With more than 15,000 people in Philadelphia who experience or face homelessness every year, the need for HAP’s legal assistance far exceeds the capacity of HAP’s small staff. HAP, therefore, relies heavily on our generous pro bono partners who commit their time, staff, and resources to meet the legal needs of individuals and families at risk of becoming homeless or already in the throes of homelessness.
The generosity and dedication of HAP’s partners cannot be overstated. Since its creation over 30 years ago, HAP’s partners have donated pro bono legal services valued at an estimated $114 million. At the same time, HAP’s legal clinic outreach model provides our partners with the rewarding and meaningful opportunity to meet with our clients in the community.
Scroll down for a list of volunteer resources, grouped by practice, and see our waiver here.
For more information about partnering with HAP, please contact HAP’s Pro Bono Coordinator, Maggie Oberkircher, at [email protected].
Current Pro Bono Opportunities
Birth Certificate Cases
Help a HAP client obtain or amend a birth certificate. Complete and submit a birth certificate application and any accompanying materials to the relevant Vital Records office, along with a copy of your ID, bar card, and the appropriate application fee.
Represent a HAP client in an expedited application process for SSI/SSDI that is designed to increase the approval rate specifically for vulnerable claimants who are experiencing homelessness.
Represent a veteran on a VA Compensation, VA Pension, or Discharge Upgrade Case. Please note that VA cases require attorney accreditation by the VA (application plus CLE credits). Discharge Upgrade cases do not require accreditation.
Support HAP clients with other civil legal needs that arise, including but not limited to:
- Immigration Matters (e.g. replacement green card or naturalization certificate)
- Estate Planning/Administration (e.g. simple will or power of attorney or research an estate administration question)
- Child Custody Cases
Staff a legal clinic serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Meet with HAP clients to determine their legal needs. Provide advice and information as needed, and handle any cases that arise that are suitable for your practice and experience, with HAP support. HAP clinics are currently transitioning from virtual to in-person operations in the Philadelphia area.
HAP provides access to recorded trainings and other guides/resources as well as a HAP contact who can provide support throughout the case.
All HAP pro bono case opportunities can currently be handled virtually, with the exception of in-person legal clinics.
Serve as a Volunteer Mentor
If you are an experienced HAP volunteer or familiar with a particular area of law, HAP would love to have you serve as a mentor for a newer volunteer. Provide guidance and oversight, and answer case questions for a volunteer handling a HAP pro bono case.
CLE Credit for Pro Bono Service
PA attorneys can earn up to three (3) CLE credits upon completion of pro bono work for HAP clients. One (1) CLE credit can be earned for every five (5) hours of pro bono service.
HAP is an approved pro bono provider for the Madden exemption. NJ attorneys who provide twenty-five (25) hours of pro bono service for qualifying organizations may claim exemption from mandatory court-appointed Madden assignments in the following year.