 resources for workers and student survivors, Title IX administrators, and families.
- ABA Legal Fact Check examines how COVID-19 is raising questions — and legal challenges — to employers’ actions related to keeping their workplace safe and to workers’ rights to seek reasonable accommodation under federal and state law.
- The Legal Services Funders Network in the Bay Area of California is funding a minimum of 25 fellowships for 2020 graduates of Bay Area law firms to spend six months with legal services organizations. The initiative addresses increased legal needs relating to COVID-19 and reduced employment prospects for this year’s law school graduates.
- National Association of Counsel for Children has resources to help keep child welfare legal community informed and prepared to safeguard rights and wellbeing of children and families.
- The Children’s Defense Fund responds to Coronavirus and offers resources for protecting children and families.
- Department of Health & Human Services provides federal guidance on addressing priority court hearings, parent-child contact, timing of legal decisions, and other legal issues.
- The National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership has a variety of links related to legal needs and emerging legal issues pertinent to civil legal aid and medical-legal partnership fields.
- Online legal assistance portals in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio show jump in traffic, increase in searches about unemployment and government benefits.
- The Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice developed a multi-part webinar series exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic highlights critical legal issues of criminal justice, civil rights, human rights, and economic concerns, to name a few.
- COVID Coverage Litigation Tracker, created by Tom Baker at Penn Law, is an insurance law analytics tool.
Children, Youth and Families
- The ABA Section of Litigation Children’s Rights Litigation Committee has resources to assist children’s lawyers provide zealous advocacy to their child clients during a national emergency.
Criminal Legal Issues and Fines and Fees
- Fines & Fees Justice Center has recommended policies to assist jurisdictions across the country in dealing with COVID-19. The Center also maintains a COVID-19 Fines and Fees Policy Tracker, and policy recommendations for people in the criminal justice system.
- ABA Support for H.R. 2868, the Ensuring Quality Access to Legal (EQUAL) Defense Act (February 27, 2020)
The ABA commends senators for their introduction of the Ensuring Quality Access to Legal (EQUAL) Defense Act in each chamber of Congress (S.1377 and H.R. 2868, respectively). The EQUAL Defense Act would help protect the constitutional rights of defendants who are unable to afford a lawyer, increase indigent defense representation in local and tribal public defense systems, and provide needed relief to the men and women providing public defense services every day.
- Statement Re: Provisions for prisons and jails in COVID-19 economic stimulus package (March 27, 2020)
Prisons and jails are some of the highest-risk environments for the spread of COVID-19. The ABA is encouraged that the COVID-19 economic stimulus package approved by Congress includes provisions to allow prisons greater access to personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing materials. The ABA is further encouraged by the bill’s provisions that expand use of home detention and electronic monitoring. The availability of these alternatives to incarceration should be considered particularly for individuals whose cases are still pending. The ABA is disappointed the bill fails to include provisions to increase access to release for older and infirm prisoners, but commends a separate action taken by the Department of Justice which directs federal prison authorities to identify elderly and medically compromised inmates for home confinement. The ABA also applauds state and local prosecutors, courts, law enforcement officers and corrections officers who are seeking practical alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders, especially during this national emergency.
- Special alert for VA, SSI recipients who don’t file a tax return and have dependents.
- This fact sheet from the Social Security Administration provides more information on how individuals who receive SSI and Social Security benefits will receive stimulus payments and any additional actions they need to take.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, guardians for older adults and adults with disabilities may have questions about fulfilling their duties and staying connected to people they represent. Guardianship experts, including the National Guardianship Association, ABA Commission on Law and Aging, and the National Center for State Courts, have created a FAQ document with answers, actionable tips, and links to key resources.
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides information on the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19.
- The National Employment Law Project offers resources to support workers during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
- The Urban Institute provides information regarding policies to protect people and communities amid COVID-19.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has created a 45-minute webinar on March 27th on how equal employment opportunity laws relate to COVID-19.
Eviction, Housing, and Homelessness
- NOLO provides information on emergency bans on evictions and other tenant protections related to coronavirus.
- The National Low Income Housing Coalition leads the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition has regular webinars on COVID-19 issues.
