Opportunities for NYC pro-bono legal work?

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hellojd

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Opportunities for NYC pro-bono legal work?

Postby hellojd » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:45 am

Hi all,

I was wondering if you all know of good opportunities to get involved in the pro-bono legal community - I want to start expanding my network beyond my firm, and also hopefully make a difference in the community. Although hours aren't great in my gig, even if it means taking on a few hours of week during the weekends or during a slow evening or two, I think it would be great to get involved in some organizations that do some good work in the community. I realize the request is a bit broad, but interested in a variety of topics and fairly flexible - immigrant rights, environmental, etc.

Thanks all!

clerk1251

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Re: Opportunities for NYC pro-bono legal work?

Postby clerk1251 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:00 pm

hellojd wrote:Hi all,

I was wondering if you all know of good opportunities to get involved in the pro-bono legal community - I want to start expanding my network beyond my firm, and also hopefully make a difference in the community. Although hours aren't great in my gig, even if it means taking on a few hours of week during the weekends or during a slow evening or two, I think it would be great to get involved in some organizations that do some good work in the community. I realize the request is a bit broad, but interested in a variety of topics and fairly flexible - immigrant rights, environmental, etc.

Thanks all!


Most biglaw firms have a dedicated partner who oversees all pro bono opportunities. You should see if your firm has one, as that would be the easiest and quickest way to streamline the process. Finding a pro bono project is only half the battle, you will then need to go through the politics of getting it approved by the firm (both simply for permission and a conflicts check), and then you usually need to get a supervising partner. It's a much easier process if you work with matters the firm has picked out, or with non-profits that the firm has partnered with in the past.

At least from my experience when I was at a biglaw firm, they had matters in every category you could want, so it would be easy to just ask for an immigrant rights case.

I know this wasn't what you were asking for specifically, but I hope this helps get you started.

Piel

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Re: Opportunities for NYC pro-bono legal work?

Postby Piel » Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:27 pm

I don't know much about opportunities for immigrant rights work. But for environmental law, in NYC, you might check in with some of the big enviro orgs to see what opportunities they have for assisting them with pro bono work: NRDC, Earthjustice, & EDF all have offices in NYC. Not sure about the Sierra Club.

Because your hours are high now, it might be important for you to find an organization with some kind of structure and capacity to take over matters if things get out of hand. I've heard this is especially true in immigration law because a relatively simple looking case can take a turn and snowball quickly into something very demanding.

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hellojd

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Re: Opportunities for NYC pro-bono legal work?

Postby hellojd » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:06 am

Thanks for the responses! Sorry to clarify I no longer work at a law firm, so do not have a pro bono coordinator to work with unfortunately. Thanks for the environmental law suggestions Piel, will be looking into those.



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