By Morgan Shah, Esq.
As we enter a season of giving, attorneys might be looking for ways to help others, or resolving to do more in the year ahead. Nevada Legal Services (NLS) offers a variety of opportunities to volunteer through our pro bono programs.
Pro bono case placement
We have cases available for placement in an array of practice areas, such as family law, bankruptcy, simple estate planning and healthcare directives, probate, guardianship, name and gender marker changes, and record sealing. All cases are pre-screened by NLS for eligibility and merit, including those referred for representation after an Ask-A-Lawyer consultation is completed. We are proud to offer ongoing support after placement, providing assistance with service of process and other case-related needs. Attorneys interested in taking a case outside their established practice area also can be matched with a mentor and take advantage of our forms and other resources.
Ask-a-lawyer sessions and law fairs
Every week, NLS conducts virtual Ask-A-Lawyer sessions on a variety of topics to help meet the needs of both urban and rural residents. Attorneys can sign up for a session on the topic of their choice and complete 30-minute telephone or Zoom consultations with pre-screened clients conveniently from their own office. Clients may participate in the consultation from their own device, or at one of our outreach events where NLS staff provide the technology and directly coordinate the appointment. This includes monthly sessions serving Laughlin and Pahrump. Additionally, our Lawyer in the School Program facilitates Ask-A-Lawyer sessions for families in need on-campus at Myrtle Tate Elementary School, a Title I school in Las Vegas. NLS also conducts special in-person events throughout the year where attorneys may provide advice or brief services on-site at local community centers. Many practitioners find Ask-A-Lawyer sessions and legal clinics to be very rewarding, and a great way to help even when they are unable to take a case.
Teaching a CLE or community legal education class
NLS also provides many educational opportunities for both attorneys and the public on topics relevant to the needs of our pro bono clients. Through community education classes, you can help others help themselves by sharing your expertise with no obligation to take a case or provide direct legal advice to attendees. For those who teach CLE courses for Nevada attorneys, you have the opportunity to showcase your expertise while helping colleagues build their skills. As an added bonus, attorneys who teach an approved CLE also receive credit for preparing and presenting the material.
Get involved today!
Although 2023 is rapidly coming to a close, there are still opportunities to volunteer or earn CLE credit through NLS this year. We have several virtual Ask-A-Lawyer sessions scheduled during the month of December, and especially need family law volunteers. We also have a free CLE on debt collection on December 15.
For more information about cases available for placement, upcoming Ask-A-Lawyer sessions, special events, or CLE courses, please contact Susan Myers, Pro Bono Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-386-0404 Ext. 155.
About the author
Morgan Shah serves as Director of Community Engagement at Nevada Legal Services, Nevada’s only statewide nonprofit legal aid organization providing free civil legal assistance to low-income residents in every county.
About the article
This article was originally published in the Communiqué (Dec. 2023), the official publication of the Clark County Bar Association. See https://clarkcountybar.org/about/member-benefits/communique-2023/communique-december-2023/
© 2023 Clark County Bar Association (CCBA). All rights reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher. Editorial policy available upon request.