- Information on relief for homeowners impacted by COVID-19 is available on the Federal Housing Finance Agency website.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has COVID-19 resources and fact sheets on relief for homeowners.
- The National Housing Law Project has guidance and resources on renter and homeowner rights during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Network for Public Health Law offers information on housing, emergency declarations, public health surveillance, legal preparedness, data privacy, and more.
- ABA Commends Senate for Bipartisan Introduction of The Eviction Crisis Act (February 28, 2020)
ABA letter expresses appreciation for the bipartisan introduction of S. 3030, the Eviction Crisis Act, which would provide funding and other support for community problem-solving courts in eviction cases.
- To better understand the steps states have taken to prevent homelessness during and after the pandemic, the Eviction Lab and Columbia Law School’s Professor Emily Benfer have developed a policy scorecard for each state, distilling the contents of thousands of newly-released emergency orders, declarations, and legislation into a clear set of critical measures included in, and left out of, state-level pandemic responses related to eviction and housing.
- The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty has developed a COVID-19 page on recommendations, resources and their COVID-19 Response Tracker.
- The Urban Institute has resources on COVID-19 Policies to Protect People and Communities.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development has published waivers and guidance.
- HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs (Multifamily) posted a two-page explanation of the CARES Act eviction moratorium. It is designed for residents who have HUD-funded rental assistance and/or live in an FHA-insured property.
- HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) has issued “Relief for HUD Section 108 Borrowers Impacted by Coronavirus” guidance that has the potential to reduce the amount of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds that a jurisdiction uses to address housing needs in the community without public participation in the decision making.
- A New NCLC Digital Library article explains new protections for homeowners having difficulty making mortgage payments—both those covered by the CARES Act and the millions who are not.
- NLIHC has released online its Advocates’ Guide 2020: A Primer on Federal Affordable Housing & Community Development Programs, a comprehensive resource for advocates and others involved in many aspects of affordable housing and community development.
- Eviction Diversion Programs Across the Country:
State-wide eviction prevention program by Arizona Department of Housing
Bridgeport Nonprofit Eviction Prevention Program
Kalamazoo County Eviction Diversion Program
East Lansing Eviction Diversion Program
- NEW YORK
New York City
NYC Right to Counsel Site
Syracuse Public Housing Eviction Diversion Program
- NORTH CAROLINA
Eviction Diversion Program with Duke Law
Mayor’s Task Force Report, Summer 2018
Addressing Evictions in Richmond
A Freeze on Public-Housing Evictions in Richmond, Virginia
Loan Defaults, Deferrals, Forgiveness
- The U.S. Small Business Administration has information on low-interest, long -term disaster loans to business of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters to repair or replace uninsured/underinsured disaster damaged property.
- ABA Blueprint highlights SBA Loan and Grant Options for Law Firms.
- The Washington Letter: March 2020 Edition "The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act: Ten Highlights for ABA Members
- The ABA Commission on Immigration provides weekly summaries of developments in the immigration system related to COVID-19.
- ABA Urges EOIR and ICE to Protect Individuals Working In and Appearing Before Immigration Courts (March 25, 2020)
ABA letter to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) called for several steps to further protect the health and safety of individuals working in and appearing before the immigration courts that remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ABA believes that additional, uniform measures are necessary to ensure the protection of individuals, while preserving non-citizen respondents’ access to legal representation and legal information.
- ABA Letter Regarding Increased Fees for Certain Adjudication Services in Proposed EOIR Rule (March 30, 2020)
ABA letter to the Executive Office of Immigration Review urges it to withdraw proposed rule 85 Fed. Reg. 11866, as it would increase existing fees dramatically, and, for the first time, include a fee for filing a defensive asylum application.
- ABA Letter Encouraging Temporary Suspension of Immigration Court Hearings and
Appearances for Unaccompanied Children(April 1, 2020)
Letter to the Executive Office of Immigration Review urges the temporary suspension of all immigration court hearings and appearances for unaccompanied children held in Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) custody. The nature of removal proceedings for children in ORR custody presents unique obstacles to providing a safe and confidential environment for legal representation and support during the current COVID-19 crisis.
