Pro Bono Opportunities

Amara Legal Center

Amara Legal Center provides free legal services to individuals whose rights have been violated while involved in commercial sex, whether involvement was by coercion, necessity, choice, or otherwise. Student volunteers will be able to get practical experience by conducting intakes and issue spotlighting and providing legal referrals during Amara’s clinics on Monday afternoons. Contact the Office of Public Interest if you are interested in participating.

Capital Area Immigrant Rights (CAIR) Coalition

The Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition (CAIR Coalition) provides services to the immigrant advocacy community in the greater Washington, DC area. CAIR Coalition volunteers conduct visits to government immigration detention facilities in Virginia and Maryland to provide adult detainees with general information about the detention process, information about their legal rights, and options for fighting deportation. Hotline volunteers help detainees access legal services by connecting callers with CAIR Coalition staff; delivering follow-up messages relating to individual detainees' cases; conducting phone intakes; and providing information about CAIR Coalition's upcoming jail visits. All new volunteers must attend a volunteer training session before volunteering on a jail visit. In order to volunteer on the hotline, volunteers must attend an hour-long hotline training session at CAIR Coalition's DC office.

DC Family Court Self-Help Center

The Family Court Self-Help Center is a free walk-in service that provides unrepresented people with legal information in family law matters. Customers receive information on court processes and descriptions of available legal options. Student volunteers work with supervising attorneys to give legal and referral information to customers. Volunteers must complete a training prior to participating.

DC Landlord Tenant Resource Center (LTRC)

The Landlord Tenant Resource Center (LTRC), operated by the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, provides free legal information to unrepresented tenants and landlords engaged in housing disputes in D.C. Customers receive information on court processes and assistance in preparation of pleadings. Student volunteers assist attorneys with case triage and limited screening to determine the nature of the customer’s inquiry and level of need. Volunteers must complete a training prior to participating.

Homeless Persons Representation Project

HPRP is Maryland's only legal services and advocacy organization dedicated to eliminating homelessness. Volunteers conduct interviews and gather essential data from clients for criminal record expungement in order to facilitate higher success rates for clients in obtaining employment and housing. To volunteer, you must first complete the training

International Refugee Assistance Project- WCL Chapter

The Washington College of Law chapter of the International Refugee Assistance Project (WCL IRAP) helps refugees with their legal needs as they seek expedited resettlement, refugee status determination, requests for review before the US government, and other benefits. For more information and to get involved, email wclirap@gmail.com.

National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP)

The National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP, pronounced new-app) is an experiential learning opportunity at American University Washington College of Law. NIWAP’s work benefits immigrant women, children, and immigrant survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other crimes. They are a national provider of training, legal and social science research, policy development, and technical assistance to advocates, attorneys, pro bono law firms, law schools, universities, law enforcement, prosecutors, justice system personnel, and other professionals who work with immigrant women, children and crime victims. Volunteers have a variety of projects to choose from. NIWAP assigns projects to volunteers based on interest and the number of hours that volunteer would like to contribute. Projects include legal research on state-by-state access to public benefits available to immigrants; reviewing research on access to forensic exams for rape victim, prenatal care, child health care, and post-assault health; Translate critical resources into multiple languages; other assignments and projects as needed.

National Network to End Domestic Violence, WomensLaw Hotline

WomensLaw, a project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), has a website that provides state specific legal information for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The WomensLaw.org Email Hotline seeks WCL law students to answer the hotline, which gives victims from around the country the opportunity to email legal questions and be connected to resources. The commitment is approximately 1 hour per week for at least 6 months. Volunteers must attend a training first. Contact the WCL Office of Public Interest if you want to get involved.

Tzedek DC

Tzedek DC’s mission is to safeguard the legal rights of low-income DC residents dealing with often unjust, abusive, and illegal debt collection practices, as well as other consumer protection problems like credit reporting issues, identity theft, and predatory lending.  The consequences of adverse court judgments in debt-related cases can be devastating for a family’s well-being and stability. Volunteers (under the supervision of an attorney) are able to represent clients from start to finish on issues involving, for example, medical debt, credit card debt, bank or car loans, credit history repair, identity theft, and housing-related consumer cases.  In order to volunteer, you must complete one training session before taking cases under the supervision of an attorney. Contact the WCL Office of Public Interest if you want to get involved.

Washington Lawyer’s Committee: Worker’s Rights Clinics

The Washington Lawyer's Committee holds a regular Workers' Rights Clinic walk-in clinic where low-income workers with employment law problems can have a one-on-one consultation. Under the direction of the Clinic Coordinator, law student intake volunteers use a structured intake questionnaire to interview workers about their workplace issues, summarize the interview for on-site Advising Attorney's, and relay the attorney's advice to workers. Volunteers may also assist with writing demand letters and filing complaints with appropriate agencies or workplace supervisors. Volunteers are expected to come to the clinic at least once a month during clinic hours. All volunteers must attend a mandatory training prior to participating in the clinic.

Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless: Family Outreach Project

The Hypothermia Outreach Project relies on volunteers to reach out to families and individuals who have no safe place to sleep at night and are seeking emergency shelter.  Volunteers connect with homeless families seeking shelter, and help the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless share important information regarding rights, access to housing, and life-saving services. Volunteers must complete a training and a volunteer application for WLCH prior to participating.

Veteran’s Consortium

The Veterans Consortium (TVC), the Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP), and the Washington DC VA Medical Center partner with AUWCL to staff The Veterans Pro Bono Legal Clinic every Friday. Volunteer attorneys will be working with volunteer law students to interview veterans and triage cases. Student volunteers collect client data for triage and conduct issue spotlighting and legal referrals in the following practice areas:  Veterans Law, Military Discharge Upgrade Matters, Family Law, Consumer Law, Landlord /Tenant Law, Employment Law, Benefits Claims.  Every student volunteer must commit at least one 3.5-hour shift, and shifts are available every Friday. All volunteers must attend a mandatory training prior to volunteering.