Pro Se Clinics Overview
For many years, Minnesota Justice Foundation has had the privilege of putting our mission into practice through the creation and the evolution of the Pro Se Clinic Program. Struggling with the dual challenges of cuts to civil legal services budgets and an ever-increasing need for legal services throughout the state of Minnesota, legal services providers are struggling to keep pace with the demand.
The Pro Se Clinic Program is a statewide program that enhances the service capacity of many legal aid and legal services providers. Students receive training and resource materials in a variety of legal subjects and then work in teams, supervised by at least one attorney to help pro se litigants (persons who do not qualify for full service legal representation by legal aid agencies and are representing themselves) fill out legal forms, draft letters, court memorandums, and legal documents.
Legal forms are complex and can include anything from service documents to petitions, to memoranda and motions. Clinics can cover a wide variety of legal topics, including family law, paternity, domestic violence and child support, housing, conciliation court, debt and consumer issues. At these clinics, low-income persons are able to receive help filling out forms, receive information on how to serve the opposing party, they can meet with a volunteer attorney to get advice about the forms or how to represent themselves in court, or what motions to file.
Minnesota Justice Foundation is very proud of this program. These clinics help legal services agencies provide more high quality legal services to their clients, reducing the waiting lists and creating access to justice for those who cannot otherwise afford an attorney. This program provides short term (often one or two-day projects) to law students, and sometimes new graduates. Through participation in these clinics students receive training, resource materials, and one-on-one direct client experience and interviewing skills.
We are very grateful to our legal services agency partners, law schools, government agencies, and law firms that help make this program possible. (see below for a partial list of some of our partner agencies).
For more information, please email your Minnesota Justice Foundation Staff Attorney.
Thank you to these agencies for hosting our Assisted Pro Se Clinics:
Anishinabe Legal Services
Call for Justice, LLC
Indian Land Tenure Foundation
Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans
Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis
Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
Volunteer Lawyers Network