ACLU - The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. To learn more about volunteering for the ACLU or if you are an attorney interested in offering your services pro bono, please contact your local ACLU affiliate.
Abolitionist Law Center - A public interest law firm inspired by the struggle of political and politicized prisoners, and organized for the purpose of abolishing class and race based mass incarceration in the United States. The Abolitionist Law Center engages in litigation on behalf of people whose human rights have been violated in prison, produces educational programs to inform the general public about the evils of mass incarceration, and works to develop a mass movement against the American penal system by building alliances and nurturing solidarity across social divisions.
Adalah - Legal center for Arab minority rights in Israel.
Advocates for International Development (A4ID) - A global charity that believes the law can, and should, be used more effectively to eradicate global poverty. Works to ensure legal support is available for all those involved in the fight against poverty and that lawyers and development organisations have the skills and knowledge to use the law as an effective development tool.
Arizona Justice Project - Examines claims of innocence and manifest injustice, and provides legal representation for inmates believed to have been failed by the criminal justice system.
Bar Pro Bono Unit (UK) - Acts as a clearing house, matching barristers prepared to undertake pro bono work with those who need their help.
Brennan Center at New York University School of Law - Part think tank, part public interest law firm, part advocacy group - the Brennan Center combines scholarship, legislative and legal advocacy, and communications to win meaningful, measurable change in the public sector. Offers many opportunities for volunteer lawyers to work with our staff on litigation, policy research, and public advocacy efforts.
California Lawyers for the Arts, Inc. - A nonprofit tax-exempt service organization that provides lawyer referrals, dispute resolution services, educational programs, publications and a resource library to artists of all disciplines and arts organizations.
California Indian Legal Services (CILS) - The first Native American-controlled law firm organized to provide specialized legal representation to Native Americans and Indian tribes. CILS provides free or low-cost representation on those matters that fall within the priorities set by its Board of Trustees. Created by California Indian leaders and public interest attorneys, CILS has been one of the preeminent advocates for the rights of Native Americans and Indian Tribes for over thirty years.
California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA) - Working for economic justice and human rights on behalf of California's rural poor. CRLA has 21 offices, many in rural communities from the Mexican border to Northern California. Each year, it provides more than 40,000 low-income rural Californians with free legal assistance and a variety of community education and outreach programs.
Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) - Provides legal assistance to under-represented organizations and individuals on matters involving the intersection of law and technology. Projects and cases are selected based on a number of considerations including clinic resources, in-house expertise, appropriateness for student work, implications for public policy, and need for pro bono representation.
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) - Dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) - Dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests. Advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation, policy advocacy, and media outreach
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) - Formed to provide free and affordable legal services to grassroots, community-based groups and local governments working to protect their quality of life and natural environment through building sustainable communities.
Community Rights Counsel (CRC) - A nonprofit, public interest law firm based in Washington D.C. that was formed in 1997 to assist communities in protecting their health and welfare.
Courage Foundation - An international organisation that supports those who risk life or liberty to make significant contributions to the historical record. Fundraises for the legal and public defence of specific individuals who fit these criteria and are subject to serious prosecution or persecution.
Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) - Housed at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, CLEAR primarily aims to address the unmet legal needs of Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and other communities in the New York City area that are particularly affected by national security and counterterrorism policies and practices.
City University of New York School of Law: Clinics - CUNY Law's clinical program is a fully operational public interest law firm within the law school. Its clinics offer students a unique opportunity to practice public interest law, build valuable lawyering skills and gain hands-on experience in a supportive environment. Each year, its clinics provide legal representation to hundreds of people who otherwise would not have access to justice.
Earth Justice Legal Defense Fund - Has provided legal representation at no cost to more than 700 clients, from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Wilderness Society to community-based coalitions.
East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) - Founded in 1988 by law students at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law. Provides legal services to the low-income community in the areas of housing, welfare, HIV and health, homelessness and economic development; and hands-on clinical education to law students to make these future lawyers aware of and skilled in addressing the needs of indigent communities.
Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) - Provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the U.S. legal system.
Equal Justice Under Law - A non-profit civil rights organization, founded in 2014, dedicated to providing pro bono legal service to those most in need. The organization is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and brings cases nationwide. It was founded and continues to be run by Phil Telfeyan and Alec Karakatsanis, its two attorneys.
Fair Trials International - Campaigns for fundamental rights for people facing the ordeal of criminal charges in a country other than their own. In addition to providing legal assistance and advocacy to individuals in need, ft fights the underlying causes of injustice in cross-border cases through policy interventions, research and training.
Foundation for Fundamental Rights - An organization of attorneys and socially active individuals working towards the advancement, protection and enforcement of fundamental human rights.
Free Representation Unit (UK) - Provides legal advice, case preparation and advocacy in tribunal cases for those who could not otherwise obtain legal support, for want of personal means or public funding.
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network - A Haitian-led capacity building organization that brings together a network of lawyers, artists, students, Haitian activists, cultural experts, workers and human rights organizations, advocates, government officials and progressive radio, press and media outlets to support and work cooperatively with Haitian freedom fighters and grassroots organizations promoting the civil, human and cultural rights of Haitians living at home and abroad.
Housing Rights Initiative (HRI) - Takes a proactive and systematic approach to targeting, investigating, and fighting fraudulent real estate practices, improving the conditions of rental properties, and connecting tenants to legal support. Through a legal mobilization effort, HRI lays the foundation for tenants who have been overcharged and defrauded by their landlords, to seek redress and secure their rights under the law.
Human Rights First - Support human rights activists who fight for basic freedoms and peaceful change at the local level; protects refugees in flight from persecution and repression; helps build a strong international system of justice and accountability; and makes sure human rights laws and principles are enforced in the United States and abroad.
Identity Project, The (Papers, Please!) - Provides advice, assistance, publicity, and legal defense to those who find their rights infringed, or their legitimate activities curtailed, by demands for identification.
Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) - A collaborative effort of leadingU.S. immigrants' rights organizations designed to increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and strengthen the capacity of organizations serving them. IAN promotes more effective and efficient communication, collaboration, and services among immigration advocates and organizations by providing free, easily accessible and comprehensive online resources and tools. Also see the National Immigration Legal Services Directory to to search for immigration legal services providers by U.S. state, county, or detention facility.
Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) - A national nonprofit resource center that provides immigration legal trainings, technical assistance, and educational materials, and engages in advocacy and immigrant civic engagement to advance immigrant rights.
Impact Fund - Provides strategic leadership and support for litigation to achieve economic and social justice. Provides funds for impact litigation in the areas of civil rights, environmental justice, and poverty law.
Innocence Project, The - A national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. Also see California Innocence Project.
Institute for Public Representation (IPR) - Public interest law firm and clinical education program at Georgetown University Law Center. Its attorneys and law students act as counsel for groups and individuals who are unable to obtain effective legal representation on matters that have a significant impact on issues of broad public importance. Currently, the Institute staff works in three project areas: civil rights, communications law, and environmental law.
International Commission for Labor Rights (ICLR) - Based in New York. Coordinates the pro bono work of a global network of lawyers committed to advancing workers' rights through legal research, advocacy, cross-border collaboration, and the cutting-edge use of international and domestic legal mechanisms. On occasion, ICLR's legal network also responds to urgent appeals for independent reporting on gross labor rights violations.
International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) - Provides pro bono services of skilled and experienced lawyers to promote human rights, equitable and sustainable economic development and the rule of law worldwide. Assists governments and non-governmental organizations working to advance the rights and well-being of their citizens and helps build the capacity of the legal profession to meet the needs of their communities.
Katrina Legal Aid Resources Center - Resources for people affected by the hurricanes, for legal aid and defender programs helping them, and for private attorney volunteers.
Latino Justice - Using the power of the law together with advocacy and education to protect opportunities for Latinos to succeed in school and work, fulfill their dreams, and sustain their families and communities.
