DOJ will connect with pro bono tech platform
Updated: The U.S. Department of Justice has partnered with technology platform Paladin Partners to boost DOJ attorneys’ engagement with pro bono work, the company announced Monday.
Paladin, which bills itself on its website as the “go-to platform for connecting the pro bono community,” said in a news release the new DOJ Pro Bono Portal partnership will allow DOJ attorneys to access Paladin’s platform and search for pro bono opportunities around the country.
According to the company, which has previously worked with law firms, in-house legal teams and bar associations, the partnership will allow DOJ attorneys to access its tech platform. They will be able to look for vetted pro bono work, work on individual cases or cases for clinics, and connect with legal services groups and the DOJ’s Office for Access to Justice pro bono team, the company said in the news release.
The DOJ launched its Pro Bono Program in 1996 matching pro bono opportunities with federal attorneys, who are allowed to personally volunteer in pro bono roles that are separate from their official duties. The program started in Washington, D.C., but was expanded to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas and Atlanta, according to the news release.
The platform will also provide “real-time data insights about volunteers’ interests and pro bono engagements to inform the DOJ Pro Bono Program’s evolution,” according to the news release.
In prepared remarks, Paladin’s co-founder and CEO Kristen Sonday singled out the efforts of Laura Klein, pro bono program manager at the DOJ, and Lara Eilhardt, pro bono counsel at the Office for Access to Justice, to expand the department’s pro bono work.
“The impact of this partnership will be monumental,” said Sonday, a 2017 ABA Journal Legal Rebel.
“For over two decades, the Federal Government Pro Bono Program has connected federal government lawyers to pro bono opportunities,” Klein said in a press release. “For the first time, through the DOJ Pro Bono Portal, DOJ attorneys will be able to easily access these opportunities through the click of a mouse, modernizing the program, promoting greater volunteerism, and expanding help for those with critical legal needs.”
In 2022, Paladin partnered with a Ukrainian artificial intelligence company to help offer pro bono legal services to Ukrainians after Russia invaded the country, according to Law.com.
And last year, the company also closed an $8 million funding round.
Updated Oct. 25 at 9:53 a.m. to add the quote from Laura Klein, pro bono program manager at the Department of Justice.