Sponsor a Free Legal Answers Clinic with Access to Justice!
Arkansas Access to Justice is looking for partners to cosponsor Free Legal Answer Clinics throughout 2021. Free Legal Answers Clinics will take place twice a month during 2021. At these clinics, attorneys work with volunteer law students to answer questions that we have received from low and moderate-income Arkansans. All clinics take place via Zoom, so you can join a clinic from anywhere.
We need partners to cosponsor clinics to help meet a tremendous increase in demand for pro bono assistance during the pandemic. So far in 2020, we have received 571 questions, a 52% increase in requests for pro bono legal advice. Our existing group of attorney volunteers has been able to help more than 80% of those clients. However, we want to ensure that every person who comes to us for help gets assistance from a pro bono lawyer.
Check out the FAQs below to learn more about what’s involved in cosponsoring a clinic. If you’re interested in partnering with us, just complete the form at the bottom of the page and we will get in touch!
What are these clinics like?
Our free legal advice clinics work using AR.freelegalanswers.org. Our clients post their legal questions to the website. At the clinic, our volunteer attorneys work with law student volunteers to draft answers to those questions. When an answer is complete, you post it to the website. The client can read the answer on their own schedule or read and respond during the clinic. We meet via Zoom, so no travel is involved.
Who can cosponsor a clinic?
Any group of attorneys can cosponsor a clinic with us, including local bar associations, sections of the bar, law firms, corporate counsel departments, etc. Law student organizations can cosponsor clinics too, but we ask that student organizations help us to recruit attorney volunteers since all students must be supervised by an attorney.
What does a cosponsor have to do?
As a cosponsor, all you are responsible for is recruiting volunteer attorneys to participate in the clinic. We think that at least three attorneys are needed to schedule a clinic. The best number of attorney volunteers is between five and fifteen. We will provide optional training, malpractice coverage, and law student partners.
How long does the clinic last?
We recommend a minimum of one hour for a clinic. If your group is small (five or fewer attorneys), we recommend that the clinic last at least two hours to ensure that there’s enough time to answer all the questions.
When can the clinic be scheduled?
We will work with you to schedule the clinic at a time that is convenient for your members. If you are unsure about which time will work best, we most commonly have clinics during the lunch hour on a Friday.
What kinds of questions can we expect to receive at our clinic?
That varies, but some of the most common types of questions we receive involve divorce, custody, child support, guardianships, wills/probate, unemployment benefits, bankruptcy, criminal record sealing, and housing issues. If your members have an interest in a particular area of law, let us know. We might be able to hold a clinic primarily focused on that area of law.
How will my organization be recognized for cosponsoring a clinic?
We greatly appreciate organizations that partner with us on pro bono projects like this. We will share news about your organization partnering with us on our website and social media.
AR Free Legal Answers is operated jointly by the American Bar Association, the Arkansas Bar Association, and the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission. Financial support also provided by the Arkansas Bar Foundation.
Attorneys and law students work together at a Free Legal Answers Clinic in November of 2020.