Pro Bono Opportunities

Washoe Legal Services (“WLS”) welcomes all Nevada-licensed attorneys who want to help WLS protect northern Nevada’s vulnerable populations.  Pro bono service allows attorneys to give back to their communities, learn new areas of the law, satisfy their ethical requirements under NRPC 6.1 and, most importantly, remember why they went to law school in the first place…. to help people! 

If you want to be placed on our panel of attorneys willing to accept pro bono referrals, please contact us today.

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WLS’s pro bono program currently focuses on the following areas, but we welcome attorneys who want to help out in any area of law.

Child Advocacy

WLS invites attorneys in and around Washoe County to participate in its Child Advocacy Pro Bono Program.  This is an excellent opportunity to fulfill your pro bono obligations while serving as an advocate and mentor to a child who has been removed from his/her parents' custody due to allegations of abuse and neglect.   Participating volunteers will receive training and administrative support, and they will be assigned a mentor who is experienced in child advocacy law.  Volunteer today for this opportunity to make a difference in a child's life. 

Federal Court

WLS and the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada  administer the federal court pro bono program organized under the United States District Court, District of Nevada.   The District Court screens pro se complaints and carefully selects litigants to refer to the program.  The judges look at a variety of factors before referring the case to the pro bono program, including the litigant’s ability to obtain counsel, the merits of the case, and the type or complexity of the case. 

The Federal Pro Bono Program is an incredible opportunity to fulfill your pro bono requirements while gaining federal civil litigation experience. Depending on the case, you might have the opportunity to represent your client during a jury trial in federal court. Cases in the past have included issues arising under Section 1983, Title VII, Hague Convention, and the Social Security Act, as well as cases presenting constitutional issues. This is a wonderful chance to expand your area of practice, get experience in the federal system, fulfill your ethical obligation to do pro bono work, and most importantly, have a profound impact on the life of a person in need.

Please contact Dawn Gearhart at for a list of available cases.

Self Help

WLS welcomes attorneys who are interested in volunteering to assist clients in our Self-Help Center.  Attorneys can select a regular date and time to come to the Center and assist self-represented litigants with completing court forms and preparing their cases for Court.  Attorneys can also provide free “walk-in” consultations to individuals who cannot afford to hire an attorney.  This is an excellent opportunity to provide a valuable community service without committing yourself to a lengthy case.

Ask-a-Lawyer Programs

WLS occasionally facilitates “Ask-a-Lawyer” programs.  These programs allow community members to have a brief 20-30 minute consultation with an attorney.  Please contact us today if you are interested in participating in a future “Ask-a-Lawyer” event. 

Additional Information

No malpractice insurance?  No problem!  If you perform pro bono work under WLS, you will be covered under WLS’s professional liability policy.

In addition to the pro bono opportunities available at WLS, there are also many pro bono opportunities with our community partners.  Here are some links to other pro bono programs in Nevada:

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