Give Justice a Voice
Join us in removing the systemic barriers that perpetuate the cycle of poverty. Together we can mitigate the criminal records barrier for thousands of people and Give Justice a Voice.
Join us today by volunteering your time or joining our team!
Volunteer Your Time
Pro Bono Help Desk Volunteer Opportunity
Sign Up Below for CGLA’s Next Quarterly Training
Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 11 am to 1:30 pm,
up to 3 hours of CLE credit are available
CGLA’s virtual help desk is an excellent pro bono opportunity for volunteer attorneys to serve people who desperately need and are deserving of legal services to provide relief from barriers to employment, housing and education that result from past criminal records. These barriers are sometimes called “extrajudicial punishments” because they can impact individuals with arrests and convictions for decades, long after they have completed the sentences the courts imposed.
Volunteers will assist help desk patrons to end extrajudicial punishments by meeting with them virtually to explain their criminal records’ eligibility for expungement and sealing. Consultations are very impactful for our patrons, who in many cases are being held back from gaining adequate employment due to their criminal backgrounds. Thus, volunteers can feel that they are making a difference by alleviating systemic racism and the negative impacts of the criminal legal system, one help desk patron at a time.
When you sign up to volunteer with CGLA, the information you provide will allow us to contact you about registering for one of our quarterly trainings. The quarterly training will encompass the law on criminal records relief in Illinois, the procedures for filing expungement and sealing petitions, and the volunteer experience as a whole. CLE credit will be provided to those who are Illinois licensed attorneys.
After you’ve completed virtual training, you will have the opportunity to sign up for case assignments on a monthly basis via our online volunteer management system. The Pro Bono Team at CGLA will provide the instructions for setting up a volunteer account and requesting case assignments online. The typical volunteer attorney elects to receive up to 5 cases after training, with each case calling for a virtual client consultation of approximately 30 minutes. The volunteer can choose to work on these cases at their convenience, outside of business hours if desired, over a period of time which can range from one week to one month. Afterwards, the volunteer will log the hours they spent and request a new case assignment.
All cases assigned to volunteers have been prescreened and audited for quality control. Volunteers can be confident that their consultations with patrons will be conducted with accuracy with regards to criminal background searches. Finally, the Pro Bono Team has staff available to answer any questions related to the consultation process.