With more than 10,000 attorneys across the country, the U.S. Department of Justice describes itself as “the world’s largest law office.” Given that broad scope, it is particularly notable that the DOJ today announced a partnership with the justice tech company Paladin to provide every DOJ attorney with access to Paladin’s pro bono platform where they can search and sign up for opportunities to provide legal help at no cost.
Through the partnership, the DOJ and Paladin are launching the DOJ Pro Bono Portal. Through the portal, DOJ lawyers will be able to search for local opportunities that are vetted for federal employees, sign up for individual matters or clinics, and connect with both legal services organizations and the DOJ’s Office for Access to Justice to more quickly to get started.
The Paladin platform will provide the DOJ with real-time data insights about volunteers’ interests and pro bono engagements to help inform the evolution of the DOJ’s Pro Bono Program.
The DOJ formally launched its Pro Bono Program in 1996. The DOJ Pro Bono Program also coordinates the federal government’s pro bono program, which spans more than than 50 federal agencies.
The DOJ-Paladin partnership will focus on DOJ attorneys only, not all attorneys in the federal government, and will be rolled out on a phased, state-by-state basis, according to Kristen Sonday, cofounder and CEO of Paladin.
Paladin works with a network of more than 250 legal services organizations, law firms, Fortune 500 companies, and bar associations, to enable organizations to find and manage pro bono opportunities.
Sonday credited Laura Klein, manager of the DOJ’s Pro Bono Program, and Lara Eilhardt, pro bono counsel in the DOJ’s Office for Access to Justice, for their leadership in building out the federal government pro bono program.
“The impact of this partnership will be monumental,” Sonday said.