- ABA Letter Urging the Suspension of All In-Person Immigration Court Proceedings (April 17, 2020)
ABA letter to the EOIR and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement urges the immediate suspension of all in-person immigration court proceedings and the implementation of a process to consider certain persons for release from immigration detention.
- The Executive Office for Immigration Review website provides updates regarding court closures and COVID-19 policies and procedures. For daily updates on individual Immigration Court closures or procedures are announced via the EOIR Twitter account.
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement has updates on policies and procedures regarding COVID-19.
- The US Citizenship and Immigration Services provides information regarding COVID-19 policies and procedures.
- The Center for Migration Studies offers COVID-19 related resources, which includes webinars, policy related work, and other global state and local migration information.
- Global Detention Project monitors immigration detention throughout the world and include regular updates regarding US Immigration detention in light of COVID-19.
Legal Services Corporation; Legal Services Providers
- ABA Urges Congress to Include Supplemental Emergency LSC Funding in Stimulus Bill (March 19, 2020)
ABA letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urged them to act quickly to pass supplemental emergency appropriations for the Legal Services Corporation to help address the increasing legal needs of low-income Americans caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
- The Federal Reserve's significant reduction in interest rates is reducing Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts, a significant source of funding for legal aid programs across the United States. This reduction may be compounded by reduction in revenue from court filing fees, another source of funding for legal aid programs in many states, as courts limit their operations as a result of the coronavirus. Law360 has this item on these developments.
- ABA Requests Additional Emergency LSC Funding to Address Pandemic (April 8, 2020)
ABA thanked leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for including $50 million of emergency funding for the Legal Service Corporation in the CARES Act of 2020, which was 50% of the $100 million that LSC originally requested. The letter also asked the committee leaders to include the remaining $50 million in the next stimulus bill to help address the "tidal wave" of low-income Americans needing legal assistance due to the dramatic spike of evictions, foreclosures, domestic violence, family law issues, and other legal problems caused by the pandemic.
- The Justice in Government Project and NLADA have created a new resource that provides information about COVID-19 related appropriations, law, and agency guidance that can help support legal aid providers and courts. It contains information on non-LSC federal funding sources including:
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
- Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
- Edward Bryne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant
- Fair Housing Initiatives Program Education and Outreach (EOI)
- Family Violence Prevention Services (FVPSA) formula grants
- Older Americans Act
- Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program
- HHS HRSA Section 330 funding for health centers
- STOP (Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grant
- Title IV-E foster care program
July 2020 Bar Examination Changes
- The National Conference of Bar Examiners has information about changes regarding the July 2020 bar exam by jurisdiction.
- ABA urges states that cancel bar exams due to COVID-19 to consider alternatives for law grads.
- ABA Law Graduate Interim Admission due to Delay of the July 2020 Bar Exam by Jurisdiction (Updated as of 05/26/20)
- Bloomberg Law extends free access to its platform to this year’s law school graduating class through June 1, 2021
- The United States Department of Labor has provided guidance to federal employees who develop COVID-19 in the course of their federal duties about their right to workers’ compensation benefits.
- The ABA’s Governmental Affairs Office provides updates and resources as it relates to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act (CARES Act), including information on the CARES Paycheck Protection Program.
- Paul Weiss developed a website with information about both government benefits and relief programs run by non-profit organizations.
- ABA Letter Regarding the Impact of COVID-19 on Associations, Nonprofits, and Other Tax-Exempt Organizations (March 12, 2020)
The ABA urges the House and Senate to include associations, nonprofits, and other tax-exempt organizations within any federal aid packages or supplemental appropriations measures pursued as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- The ABA's Washington Letter provides a summary of the Paycheck Protection Program included in the CARES Act.
- The ABA's Government Affairs Office has information about the state issued stay at home orders and information on legal services.
- The District of Columbia Bar Pro Bono Center has prepared guidance for non-profits and small businesses eligible for economic relief under the CARES Act.
- ABA Letter Regarding Legislative Proposals for Paid Family, Medical, and Sick Leave (February 4, 2020)
Letter to the House Ways and Means Committee commended them for holding a hearing on legislative proposals for job-guaranteed paid family and medical leave and asking that they also consider proposals to provide paid sick leave.
