Virtual Pro Bono Legal Services connects volunteer attorneys and legal services organizations with low-income community members in need of legal services remotely through technology and the internet. An attorney can provide legal consultation from any location with an Internet connection. A community member can go to a convenient local site, such as a library, local legal aid office, or community center, to seek services. The consultations are supervised and managed by a legal service organization that provides training, logistics, and risk management support.
The Pro Bono Project has spent many years filling in the gaps in legal services to the low income residents of Silicon Valley and making access to justice available, including taking the next step bu using technology to tap into more volunteers and to bring services to population that have not had access to attorneys.
What are the Benefits?
Benefits to Community Members:
- Convenience – A community member can go to a convenient local site, such as a library, local legal aid office, or community center, to seek advice and services
- Affordability – Legal advice is provided at no cost to community members, attorneys donate their pro bono time to help community members with general legal questions
- Quality – Receive quality and legal advice from experienced attorneys from across the bay, state, and nation
Benefits to Pro Bono Attorneys:
- Minimize wasted travel time. You can make a difference without ever leaving your office or home.
- Efficient communication with clients and service agencies.
- Flexible scheduling.
- Reach the underserved in the community.
- More opportunity for meaningful engagement
- Risk management by legal services organizations
- Logistics by legal services organizations
- Training by legal services organizations
- Supervision, mentors and support by legal services organizations
- Skills based service
- Productivity increase of attorney
- Ease of scheduling time
Benefits to Legal Services Programs:
- More attorneys
- More expertise
- Serve more community members
- Bring services to remoter areas
- Web-based, open-source platform
- Accessible from anywhere
- Standard web technology, no proprietary coding
“I cannot imagine a situation where it is more important for both sides to be represented than one like this. [We] got an agreement that really will help improve things for all involved, particularly the children.”
“I have a passion about helping people who are normally excluded from the legal system … I get especially irate when a vulnerable consumer like the elderly, very young, single moms, and non-English speaking people get nailed.”
“I think the Pro Bono Project makes a huge difference in the community. It creates a resource for individuals who would not otherwise be able to protect themselves. Individuals who would (without PBP) be trampled by the justice system.”