Pro Bono Opportunities

Pro Bono Opportunities


Are you an attorney who wants to make a difference by contributing your services pro bono?

You are in the right place! In 2016, attorneys working with pro bono programs coordinating with MLSA donated over 7,900 hours. We greatly value contributions by the private bar to help us meet the large and growing need for legal aid in Montana. 

  • If you participate in one of the programs that we coordinate or manage, you can qualify for coverage under MLSA's malpractice insurance.
  • The State Bar provides a certificate for a free CLE to anyone that contributes over 50 hours of pro bono in a year. 
  • MLSA can provide pro bono attorneys with mentors, meeting space, and law student volunteers to help with research and other tasks while you have an active pro bono case.
  • MLSA pro bono attorneys also have access to a website with information and resources developed specifically for pro bono attorneys, www.montanaprobono.net.  

What opportunities are available?

MLSA offers a broad range of pro bono opportunities that are designed to fit with your interest area and schedule. MLSA utilizes pro bono attorneys to provide over the phone advice to clients living around the state, meet with clients one-on-one at local family law clinics, and to represent clients with their civil legal issues.

Limited Scope:

Participating in limited scope pro bono services is a great way to increase access to justice by providing critical legal advice for clients who are proceeding pro se. Limited scope allows you to donate your time and expertise to low income Montanans while fitting into your busy schedule.

Montana Pro Bono Connect Phone Advice Project

How it Works:

Attorneys are asked to donate an hour or two of their time to provide over the phone advice to pre-screened clients in need of advice with a civil legal issue including parenting plans, dissolutions, child support, wills and estates, housing, bankruptcy, consumer, federal tax, and employment issues. Calls can be made from anywhere at a date and time convenient to the attorney and the attorney dictates the topics they would like to advise on.

Training and Benefits:

MLSA can provide a mentor in the area of consumer law. MLSA will also provide your malpractice and will provide administrative assistance for the scheduling and follow up each advice call. Any time spent volunteering for the Consumer Advocacy Advice Project counts towards the 50 hours needed for a free CLE.

How to Get Involved:

Call or email Angie Wagenhals at awagenha@mtlsa.org or (406) 442-9830 x 2148.

Community Based Family Law Advice Clinics

Communities around the state host regular advice clinics to provide in person advice and document review to income qualified clients in their family law case. Bozeman, Billings, Helena, Missoula, and Kalispell all host regular monthly advice clinics that provide a great way for local attorneys to increase the availability of legal services to low income Montanans in their communities.

How it Works:

The clinics typically run for two to three hours once a month during the week. Attorneys are asked to commit to attending the clinic where they will typically advise two to three clients on their family law issue. Clients are screened and scheduled by Montana Legal Services Association and the attorneys are provided with the client information in advance for conflict check.

Training and Benefits:

Clinics are a great way to get to know your local bar by working with fellow practitioners to provide legal advice to low income Montanans. MLSA provides your malpractice insurance and typically provides administrative support at the clinic. Many local communities provide training for their clinic volunteers and MLSA can provide mentors or training in advance. Any time spent volunteering for the community based clinics counts towards the 50 hours needed for a free CLE.

Full Representation:

Donate your time to level the playing field and represent low income Montanans with civil legal issues. Representation is the critical missing piece for many Montanans representing themselves in a confusing and complicated court system.

Community Based Full Representation Programs

Communities around the state work with Montana Legal Services Association to place low income Montanans with volunteer attorneys for representation in their civil legal issue. Representation makes all the difference for many litigants facing an unfamiliar court system.

How it Works:

Most full representation programs are run by a local court or bar association. Attorneys interested in volunteering will be contacted by their court or bar association when there is a client in need of representation.

Training and Benefits:

MLSA provides your malpractice insurance and can also connect you with law student volunteers for help with research and preparation. MLSA can also provide mentors either within your community or within MLSA. Any time spent volunteering counts towards the 50 hours needed for a free CLE.

How to Get Involved:

Call or email Angie Wagenhals at 442-9830 ext. 148 or awagenha@mtlsa.org.