Access to justice is a fundamental value in our democracy.

Ways to Volunteer

Take a full-representation case

Cases are available in a variety of legal areas with a primary emphasis in family law; family law is the most needed area of representation for low-income people. We hope you will accept one or two cases per year. You will always have the option of rejecting a case if your schedule does not permit.

Provide legal information, advice, and assistance

Dakota County Family Self-Help Center

This self-help center allows pro se litigants with family law problems the opportunity to spend 30 minutes with an attorney to have questions answered and pleadings reviewed. (There are no restrictions on income to use this free service.) Each session is a total of three hours, and there are several sessions each month at three locations: Apple Valley, West St. Paul, and Hastings. As a volunteer, we hope you will take on at least two sessions per year.

The Dakota County Family Self Help-Center is a partnership of Legal Assistance of Dakota County, Ltd. (LADC), the Court Administration and the Dakota County Law Library.

Family Law Sessions with 360 Community

These sessions are held at the Lewis House shelters in Eagan and Hastings. Volunteer attorneys meet with shelter residents and visitors for 30-minute appointments to provide information and advice on family law issues. Please consider volunteering for one or two sessions per year.

Consumer Law Clinic

This clinic provides pre se litigants with consumer law question, such as bankruptcy conciliation or debt issues, the opportunity to spend 30 minutes with a lawyer to have questions answered and pleadings reviewed. There are weekly sessions, which are held in Apple Valley.

The Consumer Law Clinic is a partnership between LADC and the Dakota County Law Library.

Other Community Legal Sessions and Clinics

Sessions and clinics in other areas of civil law, such as education, housing, immigration, youth, criminal records expungments, and tax information for low income workers, are held throughout the year at different locations in the service area.

Be on-call for Order for Protection Proceedings

Every year, more than 700 Orders for Protection are filed in Dakota County. Put your name on a list to represent domestic violence victims in these proceedings. Our office will contact you when the need arises and determine whether you are available to appear at the court hearing.

There are more ways you could help

  • Translate legal documents or community educational materials. Spanish and Somali are our two most-frequently needed languages, but we have had the need for speakers of eight other languages.
  • Help raise money.
  • Write pamphlets, forms, and outreach materials.
  • Present legal education programs at schools, churches, and social service agencies.
  • Meet with prospective clients to determine their financial eligibility and legal needs.

Let us work with you to tailor a volunteer project to your interests and needs.