As a law firm with a very small staff and office, we do not have the ability to take on large numbers of volunteers in our office. If you have particular skills, such as photography, web design, communications experience, or other expertise, please email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.For those who want to help further the mission of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, but may not have spare time or possess the desired skills above for volunteers, there are still ways to fight for us. Visit our advocacy page for more information. These actions may seem small or insignificant, but go a long way in spreading awareness of the issue of wrongful conviction.
With a trained volunteer supervisor, law student volunteers help us with screening cases at the beginning level. We host training programs on most Pennsylvania law school campuses each year, and students can begin pro bono hours with us right after attending a training session. Most students work on a single case in our offices, performing anywhere from 4 to 30 hours of work.
We have formal externship programs with most Pennsylvania law schools: Temple, Duquesne, University of Pittsburgh, Drexel, and Villanova. Qualifying law students have the chance to work with us for a full semester while earning credit at their school. Students in this program get at least one case to fully evaluate and recommend whether the Project should accept the case for investigation and potential litigation. Students can also get involved with field investigations, research to help in policy work, even assisting in court with ongoing litigation.
Students in other programs have served as interns receiving course credit, work study students, and even volunteers. Interns and work-study students generally have worked with the Project for 5-10 hours per week, and help with administrative tasks including obtaining case files from court, organizing events, promoting us through social media, and writing for our blog. Interested students should consult with their undergraduate department chair.