Pro Bono Opportunities

Pro Bono with GBLS: Give back in ways that are meaningful to you

You can help low-income members of our community achieve stability and security and meet their basic needs, including food, housing, and safety from abuse. GBLS provides training and support for all pro bono projects, and has opportunities to fit your schedule and experience level.

Current pro bono projects include:

 

Filing immigration petitions on behalf of survivors of trafficking, abuse, or other crimes

Your role: Prepare and file U visa petitions with USCIS for non-citizen immigrant survivors of crime. Congress created U visas in 2000 as part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act, to allow noncitizen victims of crime to live and work in the US for a period of up to four years. You can help brave survivors access the immigration relief available to them under this law and remain free from harm in the United States.

 

Protecting low-income consumers from unfair debt collection

Your role: Represent low-income consumers on a limited basis in Small Claims court, primarily in cases involving credit card debt acquired by debt collection firms. In many cases, debt buyers cannot prove that they own the debt at issue, that they are collecting from the right person, or that they are collecting the right amount. This is a great opportunity for new attorneys and other attorneys who want to get court experience and have a big impact with a short time commitment. 

 

Preventing home insecurity and homelessness

Help prevent homelessness and housing instability through two different projects, one on a short term basis and one through a case-long commitment:

GBLS Eviction Defense Clinic

Your role: Provide information and limited assistance to clinic attendees who are defending their tenancy pro se.

Subsidy Loss Prevention Project

Your role: Provide legal representation to people with disabilities in public or subsidized housing facing or experiencing homelessness (due to eviction or subsidy termination).

 

Advocating for low-income workers unfairly denied Unemployment Insurance

Your role: Represent low-income clients who have lost their job, and whose former employers contest their unemployment claims. Representation at a UI hearing significantly increases the claimant’s ability to prevail, allowing families and individuals to avoid further household disruption and financial instability.

 

Advocating for children with disabilities

Your role: Represent children with disabilities who have been wrongfully denied Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to enable them and their families to make ends meet.

 

For additional information, or to get started, please contact our Pro Bono Program Officer, Melissa Gonzalez, at mgonzalez@gbls.org or (617) 603-1604.