Pro Bono & Public Service Opportunities
Pro Bono Projects
Students can choose from several semester-long pro bono opportunities, including:
- Serving as a volunteer ombudsman for a long-term care facility in West Alabama
- Assisting a pro bono attorney with a family law matter
- Working with the criminal justice system to aid in prisoner re-entry
- Teaching teenagers about the law and our legal system
- Assisting low-income individuals and families with preparing their tax returns
- Researching issues of property ownership and inheritance in rural areas
The Public Interest Institute also offers a week-long Alternative Spring Break program each year, as well as opportunities to volunteer at one-time pro bono clinics assisting targeted populations, such as the homeless or the elderly.
Public Service Opportunities
The Public Interest Institute offers regular, organized opportunities to perform community service. However, if you would like to spend some time volunteering on your own, the following organizations in and around Tuscaloosa are accepting volunteers:
Shelton State Project Literacy
This program has three goals: to raise awareness of the problems of adult functional illiteracy; to recruit and train volunteer reading tutors; and to encourage participation of those who need help reading. If you would like to volunteer to help someone learn to read, please see the contact information below.
Contact: Ms. Julia Chancy
Phone: (205) 391-2671
Tuscaloosa’s One Place
Tuscaloosa’s One Place afterschool programs provide help to at-risk students during the school year as well as during the summer. Volunteers are assigned to a classroom or grade to work with the same 2 or 3 students each week helping with homework assignments. Most programs run from 3-5 p.m., and operate on various days of the week. Volunteers must be good with people, patient with children, flexible, dependable, and team players.
Contact: Ms. Emerald Autrey
Phone: (205) 462-1000
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat’s mission is to rebuild Tuscaloosa by partnering with volunteers, donors, sponsors, and families to provide housing solutions and ongoing community development. Join us in rebuilding homes, families, and hope in Tuscaloosa County. Minimum time commitment is four hours. Shifts are 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.; 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Contact: Jared, Volunteer Coordinator
Phone: (205) 349-4620
The Community Soup Bowl prepares and serves meals each day to about 500 homeless persons at a facility that is operated by The First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa. A regular staff prepares meals during weekdays. Volunteers are needed Monday through Friday to serve meals. One weekend each semester law students donate their service by shopping for food, preparing and serving meals at the facility. If you would like to volunteer during the week, see the contact information below. For more information about the law school’s weekend volunteer program, contact Felecia Linton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Ms. Amy Grimstead
Phone: (205) 752-2421
Big Brother/Big Sister
Sign up to mentor youth in various programs, including opportunities to mentor children living in single parent homes, growing up in poverty, or coping with parental incarceration. Extensive background check and interview process required.
Contact: Ms. Danielle McInerney
Phone: (205) 758-5734
Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama
Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama offers many different ways and paths that a volunteer can take. Volunteers can work with girls in the following ways: troops, girl indoor programs or girl outdoor programs. Students are always needed to help with day to day activities in the office and recruiting even more volunteers.
Contact: Ms. Heather Pike
Phone: (205) 910-6114
Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter
Dependable volunteers are needed at the shelter. Volunteer opportunities range from bathing, socializing, and evaluating animals to assisting with adoptions. Orientation required. Application available online.
Contact: Ms. Linda Workman
Phone: (205) 752-9101
Humane Society of West Alabama
Volunteers needed to clean cat and dog kennels, foster a cat or dog, or work in the Humane Society Flea Market Store. An orientation is required for all volunteers. Volunteer application available online.
Contact: Ms. Stephnie Casterline
Phone: (205) 554-0011
Tuscaloosa Emergency Service
Volunteers needed to help build food bags for clients, or sort donations for the Thrift Store. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities call or stop by the client services offices between 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.
Contact: Ms. Sharon Cosby
Phone: (205) 758-5535
Arts and Autism
Working with individuals with autism, ages 3-24 years old in the after school camp at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Monday – Friday; 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Volunteers need to help supervise various classes (art, music martial arts, computer), as well assist with office duties, or fund raising events. Volunteer application available online.
Contact: Ms. Suzanne Dowling
Phone: (205) 247-4990