Programs & Projects
The Volunteer Lawyers Programs offers many programs and projects for volunteer attorneys and law students, benefiting low-income residents in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties.
To volunteer for a pro bono project, you must first register with the Volunteer Lawyers Program. Projects are designated for Hillsborough (H), North Pinellas (NP), Pasco (P), and law students (L).
Featured Programs and Projects
Community Counsel (H, NP, P)
Provide legal assistance to community groups and nonprofit organizations that serve indigent residents. This is an ideal pro bono opportunity for transactional attorneys, in-house counsel, and attorneys representing management.
Disaster Relief Project (H, NP, P)
Provide legal and social service assistance to survivors of natural disasters.
FACE – Florida Attorneys Counseling on Eviction (H, NP, P)
This statewide pro bono project is being sponsored by the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section and the Young Lawyers Division of The Florida Bar in response to the anticipated eviction crisis created by COVID-19. Conduct intake for clients facing eviction or pre-eviction via Zoom and assist with pro se answers and motions. If desired, additional assistance may be provided by representing clients or negotiating settlements with landlords. Training video, materials, sample pleadings, as well as an assigned attorney mentor will be provided.
No Place Like Home (H, NP, P)
Represent low-income families in clearing titles to their real property or mobile homes pre-disaster so that if a disaster strikes, the families will be able to receive the necessary FEMA funds. This is a regional pro bono project in which training/mentoring can be provided.
Volunteer Lawyers Program Projects
Case Referral Panel (H, NP, P): Accept civil case referrals in those areas of the law that you have designated. Low-income clients are screened for eligibility and cases are reviewed for legal merit prior to referral. Mentoring is available. Training is available in certain areas if attorney commits to take a pro bono case within one year.
Client Intake (H): Interview and advise legal aid applicants. Intake sessions are held at the George Edgecomb Courthouse several evenings a month from 5:30 to 8 p.m. No experience or expertise is needed. Training and supervision provided.
Client Intake (NP) Interview and advise legal aid applicants. Intake sessions are held at Volunteer Lawyers Program NW's Clearwater office during daytime hours, as needed. No experience or expertise is needed. Training and supervision provided.
Domestic Violence Assistance Project (H): Assist victims of domestic violence complete petitions for injunction. Participation does not require court appearances or representation. Training DVD is provided. The Project is located at the George Edgecomb Courthouse and is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., and Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, 7-10 a.m.
Family Forms Clinic (H, L): Help pro se family law litigants complete family law forms. No experience or expertise is needed. Training and materials, as well as supervision, are provided. The Clinic is located at the George Edgecomb Courthouse and is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Family Forms Clinic in Spanish/FFC en Espanol (H, L): Assist non-English speaking pro se family law litigants whose primary language is Spanish. Spanish-speaking volunteer attorneys help pro se family law litigants complete family law forms one evening each month, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., at the George Edgecomb Courthouse. Training and supervision provided. The Clinic is supported by the Tampa Bay Hispanic Bar Association.
Frontline Heroes Project (H, NP, P): In partnership with the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar, provide pandemic frontline workers with advance directives. Through virtual Zoom sessions, volunteer attorneys will prepare designation of healthcare surrogate forms and living wills for the frontline hero. They will receive their documents through electronic means after the session has ended. Sessions are held monthly. Virtual training for volunteers provided.
iLawyer (H, NP, P): Provide legal advice and brief services to clients via Skype from the comfort of your own home or office one evening a month from 5pm to 7pm. This project is ideal for attorneys looking for after-hours volunteer opportunities that require no travel and little to no follow-up. To volunteer or for more information, please e-mail or call iLawyer Project Manager at iLawyerInfo@bals.org.
Low Income Taxpayer Panel (H, NP, P): Assist eligible clients with their income tax issues, including ID theft and innocent spouse relief.
YLD Family Forms Clinic (H, L):Help pro se family law litigants complete family law forms one evening each month, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., at the George Edgecomb Courthouse. This is a collaborative project with the HCBA Young Lawyers Division.
