From the Multnomah Lawyer: Joshua Stadtler and Legal Aid Services of Oregon: YLS Pro Bono Spotlight

Legal Aid Services of Oregon’s (LASO) Domestic Violence Project is a volunteer lawyer program where survivors of domestic violence are matched with pro bono attorneys for representation in contested restraining order hearings. LASO offers a variety of other volunteer opportunities that are OSB certified pro bono. It also offers free PLF coverage to pro bono practitioners.

Joshua Stadtler, a Partner at Dunn Carney, LLP, has been volunteering with LASO’s Domestic Violence Project for years. He is committed to serving his community and has done so through his work in the United States Peace Corps where he taught English in South Africa. Josh is a former YLS Pro Bono Committee member (2014-16). He is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Portland Homeless Family Solutions, and also co-chairing Dunn Carney’s Pro Bono Committee, which manages his firm’s participation in a legal clinic representing indigent clients in collaboration with LASO. He continues to maintain his own pro bono practice, including representing survivors of domestic violence.

Josh was drawn to the Domestic Violence Project due to the meaningful impact such representation offers the clientele, the challenging subject matter, and litigation experience. Through volunteering for the Domestic Violence Project, Josh gained experience developing client relationships, and also further developed his ability to issue spot, learn the law, prepare opening and closing statements, and conduct direct and cross examination.

While it is healthy to feel a sense of trepidation when handling novel issues, the best way to learn something is by doing it. Josh stated he developed a lot professionally through his volunteer work by figuring out which questions to ask, and developing relationships with people that could help answers those questions. To this day, even as a partner at his firm, he seeks advice from attorneys whose input he values, some of which he developed relationships with volunteering. Josh shared that LASO’s attorneys are always available to consult with volunteer attorneys, provide valuable input, and share its wealth of knowledge, experience, and resources. If you are looking for meaningful volunteer work, are seeking litigation experience, but cannot commit to taking long-term cases, then LASO’s Domestic Violence Project is right for you.

Josh believes volunteering is an important part of being an attorney due to the significant access to justice gap. It may even help attorneys find meaning in their career, if they don’t find it in their day jobs. He stated that anyone that has a passing interest in pro bono work should do it as much as they can.

Josh encourages new attorneys to try practicing and volunteering in different areas of law to find an area that brings meaning and enjoyment. It doesn’t matter what your practice area is. Volunteering for LASO’s Domestic Violence Project will help you develop client management skills, provide litigation experience, and support you while handling unfamiliar terrain.

To learn more about how to get involved with LASO, please contact Jill Mallery at 503.224.4086 or or Danielle Ramos at 503.224.4086 or

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