A free online portal launched today in Texas is designed to help lawyers find volunteer opportunities and assist residents of the state find help with their legal needs.
The new portal, Pro Bono Texas, was launched as a partnership between The State Bar of Texas and the justice tech company Paladin. The portal provides volunteer lawyers and law students with a centralized location to search and sign up for pro bono opportunities across the state.
“Texas lawyers are committed to assisting Texans in need and this portal provides an easy, centralized search feature that helps volunteer lawyers statewide find the perfect service opportunities,” said Trish McAllister, director of the State Bar’s Legal Access Division and executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Commission.
This marks the fifth portal Paladin has helped launch over the past year. Since last April, Paladin has launched the Disaster Relief Pro Bono Portal in partnership with the American Bar Association; Oklahoma’s Pro Bono Opportunity Portal, in partnership with the Oklahoma Access to Justice Foundation; the Unemployment Insurance Relief portal launched by the New York State Bar Association, in which Clio was also a partner; and Wisconsin’s Pro Bono Opportunity Portal, together with the State Bar of Wisconsin.
Kristen Sonday, Paladin’s co-founder and COO, said, “The State Bar of Texas is incredibly committed to access to justice, and we’re honored to provide the infrastructure to more seamlessly connect its volunteer lawyers to help Texans in need during such uncertain times.”
The portal is designed to make it easy for lawyers and law students to search, learn about, and volunteer for matters suitable to their interests and skills, and to connect directly with the referring agency to get started. For legal services organizations, the portal allows them to manage and track pro bono interest and engagement in real time.
Texas legal services organizations will also be able to post opportunities to the ABA’s nationwide Disaster Relief Pro Bono Portal for matters specific to COVID-19 and national disasters.