Pro Bono Opportunities in Multnomah County

Many of the programs listed below provide training materials and mentors to assist new volunteers. A star (*) indicates the program is certified by the OSB. Attorney volunteers for OSB-certified programs are covered by PLF insurance and do not need independent coverage on their pro bono cases.

For a PDF document of Multnomah County pro bono opportunities listed alphanumerically, click here.

Updates to the following information may be sent to ryan@mbabar.org.

Please select to browse by category:

Consumer Law | Elder Law | Family Law | Juvenile Law | Protection from Abuse | Other Legal Services

CONSUMER LAW


Bankruptcy Clinic*
Legal Aid Services of Oregon-Volunteer Lawyers Project
The OSB Debtor-Creditor Section and the VLP sponsor this project that provides information and representation to clients who are considering bankruptcy or who are already in US Bankruptcy Court as pro se litigants.  The project consists of two components, a class addressing bankruptcy issues and a clinic during which volunteer attorneys each meet with two clients for 30-minute appointments.  Anyone may attend the 45-minute class, which is taught by a member of the bankruptcy bar or bench.  Volunteer attorneys meet with clients, help them assess whether bankruptcy is appropriate, and if so, provide ongoing representation.  The monthly clinic alternates between sites in Beaverton, east Portland and downtown Portland.  12-15 attorneys, one mentor and one speaker are typically scheduled for each clinic.  Clinics are held on one Tuesday or Wednesday evening of each month from 6:15-9:00 p.m.  An online CLE and written training materials are available at www.oregonadvocates.org.

Contact: Maya Crawford, 503.224.4086, maya.crawford@lasoregon.org.

El Programa Hispano Low Income Tax Clinic*
Catholic Charities of Oregon
Serves low income Latinos and other low income taxpayers who have a problem with the IRS and any related state tax issues. Volunteer attorneys provide advocacy and representation before the IRS or in court on tax collection disputes, audits and a variety of other federal tax issues. Trainings are periodically offered on cultural competency and specific tax-related issues that commonly affect Latino immigrant taxpayers. Pro bono volunteers can also receive case-specific advice from our qualified tax expert and other experienced volunteers. Translation services provided.

Contact: Sarah Adams, 503.489.6828, sadams@catholiccharitiesoregon.org.

Mercy Corps Northwest
Assist low-income micro-entrepreneurs and small business owners with legal issues including - but not limited to - advising on type of legal entity to form, dealing with bankruptcy, and reviewing leases and purchase agreements, etc. Training includes orientation with MCNW staff about agency, mission and approach to working with low-income and culturally diverse clients.

Contact: Mary Frances Baldes, 503.896.5050, mfbaldes@mercycorpsnw.org.

Small Business Legal Clinic
Lewis & Clark Law School 
The SBLC pro bono project provides opportunities for business transaction lawyers to meet with clients at the SBLC. The SBLC sets up appointments and runs conflict checks. Lawyers are able to specify time slots that work for them to come to the office and meet with pre-screened clients. Opportunities include helping clients with entity selection and entity creation, contract review and drafting, debt problems, business financing, employment law, compliance with consumer, licensing and regulatory issues and copyright and trademark registration.

Contact: Julieanna Elegant, 503.768.6947, jelegant@lclark.edu

Nonprofit Legal Assistance Project
Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and Nonprofit Association of Oregon
Nonprofit corporations are screened and paired with volunteer attorneys who handle single-issue, non-litigation matters. Typical projects include reviewing bylaws, articles of incorporation, filing for nonprofit status, employment agreements and leases and providing advice on employment and intellectual property matters. This is a great volunteer opportunity for transactional attorneys. Appropriate for new attorneys with their own PLF and access to an experienced attorney mentor.

Contact: 503.276.2166.

Statewide Tax Clinic*
Legal Aid Services of Oregon-Volunteer Lawyers Project
The Statewide Low Income Taxpayer Clinic provides advice and representation to low income clients who have a tax controversy with the IRS or the Department of Revenue. Pro bono tax cases are referred through a listserve where basic case information is posted. An attorney interested in taking the case responds to the email and conflict checking information is provided. Cases cover a range of state and federal personal income tax issues including collections, examinations (audits), innocent spouse claims, and tax court cases. Volunteer opportunities are also available for recent graduates and new members of the Bar.   

Contact: Matt Erdman, 503.224.4086, matthew.erdman@lasoregon.org


ELDER LAW

Guardianship Appointments
Multnomah County Circuit Court
Court appointment to represent individuals contesting appointment of guardian or conservator. No training provided. Knowledge of area of law required. Please submit a letter regarding your legal background.

