Volunteering Made Easy with the National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide
By Mark O'Brien
Mark O’Brien is the executive director of Pro Bono Net in New York City and can be contacted at mobrien@probono.net.
Lawyers seeking opportunities for meaningful pro bono work in their communities have a powerful, new resource at their fingertips—the National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide ( www.probono.net/oppsguide.cfm).
The New York City-based nonprofit organization Pro Bono Net and the American Bar Association Center for Pro Bono partnered to develop this guide, which provides listings of more than 1,100 programs that need volunteer lawyers. The nationwide guide covers all fifty states and includes detailed information on nonprofit legal organizations that provide pro bono opportunities for lawyers, law students, and other legal professionals. Users of the guide can search for a service project in a specific substantive area of law or for one that serves a specific population, such as children, seniors, or immigrants. They can also e-mail an opportunity to a friend and suggest updates to the guide.
Because the list is interactive, state and local bar associations as well as community-based nonprofits can add or update information to ensure the list is current and accurate. The guide leverages the technology and network of regional content partners that Pro Bono Net has developed to create a series of innovative pro bono and legal-aid support Web sites, now used by more than 45,000 members, in some thirty U.S. states and Canadian provinces. Pro Bono Net works to increase access to justice through innovative uses of technology and increased volunteer lawyer participation. For more information on Pro Bono Net and opportunities to serve your community, visit www.probono.net.