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Pro Bono Net

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Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project

  • To Volunteer, Contact:
    Any Staff Member
    (612) 343-9842

The Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project provides consultation and training to lay advocates for battered women on legal issues affecting battered women and their children, including Order for Protection (OFP) problems, custody and visitation matters, problems with the criminal justice system, such as failure to arrest for violations of OFPs or inappropriate arrest of women who act to defend themselves, and problems with the juvenile court system, such as CHIPS petitions against battered women for failure to protect their children. The project also provides consultation to attorneys representing battered women and does limited amounts of litigation on regional cases which have significant statewide impact. Finally, the project offers CLE and other training to attorneys, advocates, police, and others whose work directly impacts on batterers and battered women. Attorneys are needed to work on special cases or research projects, some of which are related to litigation and some to general issues and problems arising on a regular basis around the state. Also needed are attorneys who are willing to consult on an as-needed basis with battered women's advocates who have questions on the applicability of the law to an individual woman's problem. Volunteers are needed who have experience working with battered women, as well as substantive law experience in family law, civil litigation (injunctive and damage relief against law enforcement agencies that violate victim's rights), juvenile court, and criminal law experience prosecuting domestic abuse cases or defending women who assault in self-defense. Volunteers are provided with some training and the opportunity to consult with staff attorneys. Attorneys need not be licensed to practice law in Minnesota. Law students may do research projects. Attorneys are needed who are willing to work with Southeast Asian clients whose primary language is not English and with clients whose primary language is American Sign or Spanish.

  • Counties of Volunteer Opportunity: Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Jackson, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lac Qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Roseau, Saint Louis, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Wadena, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wilkin, Winona, Wright, Yellow Medicine
  • Area of law: Family & Juvenile
  • Populations Served: Children, Domestic Violence Victims, Elderly, Immigrants, Lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender, Low Income, Native Americans
  • Opportunities For: Lawyers, Mentors, Nonlitigation Projects
  • Need for non-English services: Hmong, Somali
  • Hours for Pro Bono Opportunities: Varies on a project to project basis
  • Does the organization provide malpractice insurance for volunteers? No
  • Training Provided: No
  • Training Required: No
  • CLE credit for trainings: No
  • CLE credit for pro bono: No
  • CLE pro bono comments: CLE credits potentially available for service
  • Mentoring or supervision offered: No
  • Volunteer lawyers need to meet a caseload or hours requirement: No
  • Types of projects in need of Pro Bono help: Draft legal documents (e.g., briefs), Hotline staffing, Litigation: Appellate, Litigation: Impact, Litigation: Trial/Direct Representation, Translate legal documents
  • Long distance opportunities: Conduct Research, Draft or Translate Legal Documents, Mentor Volunteer Lawyers
  • Other Long Distance Opportunities: All types of projects, except answering the Hotline can be done remotely
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: Yes
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Volunteer Profile

Neil Steinkamp

Rebecca Berlow, a corporate attorney, has worked as a volunteer with The Legal Aid Society's Immigration Unit Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") clinics and has assisted the Society with disaster relief efforts, greatly improving their Access to Benefits hotline by developing a new intake system. Learn more

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