Contact: Helga Barnes, 503.988.3538, helga.m.barnes@ojd.state.or.us.

Senior Law Project*
Legal Aid Services of Oregon-Volunteer Lawyers Project
The Senior Law Project (SLP) began in 1978 and is the VLP’s largest project, with over 25 legal clinics per month. Volunteer lawyers meet with clients who are 60 or over (or who are married to someone 60 or over) at nine senior center locations in Multnomah County. They provide 30-minute consultations, on any civil legal issues, for up to six clients per clinic. All clients 60 or over are eligible for free 30-minute consultations, regardless of their income. SLP volunteers provide continuing pro bono services for only those clients who meet VLP financial eligibility requirements. The VLP sponsors a monthly Elder Law Discussion Group to provide information and support.

Contact: Maya Crawford, 503.224.4086, maya.crawford@lasoregon.org.

Home Free
Volunteers of America
Advocates provide support, information and assistance with paperwork at the Multnomah County Court restraining order room (Room 211A) to individuals seeking domestic violence restraining orders, stalking orders, and elder and disabled abuse prevention orders. Volunteers do not give legal advice or "represent" clients.

Contact: Nancy Loso, 503.595.2009, volunteer@voaor.org.

FAMILY LAW

CASA for Children
Attorneys are needed to represent volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) in Multnomah or Washington County juvenile court proceedings at the trial and appellate levels. Volunteer attorneys are supported by a staff program attorney. 

Contact: Lynn Travis, 503.988.4160, ltravis@casahelpskids.org.

Domestic Violence Project*
Legal Aid Services of Oregon-Volunteer Lawyers Project
The Domestic Violence Project matches pro bono attorneys with victims of domestic violence for representation in contested Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) restraining order hearings, Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act hearings (EPPDAPA), Sexual Abuse Protective Order hearings (SAPO), and stalking order hearings. These cases tend to have short timelines, limited issues and require a court appearance. Attorneys sign up in advance to be available to take a case on a specific day (restraining order hearings are generally held on Mondays and Thursdays). DVP volunteers represent clients in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties (you can choose which counties you want to take cases in). This project is an excellent volunteer opportunity for young lawyers, lawyers seeking litigation experience, and attorneys who cannot commit to taking long-term cases. This project covers a discrete area of law and most of the volunteers are not family law practitioners. Volunteers are not expected to assist clients with family law matters that may exist after the protective order hearing. An online CLE and written training materials are available at www.oregonadvocates.org.

Contact: Contact: Maya Crawford, 503.224.4086, maya.crawford@lasoregon.org.

Guardianship Appointments
Multnomah County Circuit Court
Court appointment to represent individuals contesting appointment of guardian or conservator. No training provided. Knowledge of area of law required. Please submit a letter regarding your legal background.

Contact: Helga Barnes, 503.988.3538, helga.m.barnes@ojd.state.or.us.

Immigration Counseling Service*
ICS provides legal assistance in immigration-related matters to low and moderate income residents of Oregon and Southern Washington. In addition, the agency works with unaccompanied and undocumented children detained in secure detention facilities, shelters and transitional foster care in Oregon and Southern Washington.  There are pro bono opportunities to assist these juveniles. ICS will provide training and mentoring. For a few hours of your time you can make a huge difference in a child's life. 

Contact: Barbara Babcock, 503.221.1689, x103, bbabcock@ics-law.org.

Immigration Legal Services*
Catholic Charities of Oregon
Pro bono attorneys represent adult and child survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other serious crimes for immigration relief. Immigration Legal Services holds in-person trainings for pro bono attorneys twice a year and a training video as well. Once a pro bono attorney receives training and taken a client referral, Immigration Legal Services provides ongoing mentoring and technical assistance. 

Contact: Julien Roohani, Staff Attorney and Pro Bono Coordinator, 503.688.2717, jroohani@catholiccharitiesoregon.org.

Pro Se Assistance Project*
Legal Aid Services of Oregon-Volunteer Lawyers Project
Volunteer attorneys provide limited assistance to clients requiring discrete legal advice or document review. Attorneys are scheduled to meet with three clients, each for a 45-minute appointment. Clinics are held from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Multnomah County courthouse. Attorneys respond to discrete family law questions and/or review documents prepared by unrepresented litigants. Attorneys are NOT expected to provide ongoing representation to clients and clients sign a retainer agreement detailing the limited scope of the attorney-client relationship. Volunteer attorneys must have family law experience to volunteer for this project.  
PROSAP Facilitation Clinic.  Attorneys with little (or no) family law experience can volunteer for this portion of the Clinic, by helping clients complete their pro se documents. Once the paperwork is completed, clients attend a “regular” PROSAP clinic to meet with an experienced family law attorney. Facilitation Clinics take place on Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 2-4 PM at Legal Aid.


