National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide FAQ
Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the probono.net Opportunities Guide.
Looking for legal help? This site is not intended to serve people looking for legal assistance. If you are in need legal help, please visit www.LawHelp.org.
Looking for legal help?
This site is not intended to serve people looking for legal assistance. If you are in need legal help, please visit www.LawHelp.org.
LawHelp.org helps people of low and moderate incomes find free legal aid programs in local communities, answers to questions about legal rights and forms to help with legal programs.
What is the probono.net Opportunities Guide?
The Pro Bono Opportunities Guide is a database of organizations that lawyers, law students, and paralegals can search in order to find volunteer opportunities. The National Guide is a joint initiative of Pro Bono Net and the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. It provides listings of over 1500 programs that need volunteer lawyers. The nationwide guide includes detailed information on nonprofit organizations that provide legal services. Users of the guide can search for a service project in a specific substantive area of law or for one that serves a specific population, such as children, seniors, or immigrants. They can also e-mail an opportunity to a friend and suggest updates to the guide. Through the feedback feature admins can request updates to their volunteer guides.
The guide leverages the technology and network of regional content partners that Pro Bono Net has developed to create a series of innovative pro bono and legal aid support web sites, now used by more than 85,000 members, in some thirty U.S. states and Canadian provinces.
The National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide averages more than 20,000 unique visitors a month, and is accessible from probono.net/volunteer as well as many statewide probono.net advocate sites.
How can I update listings in the Opportunities Guide?
Updating your listing is easy and only takes a few minutes. First, access the Opportunities Guide on the probono.net national site or through a state instance of the Guide, if available.
Once there, choose the appropriate selections from the filter drop-downs or just click “Search” to view all organizations seeking volunteers.
Then, a listing of organizations in your state will appear in alphabetical order. Find and select your organization either in that initial listing OR after filtering by county/one of the additional filters:
You are now on your organization's listing within the Opps Guide. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the link to report corrections to your listing:
On the correction page, enter your name and email address. Then, in the comment box, note the change you'd like to made, providing as much detail as possible. Then, hit 'Send':
Updating your listing is easy and very beneficial to your organization. Once you have added any changes you want to make to the feedback portion, we will then make the changes to the Guide to represent the new updated information.
How can I add an organization to the Opportunities Guide?
Click on the “Add an organization” link at the top of any Opportunites Guide page. A form will open that will allow you to complete information regarding a legal services organization that needs volunteers. Note that fields with asterisks are required. If you overlook a required field, the system will remind you by posting it at the top of the form when you try to submit it.
TIP: Click the missed / error field at the top of the form and the system will drop you directly into it within the form. This is so you don't have to look for it.
Once the form is submitted, it will be reviewed for approval to the Guide. Organizations added to the guide will appear in both the National and appropriate state instance of the guide.
Best Practices for Listing Organizations
This guide provides the tools you need as an admin to improve your Volunteer Opportunities Guide. We want your programs to succeed, gain new volunteers, and reach out to a larger audience. To achieve this, each program needs to be organized in a clear, efficient, and detailed manner that can easily reach out to viewers.
Nothing is more important than being able to get your point across to your viewers. One of the best ways to do this is by formatting your volunteer guide to make it informative and easy to read.
Here are a list of Do’s and Don’ts to properly reformat your Volunteer Guides and reach out to a larger audience.
The Do’s and Don’ts:
- DO use bullet points.
- DON’T write long-winded paragraphs about the program. Make sure content is easy to skim.
- DO verify that all hyperlinks work.
- DON’T use all caps to highlight text. Rather, use bold fonts to highlight a point.
- DO keep language simple.
- DON’T keep content too limited. You want to be able to accurately convey your mission.
- DO divide content using headings.
See the example below for a good example of the aforementioned best practices.
To view in more detail, visit this listing in the Opportunities Guide.
How can I volunteer?
If you are a lawyer, law student, or paralegal interested in pro bono work, you may utilize the Opportunities Guide to help you find a volunteer opportunity. Choose the appropriate selections from the filter drop-downs or just click “Search” to view all organizations seeking volunteers.
Listings are displayed in alphabetical order. Titles of organization/programs may be clicked to view more information, including contact information for volunteering. To report any corrections or errors, please click on the “corrections” link at the bottom of the volunteer listing.
What are the different types of volunteer opportunities available?
You will find many different organizations and opportunities listed in the Opportunities Guide. Organizations may be listed by program, office, or organization. Within each listing, you may find details about general projects (i.e. hotline or clinic opportunities) or specific case opportunities.