Lawyer volunteers are needed now for the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s launch of the Pennsylvania Free Legal Answers, an automated tool developed by the American Bar Association.
Here’s how the online program works. Using a website form, a public user of the program requests brief advice about a specific civil legal issue. A volunteer lawyer, law student or paralegal (working under the direction of a lawyer volunteer or staff member) provides basic legal advice without the expectation of long-term representation. (Long-term representation is an option if a public user and a volunteer lawyer wish to pursue fuller pro bono representation.)
To participate, a legal volunteer completes three steps:
Before the lawyer volunteer’s account is activated, the website administrator checks to ensure the lawyer is licensed in Pennsylvania and is in good standing with the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Once approved, the lawyer receives an email notification and can begin answering submitted questions when the Pennsylvania program is launched.
After a lawyer volunteer selects a question from the list, the lawyer has three days to provide, at minimum, one answer to the question. A volunteer lawyer can ask follow-up questions if additional information is needed to answer the user’s question. The lawyer’s identity is not revealed to the user unless the lawyer decides to do so. Once a lawyer answers a question, the user will be sent an email that a response is available.
Want more information? See the Frequently Asked Questions webpage
Sign up today. Pennsylvania Free Legal Answers is expected to launch in Summer 2021.