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Cooley Law School's Assistance to Community Centers

  • Location:
    Thomas M. Cooley Law School
    111Commerce Avenue
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Phone: (616) 301-6800
  • Fax: (616) 301-6842
  • Website: http://www.cooley.edu/ethics

Cooley's Center for Ethics, Service, and Professionalism administers a network of Cooley faculty, staff, and other volunteer attorneys who provide free legal service to the poor and under-represented at community centers in the Grand Rapids area. The pro-bono sites have included the soup kitchen Dégagé Ministries serving a homeless population, the Hispanic Center of West Michigan serving an immigrant population, the Dwelling Place Apartments serving formerly homeless and disabled, and the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce serving the self-employed.

Lawyers and law students from Cooley visit the sites on the same routine schedule to serve clients on a drop-in basis. Most of the consultations involve evaluation and referral for further legal and social services, but the lawyers also review files, draft documents, and communicate on the clients' behalf with businesses and governmental agencies. Many of the consultations involve translation to serve a non-English speaking population.

  • County(s) of Volunteer Opportunity: Kent
  • Area of law: Consumer, Debt/Credit/Bankruptcy, Disability, Employment, Family & Juvenile, Foreclosure, Homeless, Public Benefits
  • Populations Served: Immigrants, Low Income, Persons with Disabilities, Working poor and unemployed
  • Opportunities For: Law Students, Lawyers
  • Need for non-English services: Spanish
  • Hours for Pro Bono Opportunities: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
  • Malpractice insurance is provided for volunteers: No
  • Training Provided: No
  • Training Required: No
  • CLE credit for trainings: No
  • CLE credit for pro bono: No
  • 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: Client counseling (e.g., brief advice), Client intake and screening, Draft legal documents (e.g., briefs)
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: No
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