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The Massachusetts COVID-19 Pro Bono Portal is a statewide tool connecting attorneys and law students to pro bono opportunities related to the pandemic.
A new tool is improving access to justice related to the Covid-19 crisis, as described on the Massachusetts Covid-19 Pro Bono Portal website:
The Massachusetts COVID-19 Pro Bono Portal is an initiative of MassProBono and the Pro Bono Committee of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission’s COVID-19 Task Force. MassProBono and the Commission have collaborated with legal aid and non-profit organizations throughout the state to create a current list of pro bono projects, many of which are remote, that will assist legal aid clients impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether you are a law student or an attorney looking for opportunities to get involved, or an organization seeking volunteers, we encourage you to use the portal. Volunteers can easily browse for Projects, Events, Cases, and Organizations specifically related to Covid-19.
And as highlighted in the Press Release from the Supreme Judicial Court:
“This pandemic has magnified the racial disparities in our communities and further highlighted the critical nature of providing frontline legal services and advocacy through legal aid and also, importantly, through pro bono service,” says Susan Finegan, Pro Bono Partner at Mintz Levin and Co-Chair of the Access to Justice Commission. “Through this initiative, attorneys and law students can easily identify remote pro bono opportunities and utilize their skills to provide assistance to those in need.”
Pro bono work isn’t just a professional responsibility and individual ethical commitment for each lawyer — it’s an intelligent time investment to make. As we point out in our annual Pro Bono Week feature on MassProBono, volunteers are more satisfied by work than nonvolunteers, according to recent research. According to additional recent research, volunteer work influences health and longevity, too.
Pro bono work can be an effective use of time for lawyers facing unemployment or underemployment, due to the pandemic or otherwise. Obviously, pro bono work doesn’t pay the bills at all — like any networking opportunity, it can help you find a paying position. Committing to pro bono work can help you make a career pivot at a critical time of economic crisis. And our Career Development for Lawyers Workbook Series can help you navigate these uncertain times as well.
The Volunteer Lawyers Project empowers its volunteers lawyers new to any given practice area to gain experience responsibly. Cases are prescreened for difficulty rating, and they provide free trainings, resources, and support, as discussed in a guest post on our blog sharing a positive experience gaining experience with VLP from awhile back.