PBCSI’s six partner agencies offer students a wide range of choices, both legal and non-legal, for volunteering. These partners allow students to gain in-depth knowledge of an area of law or advocacy. PBCSI encourages students to commit to volunteer at least one semester with a partner organization. The total time commitment will vary depending on the organization’s needs and structure. Students are not limited to volunteering at these six sites; they may seek out and secure their own volunteer opportunities, too. For more information about the following partner sites or other volunteer opportunities, please contact, Cheryl Price, Director of the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative, at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Cabrini Green Legal Aid runs an Expungement Help Desk located at the Daley Center. Students provide on-site assistance to clients seeking to have their criminal records expunged or sealed. Students can also perform intake interviews of prospective CGLA clients at the CGLA offices. Students present a summary report of the intake interviews at a weekly attorney meeting at CGLA at which the entire CGLA team determines whether CGLA will represent that client.
Center for Disability & Elder Law offers three different types of volunteer opportunities for students: 1) The Guardianship Pro So Help Desk—Students receive training and sign up for weekly four hour shifts at the help desk, where they assist pro se litigants seeking guardianships of incapacitated adults; 2) Senior Center Initiative—CDEL schedules monthly visits to nursing homes and senior centers where students help residents prepare powers of attorney; and 3) Case Support—Students commit to work one half-day per week doing research and intakes.
Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC) created the Lawyers in the Classroom program, which partners teaching volunteers with elementary classes to help students understand the U.S. Constitution and our legal system. CRFC trains law students to lead interactive lessons for 6th -8th graders that facilitate critical thinking about the law and justice.
DePaul Student Legal Services provides high quality, free or low-cost legal advice to DePaul students on a wide range of common problems, including contract disputes, misdemeanor criminal offenses and more. Law students assist with client interviews, help students understand their rights and obligations, provide general recommendations, and make referrals to helpful resources. Volunteers may also perform research and drafting tasks.
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights - The New Americans Initiative is a non-profit partnership between the State of Illinois and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to help immigrants through the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. Legal Permanent Residents are provided with free citizenship workshops, citizenship application assistance, legal advice, and if necessary referral to qualified attorneys or citizenship and English classes. Volunteers can get involved in all aspects of the process and participate in citizenship workshops.
A.N. Pritzker Elementary School—is a pre-K through 8th grade Chicago Public School located in Wicker Park. DePaul law students assist with school beautification projects, such as gardening and painting hallways and classrooms. Students also participate in a weekly tutoring program for 6th graders and serve as judges at the school’s annual Science and History Fairs. The Dean also makes an annual visit to the school as Principal for a Day.