For Pro Bono Attorneys

The Victim Rights Law Center is looking for compassionate pro bono attorneys in Massachusetts and Oregon. For information on volunteer attorney trainings and our pro bono program, please e-mail us.

What to Expect When You Take a Case

As a pro bono attorney with the VRLC's Rape Survivors’ Law Project, you will be a powerful legal ally in a sexual assault survivor's recovery. You will provide zealous, pro bono advocacy and work with your client to try to minimize the impact of the complex legal problems triggered by sexual assault, including:

  • Privacy violations
  • Physical safety threats
  • School accommodations
  • Employment sanctions
  • Financial harms
  • Housing problems
  • Immigration concerns

Getting to Know Your Client

Each survivor has a unique experience and perspective. Learning to understand your client’s priorities and perspective is a key piece of helping that client feel comfortable in your work together. For some, privacy is paramount. For others, their priority is being able to stay in their home or their school. At the start of each case, you will spend time learning and supporting your client’s specific needs and priorities.

Practice Cutting-Edge Law

Sexual assault survivors’ civil representation is an emerging area of law. As a volunteer attorney, you may use legal theories in new ways and make cutting-edge arguments to judges. You may be creating new standards or changing outmoded procedures. Through your work, you are helping improve systemic response to sexual violence.

At the VRLC, we believe rape and sexual assault victims deserve zealous and effective legal representation. As a volunteer attorney, you may have the opportunity to:

  • Evaluate your client’s case for privacy, education, employment, safety, immigration, and other issues
  • Secure a sexual assault survivor's restraining order against the perpetrator
  • Conduct direct and cross-examinations of witnesses and the defendant(s)
  • Provide representation in Superior or District Court
  • Prevent the release of a survivor's private records and information and shield your client’s medical and mental health records from subpoenas
  • Prepare your client for a school disciplinary process or obtain an educational accommodation
  • Negotiate with a school, employer, and/or housing official, as well as the perpetrator’s counsel, to settle claims before they reach final adjudication
  • Apply for legal status for an immigrant survivor who was targeted because of their status

With your help, we can give rape and sexual assault survivors what they need - a voice. Defendants are given zealous advocates. Victims deserve the same.

“Volunteering for the VRLC has been one of the highlights of my legal career. It’s been an honor to help represent survivors and do what little I can to give them some sense of peace and security so they can move forward and not live in fear.”                     - A VRLC Pro Bono Attorney