Pro-Bono Initiative Partners

MISSISSIPPI ACCESS TO JUSTICE COMMISSION – The Mississippi Access to Justice Commission was established by the Mississippi Supreme Court to provide overarching, unifying support to Mississippi’s civil legal services delivery system. Law students are needed to conduct remote research projects on a variety of topics related to the increasing access to civil justice in Mississippi.  In the past, students have conducted research on cy pres awards, self-help centers and kiosks, fundraising opportunities for legal aid, and how other states have developed manuals and  guides for self-represented litigants and court clerks.  For more information, contact Tiffany Graves, Executive Director, at tgraves@msbar.org or 601-960-9581.

MISSISSIPPI VOLUNTEER LAWYERS PROJECT (“MVLP”) – MVLP provides legal services for domestic matters involving low-income and limited means clients, through direct legal assistance and legal clinics. If you are interested in working with MVLP, contact Gayla Carpenter-Sanders at gsanders@mvlp.net.

MISSISSIPPI CENTER FOR JUSTICE – With offices in Jackson, Biloxi, and Indianola, the Center seeks systemic solutions that promote educational opportunity, protect the rights of consumers, secure access to healthcare, ensure equity in disaster recovery and put affordable housing within the reach of all Mississippians. Students can volunteer with MCJ in the following areas:

  • Working with students and parents in school discipline hearings – contact Debra Giles (Indianola office) at dgiles@mscenterforjustice.org
  • Assisting with fair housing complaints – contact John Jopling (Biloxi office) atjjopling@mscenterforjustice.org
  • Assisting with heir property work (primarily drafting heirship affidavits and family land trusts) or general research projects – contact Beth Orlansky (Jackson office) at borlansky@mscenterforjustice.org
  • Training as a navigator to assist people in justice court proceedings – contact Charles Lee (Jackson office) at clee@mscenterforjustice.org

NORTH MISSISSIPPI RURAL LEGAL SERVICES (“NMRLS”) – NMRLS provides free civil legal services for low-income persons and seniors in the northern half of Mississippi. NMRLS’s Volunteer Law Project matches student volunteers with areas of client need based on the volunteer’s interests, skills, and availability. The majority of NMRLS’s work is in the areas of family law, consumer protection including tax litigation, wills and estates, and housing. For more information, contact the volunteer coordinator at 662-234-2918.

MISSISSIPPI LEGAL SERVICES – Mississippi Legal Services provides free civil legal services for low-income persons and seniors in the southern half of Mississippi. Opportunities for volunteers include assisting attorneys with Victims of Crime Act representation (research and education and outreach activities), foreclosure defense (research and education and outreach activities), and Title III representation on elderly (education and outreach activities). If you are interested, contact Sam Buchanan at shbuchanan@mslegalservices.org.

THE NORTHCUTT LEGAL CLINIC – The Northcutt Legal Clinic is a subsidiary of the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence, Inc., which is a women’s shelter for South Mississippi. The Northcutt Legal Clinic is a traditional law office that handles legal matters of a non-criminal nature for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking. Students can volunteer at the Northcutt Legal Clinic in the summers for pro bono hours. Volunteer opportunities include shadowing the clinic attorney, preparing pleadings, interviewing clients, setting cases, drafting correspondence, and observing court hearings.  If you are interested, contact Harry Yoste, Jr. at 228-864-7144.

FAMILY EQUALITY COUNCIL – This organization’s mission is “to advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change.” Pro bono opportunities vary based on the projects the organization is working on at the time, but past opportunities have included conducting research into state law as it impacts LGBTQ families, developing overviews of one area of law (e.g. surrogacy or second-parent adoption) across the 50 states plus DC, and drafting position papers on a topic of current particular interest. If you are interested, contact Shelbi Day at sday@familyequality.org.

ATLANTA VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOUNDATION (“AVLF”) – *This opportunity requires a commitment of at least 1.5 days per week for an entire semester (including summer). AVLF offers a pro bono internship in which students will be trained to advocate for and assist survivors of domestic violence who are seeking Temporary Protective Orders (TPO). Students will work directly with survivors and will assist them in drafting their petitions, conduct safety planning, assess their social service and other civil legal needs, and accompany them through the ex parte TPO process, including when the survivor presents his/her case to a magistrate judge. After the respondent is personally served, students who are certified under Georgia’s Student Practice Rule may represent clients in their subsequent evidentiary hearings under the supervision of an AVLF staff attorney. Students may also represent clients in follow-up legal proceedings related to a survivor’s 12-Month Protective Order, such as contempt and modification hearings, and will be responsible for referring clients to AVLF’s other programs or other legal organizations to help address clients’ additional civil legal needs. First, second, and third-year law students are eligible to apply.