The Challenge Ahead: Access to Justice

About the Program

As many members of Philadelphia’s legal community have been asking what they can do to help the community-at-large, “The Challenge Ahead: Access to Justice” pro bono volunteerism initiative provides opportunities for Association members and beyond to help people in need by providing limited legal representation, education, advice and advocacy. This one-stop-shop allows the city’s legal aid non-profit organizations to know who is interested in assisting by giving volunteers the opportunity to add their name to a list for these groups to access if they need additional support for a particular cause. With volunteer opportunities ranging from immigration/due process to civil rights to health benefits, housing and more, there will be no shortage of support that the legal community can provide.

Deborah Gross photo

"We are embarking on unchartered waters where there are real concerns for the rule of law, due process, individuals' constitutional and civil rights, as well as the threat of decreased federal and state funding. Regardless of our personal politics, none of us wants to see constitutionally protected rights of individuals and families compromised by new state or national reforms. The legal aid nonprofits are on the frontlines addressing these sorts of reform efforts and they need our help."

2017 Chancellor
Deborah R. Gross
Philadelphia Bar Association
 

Volunteer Opportunities

March 2017

CLE - Family Law Training:Permanency Planning for Immigrants

When:

March 21, 2017
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Where:

Philadelphia Bar Association
11th Floor Conference Center
1101 Market St., Aramark Bldg.
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Host(s):

Philadelphia Bar Association

CLE Credits:

2 SUB

Register

Description:

This CLE program provides training on something that has been coined, in other contexts, "permanency planning". The experienced family law will learn the tools for assisting mixed status families where parents of minors are facing deportation away from their U.S. Citizen children. Parents facing this prospect need to be able to ensure that someone will have legal authority to make important decisions on behalf of their children and that their children will be well cared for if they are not able to provide the care themselves. Cathryn Miller-Wilson, Executive Director of HIAS Pennsylvania and Stephanie A. Gonzalez Ferrandez of Gonzalez Ferrandez Law will offer practical guidance and instruction regarding these and other family law matters for clients for whom immigration status may be a concern.

Pro Bono Training: "Custody-Providing Stability for Families"

When:

March 22, 2017
12:00 - 2:15 p.m.

Where:

Blank Rome, LLP, One Logan Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Host(s):

Philadelphia VIP

Register

Description:

The training will cover how to represent a VIP client in a Master’s event or hearing before a judge.

Philadelphia VIP New Volunteer Orientation

When:

March 22, 2017
12:00 - 2:15 p.m.

Where:

Philadelphia VIP, 1500 Walnut Street, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Host(s):

Philadelphia VIP

Register

Description:

The program will provide an overview of Philadelphia VIP and the opportunities and resources available to volunteers.

CLE - Citizenship Training: Naturalization 101

When:

March 23, 2017
8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Where:

Ballard Spahr LLP
1735 Market Street
48th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103-7599

Host(s):

Philadelphia Bar Association

CLE Credits:

2 SUB

Register

Description:

With recent changes to national immigration policies, many immigrants legally residing in the United States are anxious to complete the process of becoming U.S. citizens. The Philadelphia Bar Association, Ballard Spahr LLP and Esperanza Immigration Legal Services offer this CLE progam to provide training for volunteer attorneys to enable them to help applicants complete the naturalization process. Mary R. Clark, Executive Director of Esperanza Immigration Legal Services will present an overview and materials on the naturalization process, including eligibility requirements, fee waiver applications, and barriers to naturalization. View event details for more information.

CLE -From Criminal Conviction to Civil Nightmare

When:

March 30, 2017
12:30 - 3:45 p.m.

Where:

Philadelphia Bar Association
11th Floor Conference Center
1101 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Host(s):

Philadelphia Bar Association

CLE Credits:

2 SUB/1 ETH

Register

Description:

This CLE program breaks down the civil consequences of a criminal conviction and analyzes the devastatingly negative impact these consequences can have on your client (and his or her family). The panelists examine remedies to counteract any potential negative consequences for people released from prison. Hear updates on substantive changes to the Commonwealth's expungement laws and the effect convictions will have on current hot-button issues affecting your clients, such as, immigration status, welfare, housing, child custody, disability, professional licensing, etc.

April 2017

“How to Handle a Child Abuse Case” Volunteer Attorney Training

When:

April 26th, 2017
9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Where:

The Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St #11
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Host(s):

Support Center for Child Advocates

Register
For more information, please visit sccalaw.org.

Description:

Hear dedicated experts in the field of child advocacy explain how you can give a voice to child victims of abuse and neglect. You will receive step-by-step instruction on the law and standards of practice for lawyers who represent children in abuse and neglect cases. Child Advocates Volunteer Attorneys are teamed with Child Advocates staff social workers to provide legal representation and social service advocacy to abused/neglected children in Philadelphia County. The team model allows Child Advocates Volunteer Attorneys to receive the highest level of support throughout their cases. Earn 6.5 CLE credits (including 2 Ethics).