Lawyers Without Borders LWOB) - The world's largest group of volunteer lawyers from around the globe who stand ready to offer pro bono service to worldwide projects and initiatives. LWOB is also a portal and clearinghouse for legal needs and organizations in search of legal resources as well as a vehicle for addressing Human Rights Issues through sometimes traditional and, more often, innovative channels. We encourage our colleagues in the Rule of Law sector to contact us when their projects call for high-caliber or specialized staffing needs.
La Raza Centro Legal - Founded in 1973, La Raza Centro Legal provides direct legal services, education, leadership development, and opportunities to organize around community issues. As a bilingual and multicultural staff, we seek to create a more just and inclusive society in the interest of the Latino, indigenous, immigrant and low income communities of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. Our programs in employment, housing, immigration, naturalization, senior and youth law enable people to exercise their legal rights, confront injustice, increase self-sufficiency, and advocate for themselves. With a passion for justice, we work with our clients to build and support a societal commitment to respect the dignity and rights of all communities.
Legal Action Center - Provides legal advice and representation to New York State residents who: 1) Face employment, housing and other types of discrimination because of a criminal record; 2) face discrimination because of an alcohol/drug history; or 3) have HIV-related legal problems.
Legal Aid Society of New York - Provides legal services to individual clients often involving children, seniors, persons with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, immigrants, uninsured families and individuals, persons moving from welfare to work, homeless children and families, persons with HIV/AIDS and persons with mental illness.
Legal Services Corporation (LSC) - The Congress of the United States entrusts the Legal Services Corporation with a dual mission: to promote equal access to justice and to provide high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. Surveys indicate that 80 percent of the need is unmet. Also see Wikipedia article for more information and a listing of LSC programs throughout the U.S.
Legal Services for Children (LSC-SF) - Provides free legal and social work services to children and youth in order to stabilize their lives and help them realize their full potential. 1254 Market St. 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102.
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) - Works in partnership with other organizations and grassroots activists to promote change in California's criminal justice system. Engages in impact litigation, as counsel or co-counsel, and occasionally as a plaintiff. Recent cases are in the area of prison conditions, including solitary confinement. Regularly engages in organizing campaigns in collaboration with numerous other organizations, including CURB Coalition partners throughout the state of California.
Legal Services NYC - Fighting poverty and seeking racial, social, and economic justice for low income New Yorkers.
Louisiana Civil Justice Center (LCJC) - A non profit that provides civil legal assistance for low-income, elderly, and disaster-affected residents of Louisiana through a toll-free hotline, court-based help desks, and community legal clinics.
Media Legal Defense Initiative (MLDI) - A non-governmental organisation which helps journalists and independent media outlets around the world defend their rights. Works directly with individual lawyers around the world, and also has partnerships with national organisations who provide legal aid to journalists.
Midnight Special Law Collective - An independent non-profit organization dedicated to providing legal trainings and accessible, relevant, democratic and accountable legal support to a wide range of activists participating in the struggle for social change.
Military Law Task Force - The National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force assists those working on military law issues as well as military law counselors working directly with GIs. It trains and mentors counselors and beginning military law attorneys in all aspects of military law through training materials and direct communication. It updates changes in military law and policy.
Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic Center - A law firm within the Case Western Reserve University School of Law staffed with eight full-time faculty members who have years of practice experience themselves. Under their supervision, law students represent clients and client groups who can't afford their own lawyers. The clinic handles more than 100 cases per year for a total of approximately 16,000 hours of pro bono legal work.
MFY Legal Services, Inc. - Provides free legal assistance to residents of New York City on a wide range of civil legal issues, prioritizing services to vulnerable and under-served populations, while simultaneously working to end the root causes of inequities through impact litigation, law reform and policy advocacy.
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) - Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall. Although LDF's primary purpose is to provide legal assistance to poor African Americans, its work over the years has brought greater justice to all Americans.
