COVID -19 Volunteer and Resource Opportunities
The COVID-19 pandemic is a disaster like no other.
It has no known end date or geographic boundaries, and it is
triggering a new set of legal needs. More people than ever will
need legal help but be unable to afford it. The number of Texans
qualifying for legal aid—already 5.6 million before the pandemic—is
expected to rise dramatically with more than 1.8 million Texans filing
for unemployment since February 22.
The State Bar of Texas and legal service providers are coordinating efforts to match people who need legal help with lawyer volunteers willing to help them.
The top three legal needs for which legal aid service providers need immediate help are evictions, employment, and family law.
Hundreds of evictions are in process across the state. Now is the time to help low-income tenants negotiate with their landlords. Perhaps some evictions can be avoided with your help.
Millions of Texans have filed for unemployment. Low-wage workers are the most likely to suffer the financial and health impacts of COVID-19.
The pandemic has complicated child visitation and support, and increased the risk of family violence.
If you are willing to volunteer your time to help the state’s legal service providers with this massive effort, please sign up here at Pro Bono Texas.
Your answers to a short questionnaire will match you with legal aid providers who have direct and virtual pro bono opportunities in your area. These partners can provide support – including free CLE-accredited training, access to mentors, malpractice insurance, and some reimburse usual expenses – from the safety of your home or office.
“Bankruptcy in a Box” Pro Bono CLE
The state’s three major legal aid programs — Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, Lone Star Legal Aid, and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid — are offering a three-hour online CLE course designed to help attorneys learn about Chapter 7 bankruptcies while helping others. The course is offered free of charge to each attorney who commits to take two Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases from one of the three legal aid providers during the next two years. The providers are expecting a surge of bankruptcy cases as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information and to sign up for the CLE, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Law Essentials Pro Bono CLE
Attorneys living within a 100-mile radius of Beaumont, Waco, Laredo, El Paso, Weatherford, or Lubbock and who are willing to pick up two pro bono cases from the state’s legal aid providers are eligible for a 4.5-hour online CLE on “Family Law Essentials” free of charge.
The CLE—Family Law Essentials: Giving Back to Your Community—is made possible by the State Bar’s Legal Access Division, the Pro Bono Committee of the Family Law Section, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, Lone Star Legal Aid, and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. It is offered free of charge to attorneys who are willing to take two pro bono cases from one of the legal aid providers listed within one year of the date of the course. Those who take on four pro bono cases will get a complimentary one-year subscription to the Texas Family Law Practice Manual Online. The deadline to sign up and complete the course is June 30. For more information or to register, email Meredith Warren, program coordinator in the Legal Access Division, at email@example.com.
The Texas Access to Justice Foundation has created an emergency legal aid fund designed to support the civil legal needs of Texans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The foundation reports that traditional revenue sources for legal aid have dropped dramatically and officials believe a spike in the number of Texans eligible for services will mean the need will become even greater.
To learn more about the fund and donate, go here.