Pro Bono/Volunteer Opportunities
Since 1997, when the UC College of Law implemented the transcript recognition program, UC law students have provided almost 10,000 hours of law-related service to the Greater Cincinnati community. Any student who performs 15 or more hours of volunteer legal work receives an official notation on his transcript, which is an external signal that you are a community oriented individual. By volunteering, students fill a void that would otherwise exist in our community and extend the impact of many organizations. Concomitantly, students learn how to convey legal concepts to lay persons and develop client relation's skills.
The CPD can help you make a difference. Below is a list of some, but not all, of the organizations seeking volunteer assistance. Contact the Center for Professional Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio – Legal Immigration Services Department
The Legal Immigration Services Department (LIS) was developed in response to an increased need for quality and affordable immigration legal services in Greater Cincinnati. Under the supervision of an immigration attorney and includes two Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representatives, volunteers are needed to assist with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, hardship waiver, family-sponsored visa petitions, applications for permanent residence (green cards), naturalization, work permit and consular processing.
For more information, contact email@example.com.
Children's Law Center
The Center was established in 1989 to protect and enhance the legal rights and entitlements of children in Kentucky through quality legal representation, research and policy development, and training and education to attorneys and others regarding the rights of children. Our priorities include juvenile justice, child welfare, and education issues generally, as well as emphasis on improving the quality of and accessibility to legal representation, for children in Kentucky and Ohio.
Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center
The Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center is a parent organization of The Day Labor Organizing Project, The Cincinnati Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and performs extensive legal and human rights services for poor, low wage and immigrant workers.
Cincinnati Youth Court
Youth Court is a diversion program for teens who get arrested for minor misdemeanors and who have already admitted guilt. Instead of going before a Judge in Juvenile Court, the case is heard by a jury of their peers in Youth Court. The program utilizes law student volunteers to serve as prosecutor and public defenders during hearings. This is a great opportunity to enhance your oral advocacy skills, network and be involved in the legal community. Volunteer commitments can vary from one time to bi-weekly.
For more information, contact Katherine Miltner.
Citizen Foster Care Review Board
Citizen Foster Care Review Board volunteers review the cases of thousands of children who have been removed from their homes due to dependency, neglect and abuse. Recommendations from these volunteers guide judges who must make critical decisions about placing children in safe, permanent homes.
For more information and volunteer opportunities, contact Brandon Craig.
Housing Opportunities Made Equal (H.O.M.E.)
Provides services for individuals who have experienced discrimination in seeking housing, such as education programs on fair housing laws, housing search services for Section 8 families, and job development skills.
Law Office of the Hamilton County Public Defender - Guardian ad Litem Division
The Guardian ad Litem Division of the Law Office of the Hamilton County Public Defender is charged with representing the best interests of children who are found by Juvenile Court to be abused, neglected, and/or dependent. The office has 13 attorneys and 12 social workers. Social workers maintain a caseload of approximately 40 families. Attorneys maintain a caseload of 35-40 cases (families), and also represent an assigned social worker in the courtroom. A GAL's responsibilities include participation in all court proceedings and the investigation work needed to understand the child's situation and to make recommendations to the court. Investigations include home visits with children, parents, and relatives, school meetings, and medical/therapeutic meetings and visits. Common legal responsibilities involve writing review reports, drafting motions, some legal research, and participation in status review and trial hearings. Note the organization accepts volunteer inquiries from current UC law students only.
For more information and volunteer opportunities, contact Klarysa Benge.
The Lighthouse Youth Services
Provides services and programs for homeless, abused and neglected children as well as families in crisis.
Ohio Justice & Policy Center
OJPC provides free legal services to formerly incarcerated individuals through it's Second Chance Community Legal Clinic.
Provides volunteers who advocate for Hamilton County's abused and neglected children in foster care and seeks safe, permanent and nurturing homes for every child.
Pro Seniors, Inc.
Provides legal and ombudsman assistance for older adults who have been exploited, abused, or neglected. Also disseminates information on nursing home selection through the Care Options program.
Tenant Information Project (TIP)
The Tenant Information Project provides information about Ohio landlord-tenant law to the community. TIP members answer phone calls from landlords and tenants who have questions about their rights and responsibilities under Ohio law. TIP members gain both practical experience in dealing with clients who have legal problems and specialized knowledge of landlord-tenant law.
Click here for additional information.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
Provides assistance to low and middle-income families and elderly persons in the preparation of their tax returns. The law student needs no prior knowledge of tax law to enroll in the program. VITA is recognized by and works closely with the IRS, which provides tax forms, training, and technical assistance for the program.
To contact a student leader and learn more, click here.
Volunteer Lawyers Project
The Volunteer Lawyers Project ("VLP") is administered by The Volunteer Lawyers for the Poor Foundation, which was established through the joint effort of the Cincinnati Bar Association and the Legal Aid Society. VLP provides high quality legal services to low-income citizens in our community. Volunteer Lawyers handle cases common to general practice, such as divorces, wills, estates, and consumer cases. More than 50% of cases referred are in housing and domestic relations. VLP cases may require advice, brief service, investigation, and negotiation or court appearance. Students may assist volunteer lawyers with these cases.
Women Helping Women
Provides crisis intervention and support services for sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking victims, impaired hearing outreach, community education, child sexual abuse awareness and date rape/dating violence prevention programs.
Visit their website for additional information.
For volunteer opportunities, contact their volunteer coordinator at: (513) 977-5550.
YMCA of Greater Cincinnati Community Services
The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati's Community Services branch engages youth and adults in asset-building activities year-round in diverse venues. Dozen's of school-based sites for tutoring, sports, and community engagement to Kenton County's summer program venue, the Community Services YMCA features a wide variety of opportunities for children and families.
For volunteer opportunities, contact Rebecca Kelley.
Did you know that you could support legal services for underrepresented populations when interviewing? For callbacks, stay with friends or family instead of a hotel and ask your prospective employer to donate the lodging cost to the Public Interest Law Group (PILG). See the Public Service Coordinator & Counselor to learn how you can make a difference.