Contact: Contact: Maya Crawford, 503.224.4086, maya.crawford@lasoregon.org.


Refugee and Immigrant Family Strengthening Program
Immigration and Refugee Community Organization
Cases involving immigration law such as assisting domestic violence survivors self-petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), U-visas, and T-visas. Cases involving contested protective orders, divorce and child custody proceedings. Formal or informal domestic violence training as necessary that includes a segment on domestic violence within immigrant and refugee communities. 

Contact: Stacey Vu, RIFS Program Coordinator, 503.234.1541, staceyv@irco.org.

JUVENILE LAW

CASA for Children
Attorneys are needed to represent volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) in Multnomah or Washington County juvenile court proceedings at the trial and appellate levels. Volunteer attorneys are supported by a staff program attorney. 

Contact: Lynn Travis, 503.988.4160, ltravis@casahelpskids.org.

Changing Lives Forever
The "CLiF Project" is a collaboration between Tonkon Torp LLP and Youth, Rights & Justice, a nonprofit law firm specializing in juvenile law. CliF lawyers provide pro bono representation to help deserving young people get off the registry so that they can live independent and productive lives. Volunteers receive training and consultation, and a library of forms and information is available. CLiF lawyers meet once a month (first Thursdays) at lunchtime to hear from experts in the field, share information, and help each other. 

Contact: Gwen Griffith, gwengriff@tonkon.com.


Children's Representation Project*
Multnomah County Family Law Court/Oregon Law Center
Attorneys are appointed by the court to represent children whose parents are involved in custody disputes in Multnomah County. The Hon. Susan Svetkey and her staff coordinate the project. Attorneys with family law and juvenile law experience are especially needed for this project.

Contact: Brandy Jones, 503.988.3060, brandy.l.jones@ojd.state.or.us.

Refugee and Immigrant Family Strengthening Program
Immigration and Refugee Community Organization
Cases involving immigration law such as assisting domestic violence survivors self-petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), U-visas, and T-visas. Cases involving contested protective orders, divorce and child custody proceedings. Formal or informal domestic violence training as necessary that includes a segment on domestic violence within immigrant and refugee communities.

Contact: Stacey Vu, RIFS Program Coordinator, 503.234.1541, staceyv@irco.org.

Special Education Advocacy Program 
Disability Rights Oregon 
Assists the special education team at Disability Rights Oregon (DRO), Oregon's designated Protection and Advocacy agency, to ensure that children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education.  Participating volunteer attorneys will draft and file complaints with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and help children get the services they need to learn and make progress at school.  DRO special education attorneys will provide volunteer attorneys with an orientation and training that will give them a working knowledge of the core elements of special education law backed up by an extensive written manual.  Volunteer attorneys will then be offered cases that have been screened by DRO attorneys as appropriate for effective ODE complaints.

Contact: Chris Shank, 503.243-2081, cshank@disabilityrightsoregon.org.


St. Andrew Legal Clinic*
Volunteer attorneys conduct 30-minute intake interviews at “night clinic” on family law issues. Night clinics are held every Wednesday and alternate Tuesdays from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Multnomah County office in NE Portland, and Wednesday from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Washington County office in Hillsboro. Dinner is provided to volunteers at 6 p.m. Volunteers are supervised by a SALC staff attorney and do not need family law experience. Training materials are available.

Contact: Multnomah County: Eileen Stein at 503.281.1500 x310, estein@salcgroup.org; Washington County: Diana Mendoza at 503.648.1600 x310, dmendoza@salcgroup.org.

PROTECTION FROM ABUSE

Domestic Violence Project*
Legal Aid Services of Oregon-Volunteer Lawyers Project
The Domestic Violence Project matches pro bono attorneys with victims of domestic violence for representation in contested Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) restraining order hearings, Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act hearings (EPPDAPA), Sexual Abuse Protective Order hearings (SAPO), and stalking order hearings. These cases tend to have short timelines, limited issues and require a court appearance. Attorneys sign up in advance to be available to take a case on a specific day (restraining order hearings are generally held on Mondays and Thursdays). DVP volunteers represent clients in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties (you can choose which counties you want to take cases in). This project is an excellent volunteer opportunity for young lawyers, lawyers seeking litigation experience, and attorneys who cannot commit to taking long-term cases. This project covers a discrete area of law and most of the volunteers are not family law practitioners. Volunteers are not expected to assist clients with family law matters that may exist after the protective order hearing. An online CLE and written training materials are available at www.oregonadvocates.org.

