A project of Pro Bono Institute focused on improving reentry outcomes
MNCJP aims to dramatically improve the experiences and outcomes of formerly incarcerated Minnesotans through a variety of programs, including the delivery of free civil legal services. The MNCJP’s Civil Legal Needs Initiative pairs pro bono attorneys with formerly incarcerated clients to address their civil legal challenges.
Child support modifications and
assistance with custody and/or parenting
time and divorce.
Reinstatement of suspended or expired licenses; negotiating payment of fines.
Payment negotiations and/or assistance
Securing birth certificates, state identification cards and/or social security cards.
Debt repayment negotiations and/or bankruptcy screening.
Volunteers will receive training materials and access to regular training programs on key subject matters, as well as support from experts in the field.
Who can volunteer?
Volunteers from the private bar, including law firms and in-house legal departments, and civil legal aid organizations may join in helping reentering individuals access free civil legal representation.
There are opportunities for attorneys, paralegals, and legal staff to volunteer.
Volunteers are typically needed to serve clients in Minnesota, although there are occasionally opportunities for attorneys licensed in other states to provide services.
What can I do as a volunteer?
Whether you would like to do intake, brief advice, or full representation, we have opportunities for you!
When can I volunteer?
The Civil Legal Needs Initiative seeks volunteers on an ongoing basis.
Where can I volunteer?
The Civil Legal Needs Initiative currently serves clients remotely. You can meet with clients via phone or video-conferencing.
Why should I volunteer?
Our goal is to reduce barriers to reentry and help offer formerly incarcerated individuals a meaningful second chance at community re-integration and successful family reunification. Additionally, reentry pro bono work is a vital and urgent response to racial and economic disparities in Minnesota. Black Minnesotans constitute a disproportionately higher share of the prison population than they do the general population. Participating in the Civil Legal Needs Initiative furthers economic justice and racial justice in Minnesota.
To learn more or to sign up, please contact the Reentry team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note at this time the Civil Legal Needs Initiative does not provide malpractice insurance for volunteers. If this is a concern, please let us know, and we can discuss strategies to obtain coverage.