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Pro Bono Net

National Pro Bono Week 2016: Volunteering Through Technology Initiative

Pro Bono Net celebrates Pro Bono Week by highlighting the hard work of volunteers!

Pro Bono Net would like to recognize the thousands of volunteer lawyers who make a huge difference for those in need and the incredibly important work of pro bono volunteers in building our capacity to meet the vast unmet need for civil legal services.  National Pro Bono Week is a co-ordinated national effort by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, and is an exciting time of the year where we recognize the hard work of our volunteers, and the critical roles they play in helping bridge the justice gap, and live up to our professional ideal of "justice for all".   
This year we celebrated National Pro Bono Week through a special Volunteering Through Technology Initiative, which features someone who volunteers though one of Pro Bono Net's innovative legal tech solutions. Throughout the week we released a profile of a volunteer who uses Pro Bono Net's technology to better serve their clients on our Connecting Justice Communities blog. In addition to recognizing and honoring the hard work of volunteers, we hope that these profiles provide interesting reading and insights into the motivations, rewards and incentives to volunteer. We are very proud to showcase these volunteers from our pro bono community and hope they may inspire you to get involved as well!
To kick off Pro Bono Week, here was our Press Release thanking our volunteers! Pro Bono Net believes that the power of our innovative technology can help bridge the justice gap by enabling legal organizations to maximize their impact, increasing pro bono involvement, and empowering the public by providing legal assistance and information. This year highlighted some of the tools Pro Bono Net has built to better facilitate pro bono volunteering and make it easier to connect pro bono attorneys with the clients who need them. Each day during the week we released a profile of a volunteer along with a brief synopsis of the technology they volunteer through. Our volunteers are listed below, and you can read their profiles on our Connecting Justice Communications blog. 
Connecting Justice Communities
Closing the Gap with Jordan Chisolm, Esq.




Name: Jordan Chisolm, Esq. 

Organization: Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York

Program: Closing the Gap

Mr. Chisolm is a pro bono advocate for the Closing the Gap program at Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York. Closing the Gap is a new program that focuses on connecting pro bono attorneys to rural clients facing housing and consumer matters. Jordan joined the Closing the Gap program in June 2016 eager to aid those clients who are geographically disadvantaged from obtaining legal services.

LawHelp Interactive  Forms with Nancy Watson



Name: Nancy Watson

Organization: Bet Tzedek Legal Services’ Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic

Program: LawHelp Interactive

LawHelp Interactive (LHI) is a national online document assembly platform that allows people representing themselves to prepare their own legal documents and pleadings online for free. In clinics around the country, LHI forms enable volunteers, like Nancy Watson, to assist those who cannot afford an attorney to create their own complete, high quality legal documents and pleadings for free. 

LiveHelp with Joan Archer



Name: Joan Archer

Organization: LawHelpNY

Program: LiveHelp

LiveHelp is an online chat service designed to help users navigate legal aid websites and locate legal information, resources and referrals. Joan Archer began her work as a LiveHelp operator with LawHelpNY shortly after completing the New York Bar exam in July 2015. She is also the NYC Pro Bono Center‘s October Volunteer Spotlight. We would like to extend special thanks to Michelle Born, LawHelpNY’s LiveHelp Co-ordinator, for sharing this story.

Citizenshipworks at Brooklyn Public Library



Organizations: CUNY CitizenshipNow!, Catholic Migration Services, International Rescue Committee – New York, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Make the Road New York, and NALEO Education Fund

Program: Citizenshipworks

The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), in partnership with New York’s Brooklyn Public Library – Central Branch, has teamed up with non-profit legal service providers around New York City to host a free, monthly citizenship application assistance workshops using the innovative Citizenshipworks platform. We highlighted the volunteers of our Citizenshipworks Brooklyn Public Library Clinics. Special thanks to Sandra Sandoval of the Immigration Advocates Network for the article.

Bonus Profile R. Gary Higgins, Jr.



Name: R. Gary Higgins, Jr. 

Organization: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services’ Northshore Pro Bono Project

To wrap up our Pro Bono Week celebration, we took a break from our Volunteering Through Technology Initiative to bring you a bonus volunteer profile. Our bonus profile highlights the work of R. Gary Higgins with Southeast Louisiana Legal Services’ Northshore Pro Bono Project. Gary is a local pro bono hero from Covington, Louisiana, and has been an unwavering volunteer for the project donating hundreds of hours to expand access to justice for vulnerable people.



Interested in volunteering?  Check out our "Volunteer Tools" page to learn about the range of resources we have at Pro Bono Net to help mobilize and engage pro bono volunteers, or start searching for opportunities right now by using our national Pro Bono Opportunities Guide!


Enjoy reading our volunteer profiles? Want to learn more? Check out our Featured Volunteers and last's year's Volunteer-a-Day Pro Bono Week Initiative. 

Pro Bono Net's Featured Volunteers

Each quarter Pro Bono Net showcases pro bono work by volunteers and organizations though our Featured Volunteers profiles.  These profiles are submitted to us by our legal services and pro bono community partners, across our statewide, regional and international site networks. To learn more about our current and previous volunteer profiles visit our Featured Volunteers page!

Pro Bono Week 2015: Volunteer-a-Day Initiative

In 2015 we celebrated Pro Bono Week through a special "Volunteer-A-Day" Initiative which showcased a new volunteer profile to our national community for each day of Pro Bono Week. Come check out our 2015 volunteers!


Once again we wish to thank all of the volunteers that continue to make our mission of increasing access to justice a reality.


Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice through innovative uses of technology and increased volunteer lawyer participation. Watch our video celebrating our 15th anniversary and learn more about how Pro Bono Net and our partners are bridging the justice gap.


Interested in volunteering?  Check out our "Volunteer Tools" page to learn about the range of resources we have at Pro Bono Net to help mobilize and engage pro bono volunteers, or start searching for opportunities right now by using our national Pro Bono Opportunities Guide!

Thanks to PBN Sponsors:

Pro Bono and legal aid attorney resources - Pro Bono Net

CBJC's Veterans Assistance Project

The City Bar Justice Center’s Veterans Assistance Project (VAP) provides disabled, low-income veterans in New York City with pro bono legal assistance on issues related to claims for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. VAP’s successful advocacy relies on pro bono attorneys’ creativity and hard work, and the project is pleased to highlight recent wins by three different attorney teams from Loeb & Loeb, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Read More.

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