The New York State Bar Association and The New York Bar Foundation have sponsored a new website called the Immigration Pro Bono Portal that connects volunteer attorneys with legal service organizations from around the state that serve immigrant communities.
“The goal is to assist attorneys in finding pro bono volunteer opportunities helping low income immigrant New Yorkers in a way that also benefits the various organizations across the state that are actively working with this population,” said Kristen Wagner, director of Pro Bono Services at the State Bar.
The portal was created in response to a January executive order for a substantial expansion of interior immigration enforcement that left many immigrants in fear of deportation. Without taking political sides on the issue, the State Bar’s Pro Bono Services Department with guidance from the State Bar’s Committee on Immigration Representation, responded with the creation of the online portal to address the impending legal crisis.
Funding for the portal was split evenly between the New York State Bar Association and the New York Bar Foundation. Yuriy Pereyaslavskiy, previously a staff attorney for Legal Services of the Hudson Valley in Kingston, was hired for a one-year fellowship position to staff the online platform.
Legal service organizations list their needs on the portal and potential volunteers can search the listings, including by what area of immigration law interests them or may fill out a questionnaire and be provided a potential match by Pereyaslavskiy. Training resources are also available on the portal.
The new Immigration Pro Bono Portal can be found at https://nysbaprobono.org/
. The portal was developed with the help of Legal.io, the technology company that also developed the State Bar’s online Lawyer Referral Information Service.