Other Pro Bono Projects
These projects are offered by other Tampa Bay area organizations. Please reach out to the contact person listed for more information.
Aging Solutions, Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) (H): Volunteers assist in providing legal services to guardians for indigent wards. Services may include preparation of annual accountings, and scheduling and attending case management conferences. Contact Lona DiCerb at email@example.com or Tamara Cribben at 813.949.1888 or Toll Free at 1.866.922.4464.
Are You Safe (H): Assist victims of domestic violence by representing them during the injunction process. The project is organized by Are You Safe, a nonprofit that provides free legal and social services to domestic violence victims. Training is provided. Contact: 813.997.7432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask a Lawyer (H): Respond to calls from local residents seeking legal help. Volunteers appear on Fox 13's morning television show on the first Thursday of the month from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Contact: Lupe Vazquez-Mitcham at (813) 221-7783 or email@example.com.
Bankruptcy Court Legal Assistance Program (H): Assist low-income litigants in certain adversary proceedings. The project is operated by the Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District. Contact: www.flmb.uscourts.gov/legal_assistance/.
Crossroads for Florida Kids (H): Assist at-risk children in dependency and delinquency proceedings. Training, mentoring, and professional liability insurance provided. This organization also oversees the Juvenile Delinquency Attorney Ad Litem Project. Contact: Rosemary Armstrong 813.873.7490 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Allison Singer 813.335.0766 or Allison.email@example.com.
Family Law Guardian Ad Litem Program (H): Experienced volunteer Guardian Ad Litem attorneys needed to serve as children's representatives in family court proceedings. Contact: Courtney Bowes at Courtney@BowesFamilyLaw.com.
Federal Litigation Project (H): Provide limited one-time consultation to pro se litigants in federal court. Attorneys with expertise in general civil rights and federal employment issues are needed, but all attorneys with federal law experience are encouraged to participate. Contact: Scott McLaren at 813-227-8418 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guardian Ad Litem Program (H, P) Help a child. Volunteer to become an appointed guardian for a child in need. Training is provided. Contact: 813.272.5110 or www.galtampa.org (in Hillsborough County) or guardianadlitem.org (in Pasco and Pinellas Counties).
Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee (H): Provide legal assistance to military personnel and veterans. Contact: Greg Orcutt at email@example.com.
Project Help (Homeless Experience Legal Protection) (H): Provide advice and counsel to homeless individuals at Metropolitan Ministries’ Outreach Center. Training is provided. Clinics are held Tuesday evenings from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. Contact: Ella Shenhav at firstname.lastname@example.org, 813.227.8121, or Katherine Kobos, email@example.com, 813.463.4888.
St. Michael’s Legal Center (H): Provide legal assistance to low-income residents at Christ the King Catholic Church. Volunteers assist with family law matters, including child support collection and domestic battery cases, foreclosure defense, bankruptcy and immigration matters. Contact: J. Michael Shea at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association's Pro Bono Bankruptcy Clinic (H): Provide limited advice/information and prepare court documents for pro se bankruptcy litigants. The clinic is open on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 1 pm to 4 pm. Contact: email@example.com.
Tampa Bay Pro Bono Partners (H, NP, P, L): Partner with a colleague to handle a pro bono project together. The Tampa Bay Pro Bono Partners helps teams find opportunities that fit their interests and availability. Contact: Traci Koster at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ashley Trehan at Ashley.email@example.com.
Teen Court (H, L): Serve as a judge or mentor to help first-time juvenile offenders in Teen Court, a court-sponsored diversionary program. The project is organized by the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. Contact: Pam Stokes at 813.272.5953 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wills for Heroes (H): Assist first responders (firefighters, police officers, and paramedics) by providing wills, living wills and powers of attorney. Training is provided. Contact: Katie Everlove-Stone at Katie@everlovelegal.com.
Apply for Services
If you live or have a case in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas or Sarasota counties, we may be able to help.