Contact: Maya Crawford, 503.224.4086, maya.crawford@lasoregon.org.

Home Free
Volunteers of America
Advocates provide support, information and assistance with paperwork at the Multnomah County Court restraining order room (Room 211A) to individuals seeking domestic violence restraining orders, stalking orders, and elder and disabled abuse prevention orders. Volunteers do not give legal advice or "represent" clients.

Contact: Nancy Loso, 503.595.2009, volunteer@voaor.org.

Oregon Crime Victims Law Center*
Pro bono attorneys needed to represent crime victims on particular issues in criminal cases, such as on motions to quash subpoenas seeking access to the victim, claims of violation of victims' rights, restitution hearings, post conviction issues, etc. The center conducts periodic training in conjunction with the Portland-based National Crime Victim Law Institute. It also has a victims' rights law handbook and staff attorneys available for consultation. Spanish (or other) language skills and/or location outside of the Portland metro area are pluses.

Contact: OCVLC Legal Director Rosemary Brewer, rosemary@ocvlc.org or 503.208.8160, www.ocvlc.org.

Refugee and Immigrant Family Strengthening Program
Immigration and Refugee Community Organization
Assists domestic violence survivors in self-petitioning under the Violence Against Women Act and in the application of U-visas and T-visas. Cases involving contested protective orders, divorce and child custody proceedings.

Contact: Stacey Vu, 503.234.1541, staceyv@irco.org.

Senior Law Project*
Legal Aid Services of Oregon-Volunteer Lawyers Project
The Senior Law Project (SLP) began in 1978 and is the VLP’s largest project, with over 25 legal clinics per month. Volunteer lawyers meet with clients who are 60 or over (or who are married to someone 60 or over) at nine senior center locations in Multnomah County. They provide 30-minute consultations, on any civil legal issues, for up to six clients per clinic. All clients 60 or over are eligible for free 30-minute consultations, regardless of their income. SLP volunteers provide continuing pro bono services for only those clients who meet VLP financial eligibility requirements. The VLP sponsors a monthly Elder Law Discussion Group to provide information and support.

Contact: Maya Crawford, 503.224.4086, maya.crawford@lasoregon.org.

OTHER LEGAL SERVICES

Changing Lives Forever
The "CLiF Project" is a collaboration between Tonkon Torp LLP and Youth, Rights & Justice, a nonprofit law firm specializing in juvenile law. CliF lawyers provide pro bono representation to help deserving young people get off the registry so that they can live independent and productive lives. Volunteers receive training and consultation, and a library of forms and information is available. CLiF lawyers meet once a month (first Thursdays) at lunchtime to hear from experts in the field, share information, and help each other. 

Contact: Gwen Griffith, gwengriff@tonkon.com.

Legal Aid Night Clinic*

Legal Aid Services of Oregon-Volunteer Lawyers Project/Stoel Rives LLP
LASO co-sponsors this evening clinic with Stoel Rives, LLP and Dunn Carney LLP. Clinics are held on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 5:30-7:30 p.m at the Standard Insurance Building (downtown Portland). Volunteer attorneys from the two participating law firms screen the cases and provide continuing legal representation to clients with meritorious cases. Two volunteer attorneys are scheduled for each clinic and each attorney meets with up to four clients per clinic. The following issues are referred: consumer law, small claims advice, criminal record expungements, landlord/tenant damage claims, estate planning, and uncontested guardianships.  

Contact: Maya Crawford, 503.224.4086, maya.crawford@lasoregon.org.

Mercy Corps Northwest
Assist low-income micro-entrepreneurs and small business owners with legal issues including - but not limited to - advising on type of legal entity to form, dealing with bankruptcy, and reviewing leases and purchase agreements, etc. Training includes orientation with MCNW staff about agency, mission and approach to working with low-income and culturally diverse clients.

Contact: 503.896.5070, akerr@mercycorpsnw.org.

