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Southern Arizona Legal Aid

When you join the fight to make equal access to justice by volunteering your time to SALA, you are directly improving the lives of those in our community and upholding the promise of our profession – a legal system where every voice is heard.

In the nine counties (Apache, Cochise, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Navajo, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz) served by SALA, thousands of low-income individuals and families are in critical need of civil legal services they cannot afford. Nearly 400,000 people in the SALA service area have incomes at or below the federal poverty guidelines that make them eligible for our services. For perspective, a family of four with an annual income of $30,750 qualifies for help.

SALA plays a significant role in providing civil legal services to those who have nowhere else to turn. It is only with your investment that SALA can respond to – a deliver – on the promise of justice for all.

Sign Up to Volunteer

Ways to help

We invite you to join the indispensable community of volunteer attorneys who help SALA broaden access to the most vulnerable who need civil legal services and complement your passion at the same time. Opportunities include:

  • Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy
  • Litigation defense cases involving consumer credit card debt
  • Tort defense for uninsured motorists
  • Adult/minor guardianships
  • Housing
  • Transactional assistance to non-profits
  • Probate
  • Government benefits
  • Family Law
  • Immigration
  • Advice and brief service clinics

How SALA's Pro Bono Program Works

SALA needs volunteers who will accept one or more cases a year, depending on difficulty and time required. VLP staff is committed to making the referral process beneficial to both the client and volunteer attorney.

Referral Procedures

To ensure volunteers are able to spend their time effectively, SALA conducts the following initial services:

  • Determines a client’s financial eligibility and identifies the nature and urgency of their legal issue.
  • Contacts the volunteer with necessary information about the case. The volunteer then checks for any conflicts and determines to accept the case.
  • If the case is accepted, a brief description of the case is prepared, including copies of all appropriate documents, and the case is presented to the volunteer.

Training and Support

In order to assist volunteers in the representation of clients referred by SALA, periodic training sessions on substantive areas of the law are offered. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits are available free of charge for attorneys who accept case referrals. SALA staff attorneys, experienced in legal concerns of the poor, are available to answer questions.

Malpractice insurance will be provided by SALA for all pro bono work. SALA also provides office space for interviewing clients, research tools, and other supportive resources.

Record Keeping

To ensure an efficient pro bono program for volunteers and clients, accurate records and reporting systems must be kept. Through a portal linked to SALA’s case management system, you will have remote access to all your cases. This allows you to enter and review your case notes, as well as track your hours.

Periodic case follow-up by SALA staff will ensure the volunteer’s support needs are met and cases are closed in a timely manner.

Volunteer Law Students

Law Students provide thousands of hours of help to SALA clients under the direction of staff attorneys on such legal issues as Orders of Protection, landlord/tenant, bankruptcy, employment law, and minor guardianships.

Volunteer Paralegals

Any paralegal is welcome to assist SALA on pro bono projects.

Why Pro Bono?

Access to justice is essential not only to our system of justice, but to the quality of life in our region. Having adequate legal representation often means the difference between shelter and homelessness, nourishments and hunger, economic stability and bankruptcy, or productive work and unemployment.

In a very clear way, the availability of civil legal aid prevents a costly spiral of social programs.

Legal needs studies consistently report that legal aid programs serve only one person out of every five who need civil legal assistance.

Support of equal access to justice is not merely a choice – it is an obligation of the profession. An obligation that attorneys take on when they acquire their legal skills and pledge their allegiance to Arizona’s Rules of Professional Conduct.

Working together, we can do more to ensure that justice is accessible to all in our communities. Your volunteer support to SALA helps families in crisis return to safe, productive lives. Your time, talent, resources, and personal touch can make all the difference in the lives of people who have nowhere else to turn for legal help.

Volunteer Opportunities

We offer many opportunities for you to volunteer, from direct representation in any type of civil legal case to clinics.

Apache County || Cochise County || Gila County || Graham County || Greenlee County || Navajo County || Pima County || Pinal County || Santa Cruz County

Sign Up to Volunteer