PBCSIs seven partner agencies offer students a wide range of legal and non-legal volunteer opportunities. 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 organizations needs and structure. In addition or as an alternative to our partner sites, students may seek out and secure their own volunteer work. For more information about the following partner sites or other volunteer opportunities, please contact the director of the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) 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 also can perform intake interviews of prospective clients at the CGLA offices. Students present a summary report of the intake interviews at a weekly CGLA attorney meeting, at which the entire 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 DeskStudents 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 InitiativeCDEL schedules monthly visits to nursing homes and senior centers where students help residents prepare powers of attorney; and 3) Case SupportStudents 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 school classrooms to help students understand the U.S. Constitution and our legal system. CRFC trains law students to lead interactive lessons that facilitate critical thinking about the law and justice for 6th to 8th graders.
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.
Domestic Violence Legal Clinic’s Self-Representation Assistance Project is a partnership with the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic (DVLC). DePaul law students volunteer at DVLC’s Self-Representation Assistance Project or SRAP to assist petitioners seeking Emergency Orders of Protection in Cook County's Domestic Violence Court. Nearly 90 students volunteered with SRAP in 2015. During that year, the program accepted 435 clients and filed 389 cases. Of the 389 filed cases, 327 or 84 percent received Emergency Orders of Protection. Along with the Center for Public Interest Law and the Schiller, DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center, PBCSI recruits students for this meaningful pro bono project. Students from the College of Law’s Domestic Violence Practicum course also volunteer with SRAP.
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights - The New Americans Initiative is a nonprofit 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.