The Spirit of Giving: Volunteer Ideas for Lawyers

Volunteering ideas for lawyers

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

It’s the time of year when many people think about giving back. And according to Psychology Today, giving isn’t just theoretically better than receiving – it’s been scientifically proven. In the spirit of giving, we give you some ideas and resources for finding volunteer opportunities in the new year. Good news! There are many, many opportunities out there.

We’ve sifted through them to give you a handful of ideas to get started.

To begin with, here are some good search engines for finding volunteer opportunities:

And here are five opportunities we think you may find interesting:

Help Legal Aid Cowlitz-Wahkiakum with the Northwest Justice Project

Area of interest: advocacy for low-income and native populations

Time commitment: flexible

Location: Longview, WA

About the organization, in their words: [NJP’s mission is] to secure justice through high quality legal advocacy that promotes the long-term well-being of low-income individuals, families, and communities.

As a dynamic statewide law firm, NJP pursues its mission through legal advice and representation, community partnerships, and education to empower clients and combat injustice in all its forms.

About the opportunity: This program provides advice, brief services and potential full representation for clients whose income is at 125 percent to 200 percent of poverty level. Clients are referred to the program for attorney advice and services through Northwest Justice Project’s CLEAR hotline.

Gives Kids in Need the Chance to Read with Page Ahead

Area of interest: literacy, youth advocacy

Time commitment: flexible

Location: Seattle, WA

About the organization, in their words: Page Ahead operates on one simple and astounding fact: being read to as a youngster is the foremost predictor of academic success in childhood. If a child can read at grade level by 3rd grade, she will continue to read at grade level throughout her academic career. A child who succeeds in school will remain there, earning a chance at a better job and a better life in the years ahead … Page Ahead was founded in 1990 as “Books for Kids” by individuals from the Seattle Chamber of Commerce’s “Leadership Tomorrow” program … Since 1990 Page Ahead has placed over 2.3 million new books into the hands of 650,000 at-risk children through collaborations with schools, social service agencies, preschools, and early childhood centers across Washington State.

About the opportunity: There are many – read about them through the links below:

Board and Committee Membership, Book Drive Coordination, Event Staffing, Fundraising, Office Support, Story Time Reader, Web Designer,  Write a Book Review.

Share your knowledge with a small business owner with MicroMentor

Area of interest: small business

Time commitment: flexible

Location: virtual (by email and phone) via Spokane, WA

About the organization, in their words: MicroMentor is a free, easy-to-use service that connects entrepreneurs with volunteer mentors so they can solve problems and build businesses together. With a growing community and a record of thousands of mentor-mentee matches, MicroMentor’s mission is to leverage the power of mentoring to help small businesses thrive.

About the opportunity: Your professional skills can help small businesses grow and create jobs. Volunteer as a mentor on and make a meaningful connection with a business owner. Mentors join, search for entrepreneurs to assist online, and once connected, serve as a coach and trusted guide.

Advocate for Smart Land Use with Futurewise

Area of interest: environmental, land use

Time commitment: flexible

Location: Seattle, WA

About the organization, in their words: Futurewise is the only statewide organization advocating for smart growth and more livable and fiscally sound communities. We were founded in 1991, about the same time as the passage of the Growth Management Act (GMA) … There is no institutionalized mechanism for enforcement by any state agency under the GMA. Enforcement falls to citizen groups that have the time, resources, sophistication and passion to appeal bad land use decisions to one of the three Growth Management Hearings Boards.

About the opportunity: Our Legal Section is designed to provide help to citizen groups working to enforce the GMA, and our Cooperating Attorney Network is the way we ensure help is available to communities.

Empower Underserved Communities with the MSM Multicultural Self-Sufficiency Movement

Area of interest: civil rights, immigration, community building

Time commitment: flexible

Location: Lakewood, WA

About the organization, in their words: We are a multi-service organization dedicated to providing meaningful programs and services that will move our clients towards a path of self-sufficiency and towards employment and economic security long-term for the most vulnerable populations-low-income and limited English proficient individuals, immigrants and refugees, and persons of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Our goals are to help our clients live independently, become self-sufficient to the best of their abilities and achieve the highest quality of life possible. We are sensitive to many barriers faced by people of diverse cultural backgrounds. Hence, our programs and services are delivered in a culturally competent and linguistically appropriate manner by our multi-lingual and multi-cultural staff. 

About the opportunity: Contact MSM for more information. Potential opportunities include getting involved with classes offered for learners of English, assisting people with applying for US citizenship, advocating for victims of crime.

3 thoughts on “The Spirit of Giving: Volunteer Ideas for Lawyers

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  3. Kim Burkhardt

    There’s also the National Network of Prison Nonprofits (NC4RSO). We are a national network based right here in King County. Our 501 (c) 3 status makes us a great resource for finding local prison nonprofits and for your charitable donations that support programming for incarcerated individuals.

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