National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) - A nonprofit advocacy organization that seeks to build economic security and family wealth for low-income and other economically disadvantaged Americans. Promotes access to quality financial services and protect family assets from unfair and exploitive transactions that wipe out resources and undermine self-sufficiency.
National Health Law Program (NHeLP) - A national public interest law firm that seeks to improve health care for America's working and unemployed poor, minorities, the elderly and people with disabilities. NHeLP serves legal services programs, community-based organizations, the private bar, providers and individuals who work to preserve a health care safety net for the millions of uninsured or underinsured low-income people.
National Lawyers Guild - Dedicated to the need for basic and progressive change in the structure of our political and economic system. Through its members--lawyers, law students, jailhouse lawyers and legal workers united in chapters and committees--the Guild works locally, nationally and internationally as an effective political and social force in the service of the people.
National Security Counselors - Founded to further the twin ideals that the public needs to be as informed as possible about what its government does in the name of national security, and that people entangled in legal matters in this field should have reasonable access to knowledgeable legal assistance, regardless of income. To that end, NSC exists to perform four primary functions: to lawfully acquire from the government material related to national security matters and distribute it to the public, to use this material in the creation of original publications discussing the respective subjects, to advocate for intelligent reform in the national security and information and privacy arenas, and to provide a low-cost alternative to certain deserving clients involved in security law or information and privacy law-related proceedings.
Online Media Legal Network (OMLN) - A network of law firms, law school clinics, in-house counsel, and individual lawyers throughout the United States willing to provide pro bono (free) and reduced fee legal assistance to qualifying online journalism ventures and other digital media creators.
Palestine Legal - Dedicated to protecting the civil and constitutional rights of people in the U.S. who speak out for Palestinian freedom. Provides legal advice, Know Your Rights trainings, advocacy and litigation support to college students, grassroots activists and affected communities who stand for justice in Palestine.
Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) - A public interest legal organization dedicated to the defense of human and civil rights secured by law, the protection of free speech and dissent, and the elimination of prejudice and discrimination. Among the PCJF cases are constitutional law, civil rights, women's rights, economic justice matters and Freedom of Information Act cases. Founded by Carl Messineo and Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, who the Washington Post has called "the constitutional sheriffs for a new protest generation," the PCJF's work includes landmark constitutional rights litigation, often concentrated in the areas of free speech, assembly or other protected political organizing activity. The PCJF's litigation program works alongside an equally important programmatic emphasis on education and outreach.
Prison Law Office - Strives to improve the living conditions of California state prisoners by providing free legal services.
Pro Bono Institute - A respected resource for all things pro bono. By providing expert consultations and technical assistance, educational programming, and local, national and global pro bono convenings, its goal is to improve and enrich pro bono service.
Pro Bono Net - An innovative attempt to use information technology to better connect and organize the public interest legal community in an online environment. Includes online communities based in New York, Minnesota and San Francisco.
Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) - A network of law schools, community organizations and lawyers that facilitates law students' pro bono work with public interest and non-governmental organizations, agencies, tribunals, legal clinics and lawyers who are working pro bono on a particular case.
Pro se - Information to those persons who do not have an attorney to represent them. When you are without an attorney, you are "proceeding pro se. If you represent yourself in court, you are called a "pro se litigant" or a "self-represented litigant." Pro se is a Latin, legal term meaning "for himself," and a "litigant" is someone who is either suing someone or is being sued in court.
Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) - University of Toronto. - A national network of law schools and community organizations that matches law students who want to do pro bono work with public interest and non-governmental organizations, government agencies, tribunals and legal clinics during the academic year and during the summer.
Property of the People - Comprised of leading attorneys, activists, and scholars, Property of the People is a nonprofit specialist organization dedicated to the aggressive pursuit of governmental transparency in the service of democracy.
Public Interest Clearinghouse (PIC) - Provides support, technical assistance and coordination for over one hundred nonprofit legal aid programs in California and Nevada that have, as their primary business, the delivery of civil legal assistance to low-income and other under-served citizens.
