General Information

  • Volunteer Opportunities / Responsibilities: About DC Volunteer Lawyers Project:

    The DC Volunteer Lawyers Project (DCVLP) supports and trains volunteer attorneys to represent domestic violence victims and at-risk children in urgent family law cases. Volunteers can gain in-court litigation experience in as little as one week. DC Bar membership is not required. We provide to our volunteers:

    • Comprehensive training programs, live and online;
    • Mentorship by an experienced supervising attorney, who reviews all written work and accompanies the volunteer to court;
    • Access to our extensive resource library, including court rules and sample pleadings;
    • Malpractice coverage, office space, administrative help, and more

    Available Opportunities:

    Representing Domestic Violence Survivors in Civil Protection Order Cases - Volunteers may sign up weeks or even months in advance to represent a client on a certain hearing date, allowing busy attorneys to predict when they will have to be in court. This opportunity provides supervised in-court litigation experience in a short time frame. Time commitment: on average, 10-15 hours over 8-10 days.

    Representing a Domestic Violence Survivor in a Custody/Divorce Case - These cases provide a full range of litigation experience, including discovery, motions, settlement negotiations, and hearings. Time commitment: on average, 30-75 hours spread out over 6-12 months. (After the initial hearing, the attorney has input into all subsequent hearings and/or trial dates.)

    Representing an At-Risk Child - As court-appointed Guardians ad litem, volunteers represent the best interests of at-risk children in disputed custody cases. These cases involve primarily non-litigation tasks such as investigation and negotiation. Time commitment: on average, 30-50 hours spread out over 6-12 months. (After the initial hearing, the GAL has input into all subsequent hearings and/or trial dates.)

    For additional information, please see our website, To volunteer, please contact Emilia Plater-Zyberk at
  • Types of Volunteers Needed: individual/adult; adult groups of less than 5
  • Hours Needed: business hours during the week; evenings during the week; daytime on the weekend