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Volunteer Opportunities

PRO BONO PROJECTS

If you’re interested in volunteering for any of the topics listed below, select your preferred region, then fill out the popup form. Thank you for taking an interest in volunteering!

Bankruptcy is a powerful tool that allows people experiencing financial difficulties to obtain the relief necessary for a fresh start to their lives. Volunteer attorneys help low-income debtors assess debt relief options based on their specific situation. Attorneys provide ongoing representation in a Chapter 7 when filing bankruptcy would be appropriate.

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Studies calculate that 43.9% of households (132.1 million people) lack the savings to cover basic expenses for 3 months if unemployment, a medical emergency, or other crisis leads to a loss of stable income. Volunteer attorneys provide advice, brief service, or representation for low-income clients with issues related to debt collection, repossession, garnishment, and other consumer issues. 

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Over 1.4 million people in Oregon have a criminal record. Expungement helps reduce barriers to safe housing, employment, and education, which in turn reduces recidivism. Oregon’s new law makes it easier to clear a criminal record. Volunteer attorneys review the client’s criminal record, determine eligibility for expungement, and, for those eligible, complete the paperwork for the client to file pro se.

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In Oregon, 67-86% of family law case involve at least one self-represented party; the majority of whom cannot afford a lawyer. Many of these cases involve domestic violence creating a higher likelihood of an inequitable settlement or judgment. Depending on experience, volunteer attorneys may assist clients with completing family law forms or provide discrete legal advice and review documents.

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The Farmworker Program of Legal Aid Services of Oregon helps migrant and seasonal farmworkers with employment, housing, unemployment, and tax benefits problems. Most employment and housing problems are related to payment of wages, unauthorized pay deductions, poor living conditions in labor camps, retaliation for asserting legal rights, poor health and safety conditions on the job, pesticide problems, and discrimination.

In eviction cases nationwide, an estimated 90% of landlords have legal representation while only 10% of tenant are represented by an attorney. Without representation, the majority of tenants lose their cases and are ultimately evicted. Legal representation keeps renters in their homes, benefits whole communities by preventing homelessness, and helps preserves affordable housing. Volunteer attorneys review and advise tenants on the validity of notices of termination and possible defenses, assist tenant with unrefunded rental deposits and damage charges, and advocate for tenants’ rights. 

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The 2018 Barriers to Justice noted that Native Americans are 1.9 times more likely to experience an elder law or disability-related issue, such as homelessness. In 14 of the 17 categories surveyed, Native Americans experience problems at higher rates than non-Native people. Volunteer attorneys provide assistance statewide on a diverse range of matters, including consumer law and fair debt collection issues, family law, landlord/tenant, public benefits, elder law, and estate planning for clients with assets involving federal or tribal jurisdiction. Native American Program Legal Aid Services (NAPOLS) represents Native clients in tribal, state, and federal courts, as well as in administrative proceedings, on issues specific to an individual’s Native status.

According to national study, 83% of survivors represented by an attorney successfully obtained a protective order, compared to only 32% of survivors that did not have representation. Volunteer attorneys provide advice and may represent the survivor at a contested restraining order hearing. Legal aid is a proven tool to help survivors of abuse and stalking. Select a region of interest:

Oregon is facing a rapidly aging population that economists have called a “Silver Tsunami.” 24.2% of the Oregon population is aged 60 or over and growing. 11.9% of seniors aged 65+ live alone with a median household income of only $44,699. Volunteer attorneys assist seniors over the age of 60 with a variety of civil, elder law issues, which may include:  simple estate planning, wills, powers of attorney, advanced directives, and consumer issues, such as debt collection.

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Unemployment insurance (UI) is the sole means of temporary wage replacement for workers and is critical in preventing individuals and families from spiraling into poverty. Volunteer attorneys provide legal advice to low-income claimants and may represent claimants at an administrative hearing for denial of unemployment benefits and workplace discrimination and harassment.

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There are more than 283,000 Veterans in Oregon making up 8.7% of the total state population. 24% of Oregon veterans have a service-related disability and more than 53,000 veterans live in a home with a major problem of housing problem of quality. Volunteer attorneys assist veterans with a variety of civil legal issues including expungement, housing, and consumer.

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The percentages of people that have a will varies among socioeconomic and racial groups – 28% of non-white adults are likely to have a will compared with 51% of white adults. Estate planning can help address racial disparities in homeownership and inheritance by preserving wealth and assets in communities in color. People report not knowing whether they need a will and how to get one. Volunteer attorneys advise and work with clients to determine their assets and draft a will according to their wishes. Select a region of interest:

Cases Needing Immediate Assistance

Thank you for your interest in volunteering

You should receive an email shortly, asking you to set your account password.

Once your Oregon Bar status is confirmed, you will receive an email letting you know that you have confirmed volunteer status and can access the legal aid resources available on this website.

Thank you again for your generous support of our pro bono programs!