National Crime Victim Law Institute
NCVLI, a nonprofit legal organization affiliated with Lewis & Clark Law School, works to promote the thoughtful development and advancement of victim law on a national level. NCVLI does not provide direct representation of crime victims, but does help train and support a national network of skilled attorneys to represent crime victims in the criminal justice system through the National Alliance of Victims' Rights Attorneys (NAVRA). Pro bono opportunities are not limited to direct representation of crime victims in the criminal justice system. Your help is also needed to serve as local counsel, conduct legal research, and represent crime victims in related civil proceedings. Most importantly, you don't need experience with victim law to help, NAVRA and NCVLI staff will train you to represent crime victims.

Contact: 503.768.6819, ncvli@lclark.edu.

ProBonoOregon Listserv*
Legal service offices around the state post cases to this listserv every Thursday. Each program posts only one email per week. Postings are sent to individual attorneys or pro bono coordinators for internal distribution within firms. An attorney who is interested in accepting a pro bono opportunity contacts the listing office for full case information. Listings include the type of case and a brief description of the issue and do not include highly identifying facts or party names. Conflict information is discussed with interested attorneys when they contact the listing office. This project allows pro bono attorneys to take a pro bono case when it fits best with their schedule. To sign up directly for the listserv, send an email to: probonooregon-subscribe@mail.lawhelp.org.

Re-Entry Court
District Court of Oregon
Assist participants on federal probation with recovery from addiction, employment and issues related to successful re-entry into society. Volunteer attorneys help program participants resolve non-criminal legal issues such as back taxes, garnishment, past due child support and custody matters.

Contact: Pat Ehlers, 503.326.4902, patrick_ehlers@fd.org.

Special Education Advocacy Program 
Disability Rights Oregon 
Assists the special education team at Disability Rights Oregon (DRO), Oregon's designated Protection and Advocacy agency, to ensure that children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education. Participating volunteer attorneys will draft and file complaints with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and help children get the services they need to learn and make progress at school. DRO special education attorneys will provide volunteer attorneys with an orientation and training that will give them a working knowledge of the core elements of special education law backed up by an extensive written manual. Volunteer attorneys will then be offered cases that have been screened by DRO attorneys as appropriate for effective ODE complaints.  

Contact: Chris Shank, 503.243-2081, cshank@disabilityrightsoregon.org.

US District Court Pro Bono Program
Appoints attorneys to represent pro se parties in civil cases who, in the Court's opinion, require and are qualified to receive them. Such parties (who are often incarcerated) typically lack the financial means or legal experience to adequately deal with the issues and proceedings in US District Court. The representation may be for all purposes or for a specific purpose.  A Guide for Representing Prisoners will be provided in all appointments made to represent prisoners. A mentorship program is available to assist appointed attorneys in areas of practice that may be unfamiliar., and PLF coverage is available for all cases assigned through the program. Tutorials for electronic filing and program procedures are available on the court's website. For further details or to volunteer visit www.ord.uscourts.gov.

Contact: Nicole Munoz, 503.326.8014, nicole_munoz@ord.uscourts.gov or ops@ord.uscourts.gov.

Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program
Represent a Veteran pro bono case before the US Court of Appeals. The Washington, D.C. based Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program is seeking volunteer lawyers to assist veterans who claim entitlement to VA benefits. Each lawyer agreeing to accept one case will receive free training, a veterans' law manual, a pre-screened case, and ongoing access to a mentor lawyer.

Contact: Meg Bartley, Director of Outreach & Education, 202.621.5670, meg_bartley@nvlsp.org.

Victim Rights Law Center Pro Bono Project
The Victim Rights Law Center (VRLC) Pro Bono Project offers free legal services to victims of rape and sexual assault on immigration, housing, employment, education, privacy, safety, financial security and other legal matters. The VRLC's mission is to provide holistic services for sexual assault survivors by using existing state and federal civil laws to address a survivors' most pressing needs. VRLC attorneys will screen eligible clients and will then send requests for representation through our pro bono listserv with basic information on the legal issue. If an attorney is interested in taking the case, he or she will respond by email to the VRLC and we will provide conflict check information, as well as mentoring and other resources. In order to join the project and to be included on the listserv, attorneys will have to be in good standing with the bar, attend the VRLC pro bono training, and take at least one pro bono case per year. PLF coverage is available; please inquire.

Contact: VRLCORprobono@victimrights.org or 503.274.5477, ext 5.


WaterWatch of Oregon
Advocate for protection and restoration of instream flows in Oregon's rivers and streams by representing individuals and organizations in water right proceedings before administrative agencies and courts. Mentors and training by experienced attorneys provided. Some cases may require PLF coverage.

Contact: John DeVoe, 503.295.4039 x1, john@waterwatch.org.