As you know, most organizations can use a little legal help, especially charitable and nonprofit organizations. If you have a law degree and legal experience, offering pro bono legal services to organizations in need is a great way to volunteer. Volunteering in this way helps with personal and professional development, and a charity will receive much needed assistance.
What are some good ways to get involved?
— If there is a specific charity you are fond of, contact them and offer your services. It’s usually a godsend for a non-profit organization to be offered free services.
— Pay attention to the news. Are any local non-profits having legal trouble? If you see something of the sort on the news and think you may be willing to help, reach out and offer to assist them.
— Join an organization that brings lawyers together to work on pro bono projects, like Lawyers Without Borders.
— Ask your coworkers. This is a great way to find out if anyone else is volunteering in the area already. A certain organization may be looking for some additional help. This will not only allow you to fill the volunteering void, but bond on a new level with some of your coworkers.
What services can you offer?
Play off of your expertise. If you are an environmental lawyer, seek out non-profits focused on the environment. If you are interested in something else, reach out to a non-profit and ask what services would benefit them most. Even if they are looking for something you’re not too familiar with, you might be able to set them up with one of your connections. In the end, whether you are helping the organization or someone else is, you will have made a positive impact.
What other ways can this benefit you?
Besides the good feeling of helping an organization in need, donating your time to charities can help your own development. Meeting new people is always a great experience, and who knows what important connections you will make. On top of meeting new people, donating your time is a great resume builder. Using your skills for the greater good showcases your character and may even connect you with a future employer.
Is there time for this?
Finding time in your schedule to do things you find important is up to you. If you do enough prioritizing and rearranging, you will find time to accomplish anything you would like. Set a time each day, week or month, depending on how much time you are wanting to spend, to work on charitable legal work. This will ensure the time is already carved into your calendar and does not prevent you from accomplishing other things.
Whether you are looking to take on a serious pro bono project or offer legal counsel from time to time, there are many organizations that would be beyond thankful for the help. If you are interested in pro bono work, start by prioritizing your time and find an organization in need of your services!