Volunteer Lawyers Initiative

Use Your Skills to Help Those in Need

West Tennessee Legal Services matches attorneys, law students, and other volunteers who wish to complete volunteer hours with low-income clients in need of civil legal assistance through the Volunteer Lawyers Initiative. Every year hundreds of attorneys in Tennessee volunteer their time, service, and experience to thousands of people across the state.

WTLS relies on volunteers who come from a wide variety of legal backgrounds. Volunteers range from newly admitted attorneys to attorneys who have been practicing for many years, and from sole practitioners to attorneys at larger firms. The most important quality in a volunteer attorney is a willingness to help those who need help and provide their skills to address these needs.

WTLS screens all cases for merit and client eligibility. Malpractice coverage, forms, and training are provided to volunteers. Time commitments vary based upon the case. Attorneys who completed pro bono hours are eligible to receive CLE credit hours for their participation.

Cases can range from simple advice cases to extended litigation. Attorneys can view available cases on our website and choose to accept referral cases from WTLS or can volunteer at local clinics.

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Sara Barnett

"Doing pro bono work for WTLS is very important to me because it gives me the opportunity to feel like I am making a difference in someone’s life who could not afford an attorney and truly needs me in a situation that is potentially life changing for them. It is personally rewarding to me to feel like I am contributing in some small way to ensure access to justice for all, which in turn makes me feel good and makes me a better attorney to all my clients."

- Sara Barnett, WTLS Volunteer Attorney 

Interested in Volunteering or Want to Learn More?