Reprieve - Provides frontline investigation and legal representation to prisoners denied justice by powerful governments across the world, especially those governments that should be upholding the highest standards when it comes to fair trials. Reprieve lawyers represent people facing the death penalty, particularly in the USA, or when those facing execution are British nationals. And Reprieve lawyers represent prisoners denied justice in the name of the 'War on Terror,' including those held without charge or trial in Guantánamo Bay and the countless secret prisons beyond. None of these prisoners can afford to pay for representation.
Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) - Addresses major environmental issues in southeast United States. SELC has a highly credentialed team of about 45 attorneys, many of whom have been there for 15 years or more. SELC does not charge clients and partners for our services, but relies instead on charitable gifts from individuals, families and foundations.
Sylvia Rivera Law Project (New York) - Works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence.
Tenderloin Housing Clinic - Operates the City's largest permanent housing program for single homeless adults and is a leading provider of legal services to low-income tenants.
Texas Appleseed - Promotes social and economic justice for all Texans by leveraging the skills and resources of volunteer lawyers and other professionals to identify practical solutions to difficult systemic problems.
Texas Civil Rights Project - Provides free legal assistance and education to low-income individuals whose civil rights have been violated. Based in Austin, Texas.
Transparency International: Whistleblowing - Whistleblowers commonly face retaliation in the form of harassment, firing, blacklisting, threats and even physical violence, and their disclosures are routinely ignored. To help to ensure that whistleblowers are adequately protected from reprisals, and to provide them with easy-to-access avenues to make their disclosures, Transparency International is engaged in a wide range of advocacy, public awareness and research activities in all regions of the world. Through its Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres, located in nearly 50 countries, we advise whistleblowers in making their disclosures and work to make sure that their disclosures are duly addressed by appropriate authorities. It also works closely with advocacy groups, legal experts and whistleblowers toward enhancing whistleblower protections and rights
Western Center on Law and Poverty - Leads the fight in the courts, counties and capital to secure housing, health care and a strong safety net for low-income Californians. With a focus on healthcare, affordable housing, public benefits and access to justice, its attorneys, advocates, legal services co-counsel and pro bono partners attain real-world, system-wide solutions on behalf of 8.2 million low-income Californians though class action and other impact litigation, legislative and policy advocacy, negotiations and collaborations with state and local governments and support for frontline legal aid programs.
Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC) - The WCLAC, established in 1991 in Jerusalem as an independent Palestinian organization. Provides support and guidance to Palestinian women whose human rights and rights under the law have been violated. Defends women's rights as human rights and seeks to promote the development of a social, political and legal order in which human rights are well respected and women's rights are well protected.
KWSnet is an Internet subject directory providing special attention to U.S. national and international news, the arts, computing, culture, environment, law, literature, media, politics, science and technology. Based in San Francisco, California, KWSnet contains over 125,000 annotated links to resources worldwide. Use Search KWSnet, located at the top of each page, to search within this site. Use Ctrl-F (Windows) or ⌘-F (Mac) to search within individual pages.
KWSnet Twitter provides news, culture, environment, media, politics, sci-tech, society, #art, #comics, #politicalcartoon, #illustration, #botd, #obit, but KWSnet is taking an extended leave of absence from the social networking service; it is not posting there at this time.
My Zotero Library provides news articles, primary and secondary sources, and bibliographic information for your research. More information on Zotero – a powerful, easy-to-use research tool – can be found at its site. Also recommended, subscribe to My Zotero Library RSS content for the latest updates.
KWSnet is completely non-commercial. It has no commercial objective or emphasis. Instead, it is intended for educational purposes, research, and personal use. It is updated regularly.
KWSnet is IPv6 enabled, HTTPS deployed, and fully HTML5 compliant.
KWSnet may be contacted via email with any comments, suggestions or link submissions. KWSnet is designed and maintained, in its entirety, by Kirk W. Smith.