- As a response to the COVID-19 crisis, the CARES Act directs the IRS to issue Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) to eligible individuals, married couples, and families with children. The American Bar Association Tax Section offers information to help promote the availability of these payments, especially for those who assist lower-income clients, non-filers, and other vulnerable populations, and to warn against scams. Please see the ABA Tax Section’s information at https://bit.ly/2WmVgsI and share widely with your colleagues and networks.
- Davis and Polk created a guide on the CARES Act for Gig Workers and Others Who Work for Themselves to help self employed and gig workers navigate the legal and economic obstacles the pandemic presents them.
- FEMA announced approval of 30 states and the District of Columbia for its Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training program. Crisis Counseling, part of FEMA’s Individual Assistance programs, is a mental health assistance program that provides short-term interventions, intake, and referral mental health services for disaster survivors.
Pro Bono Mobilization
- Pro Bono Net, the Immigration Advocates Network and partners have published a guide for nonprofit pro bono innovation, entitled "Remote Legal Support Guide: A Best Practices Manual for Nonprofit and Pro Bono Innovation."
- Big law firms are joining with the Lawyers for Good Government Foundation to help small businesses access government support.
- The ABA Center for Pro Bono has resources related to pro bono organizations and management during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- ABA Free Legal Answers is a virtual legal advice clinic where qualifying users post their civil legal questions to their state’s website.
- Amid COVID-19, the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division’s Disaster Legal Services Program and Paladin launch pro bono portal to provide free legal services. aba.joinpaladin.com/aba-disaster-relief/
- Practising Law Institute’s (PLI) Pursuing Justice: The Pro Bono Files podcast provides a behind-the-scenes exploration of pro bono and public interest legal work.
- Under NJ Court Order, pro bono work by out-of-state counsel, including in-house counsel, is another measure to minimize disruption and allow access to the state’s court and legal system during the health crisis.
- Dallas Eviction 2020 Project provides pro bono legal help if you get an eviction notice in Dallas, TX.
- COVID-19 Pro Bono Support Needs Project – A loosely organized group of law students, paralegals, and paralegal students are providing pro bono support for attorneys working on client matters related to COVID-19. The project is not affiliated with any university or larger organization.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Legal Media/News
- Thomson Reuters provides coverage on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as well as comprehensive reports as countries across the globe tighten restrictions. Additionally, they are providing support to businesses and assist in navigating this complicated and ever-changing environment. Thomson Reuters is providing free resources created by their legal and tax experts.
- Coronavirus Legal Daily collects legal news on COVID-19 from 25,000 legal bloggers.
- Coronavirus: What Child Welfare Systems Need to Think About. The Chronicle of Social Change offers information on impact of coronavirus on child welfare system, including courts.
- The Marshall Project reports on the impact Coronavirus Leaves Foster Children With Nowhere to Go.
- Child Welfare Services and Caretakers Grapple with COVID-19 Effects.
- Delays, despair as coronavirus pandemic halts family reunification hearings for foster children
- The NCSC Pandemic
Rapid Response Team creates roadmap to guide state courts forward NCSC
International meets with court officials in other countries to gauge their
State and Local Government Action
- Stateside has a 2020 State and Local Government Report on Responses to COVID-19.
- The ABA’s Standing Committee on Election Law has information on how coronavirus is impacting elections in the states.
- Faegre Drinker is tracking executive orders, enacted legislation and guidance at the federal, state and major municipality levels related to COVID-19.
- Wolters Kluwer has created a comprehensive app that covers over 2000 executive orders, laws and regulations across Federal and 50 State jurisdictions.
- The ABA’s Section of State and Local Government Law has resources on the CARES Act, public health legal preparedness, American Health Lawyers informational hub, and the National Association of Attorneys General.
- The COVID-19 Outbreak at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke: An Independent Investigation Conducted for the Governor of Massachusetts – June 23, 2020
National Conference of State Legislatures
- National Conference of State Legislatures Website: State Action on Coronavirus (COVID-19): Pending and Enacted/Adopted Legislation Listed by State
Council of State Governments Website
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