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Alaska Pro Bono Legal Information, Resources and Assistance

Alaska Pro Bono Summary: Alaska has four main pro bono legal service providers: Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC), Alaska Pro Bono Program (APBP), Alaska Network on Domestic Violence (ANDVSA), & Alaska Immigration Justice Project (AIJP).

Examples of situations they assist in:

  • Preventing a family from loosing their home.
  • Fostering a custody agreement that works for a family.
  • Mentoring a new practitioner.
  • Protecting an immigrants basic human rights.

The 2002 Supreme Court Task Force Report identified that Alaska has 80,000 low-income citizens, 50% of whom need legal assistance each year. Last year, nearly 300 volunteer attorneys provided free legal services to Alaskans in need.

Clients include low-income persons who cannot afford attorney fees. Clients have a wide range of legal problems including, among others, consumer, domestic, housing, and Indian law.

How the programs work:

For both Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC) and the Alaska Pro Bono Program (APBP) eligibility is determined by income. ALSC has a web based eligibility presentation to guide potential clients:

The APBP only handle civil cases for undocumented non-citizens, prisoners, class actions, welfare reform, assisted suicide, abortion related litigation, and others. It is only allowed to deal with matters which the ALSC is restricted from handling. For all other civil matters clients should refer to ALSC.

APBP has established a screening process and an intake system through which knowledgeable staff or volunteers determine eligibility, discover potential conflicts of interest, obtain essential facts, identify legal issues, and maintain client confidentiality and client dignity. This conflict check may take up to four days to determine whether the applicant may be served. If ALSC discovers a conflict, APBP is prohibited from assisting that applicant. If you think that APBP has unfairly denied you legal help, you have a right to appeal directly to the executive director of APBP. You may also request an appeal form. You will not be charged for the attorney's time. However, depending on the program's funding, you might be required to pay for certain expenses (such as filing fees), but never for the time the pro bono attorney has generously agreed to donate on your behalf.

Alaska Network on Domestic Violence (ANDVSA) is tailored to specifically provide support to low-income victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Among other services ANDVSA provides direct representation for victims in divorce, child custody, and protective order proceedings.

Alaska Immigration Justice Project (AIJP) provides low-cost immigration legal assistance to immigrants and refugees in all immigration applications including citizenship, permanent resident status, work permits, asylum, family-based petitions and immigration petitions for immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

Alaska Pro Bono Contacts:

Krista Scully, Pro Bono Director
Alaska Bar Association
P.O. Box 100279
Anchorage, AK 99510
Phone: 907-272-7469
Fax: (907) 272-2932

Additional Information Links:

Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC)
Alaska Pro Bono Program (APBP)
Alaska Network on Domestic Violence (ANDVSA)
Alaska Immigration Justice Project (AIJP)

Awards and Participating Attorneys: Each year Alaska's legal service providers select a private practitioner and a firm that has donated extraordinary time, resources, and talents to pro bono efforts in Alaska. The 2008 Private Practitioner Award was given to Phillip Eide. The 2008 Firm award was given to Davis Wright and Tremaine. In addition the firm of Ashburn and Mason received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

References: Alaska Bar Association