Pro Bono Training: "Probate-Resolving Title Issues to Keep Clients in Their Homes"

When:

April 27th, 2017
8:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Where:

White and Williams, LLP, 1650 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Host(s):

Philadelphia VIP

Register

Description:

The training will explain how to assess a client’s claim to inherited property, probate an estate at the Register of Wills, and transfer title from heirs to the client.

May 2017

Pro Bono Training: "Divorce with Equitable Distribution- Helping Clients Move On with Financial Stability"

When:

May 25th, 2017
12:00 - 2:15 p.m.

Where:

Fox Rothschild, LLP, 2000 Market St, 20th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Host(s):

Philadelphia VIP

Register

Description:

The training will focus on helping clients move on with financial stability by obtaining a divorce and dividing marital assets and debts.

June 2017

Pro Bono Training: “Trial Skills – Practice in the Court of Common Pleas, Municipal Court and Family Court”

When:

June 2017
Date and Time TBD

Where:

Blank Rome LLP, One Logan Square, 130 N. 18th St.
Philadelphia , PA 19103

Host(s):

Philadelphia VIP

Register

Description:

The training will prepare volunteers for appearing in the various court divisions, with practical tips that are unique to each court.

Philadelphia VIP Summer Pro Bono Day

When:

June 2017
Date and Time TBD

Where:

Location TBA
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Host(s):

Philadelphia VIP

Please contact Joanna Volpe at jvolpe@phillyvip.org for more information.

Description:

Philadelphia VIP’s Summer Pro Bono Day educates law students about the critical legal needs of low-income Philadelphians.

July 2017

Philadelphia VIP New Volunteer Orientation

When:

July 26, 2017
8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Where:

Philadelphia VIP, 1500 Walnut St., Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Host(s):

Philadelphia VIP

Register

Description:

The program will provide an overview of Philadelphia VIP and the opportunities and resources available to volunteers.

Ongoing

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

When:

Date(s) and Time TBD

Where:

Location TBD
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Host(s):

Philadelphia VIP

For further information about joining the prisoner civil rights panel, please contact Panel Coordinators Stephen D. Brown Esq. at (215) 994-2240 or Samuel W. Silver Esq. at (215) 751-2309. To learn more about the employment panel, please contact Panel Coordinators Alan B. Epstein Esq. at (215) 241-8832 or Ari R. Karpf Esq. at (215) 639-0801. The Court's Volunteer Panel Administrator, Elaine Battle, can be reached at (267) 299-7034.

Description:

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania invites you to join one of its prisoner civil rights and employment panels.

The members of the prisoner civil rights panel provide legal representation to prison inmates for constitutional violations by law enforcement officers before the inmate was incarcerated that relate to the matter(s) for which the inmate is then incarcerated.

The employment panel members represent plaintiffs in cases that are brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination Employment Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act and state claims which can be properly appended to federal employment claims.

Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project

When:

Ongoing

Where:

The Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP), 123 South Broad Street, 24th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19109

Host(s):

Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project

Email: info@ysrp.org
Phone: (215) 804-9093
Fax: (267) 543-7939

For news and events, please visit ysrp.org/news-events/

Description:

The Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP) is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive support to kids prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system, including individuals who were sentenced to life without parole as children (“juvenile lifers“).

We have four goals:

  1. Aiding lawyers with low-income clients to get their cases transferred from the adult criminal justice system to the juvenile justice system or to get more favorable sentences; and providing mitigation for juvenile lifers as they face resentencing in front of a judge and/or parole board;
  2. Connecting youth, juvenile lifers and their families with existing community resources and programs, so they have access to education, healthcare, stable housing and job placement;
  3. Training lawyers, judges and other advocates to increase the level of representation provided to youth facing adult jails and prisons, and juvenile lifers facing resentencing and parole hearings; and
  4. Advancing policy reform that is rooted in the experiences of young people, juvenile lifers and their families.

Take a Stand - Become a Child Advocate Attorney

When:

Ongoing

Where:

1617 JFK Boulevard, Suite 1200
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States

Host(s):

Support Center for Child Advocates

For more information, please visit sccalaw.org or contact Jodi Schatz at jschatz@SCCALaw.org.

Description:

Thousands of children in Philadelphia experience the trauma of abuse, violence and neglect. Support Center for Child Advocates’ teams of volunteer lawyers and staff social workers provide legal representation and social services advocacy to children who need our help. Each year the need is greater. As a Child Advocates Volunteer Attorney, you can change the story.

THIS COULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT CLIENT OF YOUR CAREER.