What is the difference between probono.net and LawHelp.org?
Pro Bono Net is the name of our organization, which has developed two primary Web sites: probono.net is our lawyer-based site, and contains resources designed to help pro bono and public interest lawyers, and Lawhelp.org is our client-based site, and is designed to offer the public easy access to legal information in a wide variety of poverty law issues, including referrals and legal self-help.
What is a "practice area"?
A practice area is a section of probono.net dedicated to a specific poverty law issue, such as Family Law/Domestic Violence or Community Development. A practice area may focus on a strictly regional practice (e.g., New York City Housing Law) or it may be national in scope (e.g., Death Penalty, Asylum Law). Each practice area provides an array of resources for pro bono and public interest lawyers, such as an online library containing training and reference materials, updated case law, pro forma documents, and sample pleadings. Practice areas can also provide access to a Clearinghouse of available pro bono opportunities, a list of relevant Listservs, a News page, a Training Calendar of upcoming public interest events, and a list of archived Webcasts of training events.
What is a "host organization"?
One or more organizations with expertise in the section of poverty law addressed by a practice area act as its host(s). They are responsible for selecting and organizing content for the library, news page, Clearinghouse, and Calendar, for keeping content up to date, for setting membership criteria, and for processing applications for membership on each practice area.
Who can join a practice area?
Each host organization sets slightly different membership criteria. Generally, lawyers in law firms performing pro bono work, legal aid staff lawyers, solo and small-firm practitioners who wish to do pro bono work, pro bono coordinators at law firms, members of the court system, and members of other public interest groups whose clients also need help with legal issues are eligible. Membership is free.
How does probono.net help?
The availability of training and reference information right at lawyers' desktops saves volunteers hours of research and streamlines the entire process of selecting and conducting a pro bono case. For legal services organizations, Pro Bono Net's resources provide their volunteers and staff lawyers with detailed training materials and more effective methods of communication. For the public, the LawHelp site offers well-organized, reliable, and easily accessible legal referrals and information.
Where is probono.net now?
Pro Bono Net's models have been adopted in 30 states . These states contain more than two-thirds of the poor people and lawyers in the country. In New York City alone, we support 11 legal practice areas. Pro Bono Net has more than 85,000 members and annual page views of probono.net are approaching 4 million. For more information on Pro Bono Net's mission and programs, click here.