The State Bar of Texas recommends that every attorney perform 50 hours of pro bono service a year. SALSA makes it easy for you to reach this goal by providing training resources, mentorship, and coverage under SALSA’s Professional Liability policy. You can give back within your area of expertise or take on a limited service matter in a new area of the law – the choice is yours! Learn more about all of the opportunities available to you below, and fill out a Volunteer Form with your areas of interest.
Let us know how you want to help by filling out a Volunteer Form.
What are you looking for in a volunteer experience?
Are you a non-attorney looking to volunteer with SALSA? Visit SALSA’s Non-Attorney Volunteer Opportunities Page .
VOLUNTEER FOR A CLINIC
Check out the SALSA Calendar for currently available opportunities.
Wills Clinic (in-person)
Provide Wills, medical POAs, statutory durable POAs, declarations of guardianship, HIPAA releases, and physicians directives to qualifying clients seeking estate planning documents.
Volunteers are provided training and sample forms for all documents that will be drafted for the client in advance of representation as well as mentor review of the documents at the clinic from SALSA’s expert pool of volunteer mentors.
Transfer on Death Deed Clinic (in-person)
Help qualifying clients prepare to transfer their property to a loved one by drafting a Transfer on Death Deed and providing limited advice about title reports.
Volunteers are provided training and sample forms for all documents that will be drafted for the client in advance of representation. Mentor consultation is available on site.
Expunction & Non-Disclosure Clinic (in-person or remote)
Initial representation is limited to advice and counsel to determine if offenses are eligible for expunction or non-disclosure of Haven for Hope residents. Many of these clients experiencing homelessness, face obstacles finding housing because of past criminal convictions. A volunteer may also choose to expand scope of representation to assist with applying for expunction or non-disclosure by drafting documents and representing clients in court if applicable after eligibility of offenses is determined.
Mentorship and online training resources are available to assist volunteer attorneys who are outside of their traditional practice area.
Small Estate Clinic (in-person)
Provide advice to indigent families who have filed a small estate affidavit (SEA) with the Bexar County probate courts, but who do not have enough knowledge or expertise to complete the application correctly or who have incorrectly filed a SEA. COVID-19 has impacted families and caused many tragic and unexpected deaths, shining a light on the severe need for probate assistance in San Antonio. A SEA is the only pro se probate option, which means people who wouldn’t qualify or whose situation is not suited for a SEA end up applying for one at the advice of banks or other financial institutions. Volunteers will meet with the client remotely in a help desk setting. The client will receive a checklist of items to bring to the meeting so that the attorney and client may productively discuss the assets and debts of the estate to determine whether the SEA or some other method, such as Affidavit of Heirship or Independent Administration, are better suited for the client’s needs.
Resources will be provided to volunteers, including any available notes about why the court rejected the SEA, training videos, pleadings, other pertinent materials, and mentorship will be available during the clinic.
Veterans Legal Advice Clinic (in-person or remote)
The Veterans Legal Advice Clinic is a way to give counsel and advice to veterans seeking assistance on a myriad of legal issues including VA disability compensation appeal/increase, VA pension and survivor’s benefits appeals, criminal expunctions, criminal record non-disclosure, military service discharge upgrade, military records correction, bankruptcy, uncontesteted divorce or child support agreement, wills and guardianship, tenant/landlord issue, and more. Client meetings are conducted in-person, virtually, or telephonically dependent on the Veteran’s need and Volunteer Attorney’s preference. Your representation of the client concludes at the end of the clinic but there are always opportunities for extended representation arising out of this clinic.
SALSA staff and volunteer mentors are available to assist Volunteer Attorney’s who may encounter a veteran’s issue outside of their traditional practice area.
Alternatives to Guardianship Clinic (currently remote)
Draft supported decision-making agreements and powers of attorney for adults with disabilities. SALSA works in conjunction with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), Disability Rights Texas (DRTx), the Arc of San Antonio, and St. Mary’s University Law School to host this clinic and provide adults with disabilities these valuable resources, which can help them enter adulthood without the need for a guardianship. The Alternatives to Guardianship Clinics occur 2-3 times per year.
Training and forms are provided in advance of the clinic, and mentors from TRLA and DRTx are available to answer questions during the clinic.
PARTICIPATE IN A PROGRAM
Tenants’ Rights Program
Due to COVID-19 more San Antonians than ever are facing eviction. As rules and guidelines surrounding evictions continue to change, we appreciate that pro se representation is becoming more difficult. Your representation can be limited to counsel and advice or extended to court appearances (via zoom) or appeals – it is up to you! Volunteers will have access to training materials and mentorship, and staff will keep you abreast of changes in the law. The goals of this program are to assist clients in obtaining financial relief from available resources through the City of San Antonio or other programs, negotiate with the landlord to avoid the stain of eviction, and prevent homelessness.
Mentors are available to assist volunteer attorneys who are outside of their traditional practice area.
Don’t Bully Me (DBM) Project
The Don’t Bully Me (DBM) Project was founded by David’s Legacy Foundation in honor of David Bartlett Molak, who took his own life after relentless bullying. The project bridges the gap between targets of bullying, their families, and the civil legal system. Volunteers will provide legal advice, educate the parents/guardians of the children who are the target of bullying about their legal rights, draft cease and desist letters to curtail the bullying behavior, and assist with taking civil legal action, when appropriate.
Mentors and litigation specialists are available to assist volunteers.
Please note that volunteers will be contacted on an as-needed basis to confirm availability for cases as they come into the program.
Protective Order Program
We invite you to join us as we partner with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) to ensure that ALL victims of intimate partner violence needing protective orders have access to legal assistance. We are seeing an increase in domestic violence due to the isolation victims are experiencing because of the restrictions implemented during COVID-19. By obtaining a protective order, a victim of domestic violence can get one step closer to escaping a dangerous situation and keeping themselves and their children safe. Resources will be provided to you, including training videos, pleadings, and other pertinent materials.
TRLA Family Law Mentors are available to assist volunteer attorneys who are outside of their traditional practice area.
Click HERE to view an overview of the volunteer commitment for this program.
EXTENDED REPRESENTATION – TAKE A CASE
Ready to help in your primary area of expertise?
Who is Eligible to Take a Case?
To take a SALSA case, there’s just one core requirement: you must be a Texas-licensed attorney in good standing, be working under the supervision of a Texas-licensed attorney in good standing, or qualify for some “exemption” from the State Bar that permits you to participate in pro bono work. SALSA provides malpractice insurance for volunteers on our pro bono cases, so you do not need to carry your own. SALSA provides access to Texas State Bar practice manuals and other resources for your use on your pro bono cases.
How Does SALSA’s Extended Representation Process Work?
SALSA’s Volunteer Handbook provides an in-depth overview of SALSA’s extended-representation protocols and procedures. If this is your first SALSA case, please take an opportunity to acquaint yourself with our program.
What Kinds of Cases do SALSA Volunteers Typically Handle?
Subject matter areas may include Chapter 7 (personal) bankruptcy, veterans’ benefits, expunction and non-disclosure, uncontested guardianship of the person, uncontested probate for independent administration, real estate title, contracts and warranties, etc.
How Do I Get Matched with a Case?
Check out SALSA’s available cases and express interest in a particular case.