Legal Rights Center

The Legal Rights Center is a non-profit, public defense corporation that provides legal representation to low-income and indigent defendants in criminal and juvenile court matters in Hennepin County. These services are oriented to minority populations and structured to be responsive to the language and cultural distinctiveness of these communities.

We practice client-centered advocacy and aim to work towards constructive resolutions that address both the criminal charges and any underlying problems. Our Community Advocates work directly with our clients to address their out-of-court needs, and play a unique role in advocating on behalf of the communities they belong to.

Through our Restorative Practices, LRC offers family group conferences for juveniles; a disproportionate number of whom are minorities, throughout Hennepin County. Our program is asset based. We work closely with our young clients to keep them in school; out of court; and on the path to being productive members of their communities.

We often host volunteer attorneys. These attorneys have traditionally used their time with us to gain experience in criminal defense and juvenile delinquency cases. Volunteers work on every aspect of our caseload, and are mentored by an experience staff attorney. 

Our most successful volunteer attorneys don’t just handle cases, but complement our defense work. For example, they may primarily practice in immigration law, but benefit by handling a small number of criminal matters through our office. Other past volunteers have been civil attorneys who honed their skills in court through our office.

Similarly, law student (& undergraduate) interns have gained invaluable experience as part of the Legal Rights Center. Law students will, under the supervision of an attorney-mentor, do research and writing, and will provide trial and case support.

  • County(s) of Volunteer Opportunity: Hennepin
  • Area of law: Immigration & Naturalization, Criminal Trial
  • Populations Served: Communities of Color, Domestic Violence Victims, General Public, Immigrants, Low Income, Native Americans, other communities of color, teenagers
  • Opportunities For: Lawyers, Mentors, Nonlitigation Projects, Paralegals
  • Need for non-English services: Arabic, Chinese, Hmong, Laotian, Mandarin Chinese, Oromo, Somali, Sudanese, Swahili, Vietnamese
  • Hours for Pro Bono Opportunities: Flexible, Hours vary. Call for more info
  • Malpractice insurance is provided for volunteers: Yes
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Training Required: No
  • CLE credit for trainings: No
  • CLE credit for pro bono: Yes
  • Mentoring or supervision offered: Yes
  • Volunteer lawyers need to meet a caseload or hours requirement: No
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: No
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