Volunteer with Legal Aid
Legal Aid Service of Collier County encourages volunteers with diverse backgrounds and experience levels to get involved. There are many ways volunteers can help Legal Aid accomplish its mission of providing free civil legal representation to the poor in Collier County.
Collier County’s Pro Bono Program: Collier Lawyers Care
There are over 900 attorneys in Collier County, but only one Legal Aid attorney for every 7,500 people living in poverty. Legal Aid is fortunate to receive the volunteer services and financial contributions from members of the Collier County Bar Association and other attorneys practicing in southwest Florida.
Pro bono attorneys assist by handling individual cases, participating in free legal clinics, and contributing financially to the program. If you are an attorney in southwest Florida, Legal Aid Service of Collier County needs your help addressing the critical civil legal needs of the poor in our community.
Collier Lawyers Care (CLC) enables busy attorneys to make a difference in their community by streamlining the administrative process so that the attorneys can use their valuable time actually handling cases.
CLC prescreens cases for merit and financial eligibility, tracks and reports pro bono hours, covers pre-approved court and litigation costs, furnishes malpractice insurance coverage, and matches the attorney’s area of expertise with the legal needs of low-income clients.
We have clients who need help in a variety of civil legal areas such as family law, housing, consumer issues, employment, bankruptcy, immigration and many other areas.
Other Legal Professional Volunteer Opportunities
Retired members of the Florida Bar can continue to accept individual cases and participate in projects as long as they retain their Bar license.
Under Chapter 12 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, an attorney who has retired from practice in Florida or another state can volunteer with an approved legal aid program and practice under the supervision of a staff attorney for that program.
Emeritus attorneys can assist with many facets of our work, including intake, research, preparation of pleadings and other legal documents, and other important work. For more information, please see www.flabar.org.
Out of State Legal
Under Chapter 13 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, an attorney who is a member in good standing of another state bar can practice at a legal aid program under the supervision of a staff attorney while waiting to take the next Florida Bar Exam.
This Rule enables public interest attorneys to relocate to a Florida public interest employer and continue to practice while seeking Florida Bar admission.
This has a limited application to out of state practitioners but is helpful for someone moving to Florida to work with a legal aid program. For more information, please see www.flabar.org.
Legal Aid Service of Collier County encourages volunteers with diverse backgrounds and experience levels to get involved. There are many ways volunteers can help Legal Aid accomplish its mission of providing free civil legal representation to the poor in Collier County. To volunteer at Legal Aid, please email us a cover letter and your résumé.
For law students that have graduated and desire to work with Legal Aid, there are many fellowships that are available. Recipients of the Skadden Fellowship from the Skadden Foundation have worked with Legal Aid in the past. Furthermore, there could be a fellowship offered by your law school that would be applicable to working with Legal Aid. If you are interested in pursuing fellowship work at Legal Aid, you should contact us.
Current law students and others familiar with legal terminology are welcome to volunteer and help our attorneys prepare materials for cases and for informational clinics that are designed to educate the public about legal issues that are important to them.
High School Students
Undergraduates and high school students are also needed to assist Legal Aid in its mission. Volunteers are welcome to help out in our office, preparing presentations and narratives from our attorneys in addition to other development work. Volunteers are also needed to help manage fundraisers, clinics, and other events. Important to note is that these volunteers do not have to be familiar with legal terminology to help out. All that is needed is a willingness to work and a desire to help the under-served in Collier County.
Specific projects that volunteers can help out with include our annual Adopt a Family program. Since 2007, the Adopt a Family program has provided gifts to over 800 underprivileged children. Volunteers can help shop for gifts for the children, help transport gifts, and help out on the day of the event by setting up the event and breaking it down.
Even if you don’t fit in to any of these categories, you can still help Legal Aid by hosting a fundraiser for Legal Aid in your house or social organization and by helping raise awareness of Legal Aid’s efforts to help the underprivileged in Collier County.