People often ask me how, exactly, Pro Bono Net helps my organization make legal assistance more available for our clients. Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights is one of three host organizations for Pro Bono Netís national Asylum practice area and I am the administrator for the site. Among other responsibilities for the practice area, this means that I am the first responder to queries from prospective pro bono volunteers who want to join Asylum.
Since the Asylum practice area was launched, I have been able to tap into a relatively little-used group of volunteers: solo and small-firm practitioners and recent law school graduates. While I regularly visit area law firms in Minnesota to court volunteers, reaching out to other lawyers is much more difficult. However, with the online accessibility of Pro Bono Net I began to receive inquiries from lawyers practicing outside the world of large law firms who also want to do pro bono work. The result has been a steady stream of new cases placed Ė that means more individuals receiving the help they need to stay safely out of harmís way.
In addition to the rising number of cases placed, I can also direct these volunteers immediately to the Asylum siteís online library of training and resource materials, where they will find everything they need to initiate and process their clientsí cases. This leaves me free to answer the next set of inquiries from lawyers who want to help, and start placing the next set of cases. Itís a wonderful system, doing its job to help me help others.
Amy Schroeder Ireland
Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights