Services are available to qualifying clients in the following areas of law:
Family Law – Staff Attorneys and Put Something Back “pro bono” attorneys handle a variety of family law matters related to divorce paternity, custody, adoption, name change, support and visitation for individuals meeting federal poverty guidelines and seeking to initiate an action. Clients may apply online to qualify for free legal representation. Volunteer Lawyers may handle family law cases for low-income persons that are not accepted by the staff attorney program; in addition, volunteer “pro bono” attorneys are recruited and trained to serve as guardians ad litem in contested family, juvenile, domestic violence, criminal, probate and civil court proceedings. Veteran lawyers with decades of experience are available to help guide newer attorneys through the process as questions and issues arise. Currently, services are provided remotely for the health and safety of our staff, clients and community. For assistance call 305-579-5733 ext. 2239 or 2222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Domestic Violence – Dade Legal Aid Staff Attorneys and pro bono attorneys virtually assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking and human trafficking from offices across Miami-Dade County. If you are in need of free legal assistance by Miami-Dade’s premier provider of domestic violence assistance, please call 305-579-5733 ext. 2229 or 2251 for an appointment or apply online email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteer attorneys assist the program by working with our team and accepting cases. Currently, services are being provided remotely for the health and safety of our staff, clients and community. If you are in imminent danger, call 911 immediately
Guardianship – The circuit’s sole provider of free legal aid to indigent residents willing to serve as guardians for elderly, physically or mentally incapacitated family members, loved ones and close friends. While this department is currently operating remotely for the safety and well being of all participants, it has dedicated offices downtown and in South Dade to help hundreds of families each year by allowing family members or close friends to become legal guardians of incapacitated and vulnerable adults. Children aging out of foster care also receive services through this department.
Child Advocacy – Staff Attorneys and pro bono attorneys represent our most vulnerable population, dependent children and foster teens transitioning out of foster care into adulthood as well as victims of human trafficking by ensuring that each youth receives appropriate representation, treatment and services needed to recover and thrive. Imagine being abandoned at birth, homeless, and bouncing from foster home to foster home and falling behind in school. Our attorneys advocate for foster teens to ensure that they not only survive, but thrive as they transition into safe, secure and successful adulthood. We also assist unaccompanied minor children in need of representation and assistance in collaboration with partners.
Bankruptcy & Housing For those facing eviction, foreclosure or considering bankruptcy, we assist clients in foreclosure, housing and bankruptcy matters including protecting individuals from unlawful eviction and loss of homes. We offer free virtual help for clients from volunteer attorneys who provide individuals navigating the process of eviction and bankruptcy by themselves information and brief services. Currently, the courts are closed and the clinics are virtual. You may apply online or call 305-579-5733 ext. 2279, 2222 or 2264 to see if you qualify. IF YOU QUALIFY FOR ASSISTANCE YOU MAY BE REFERRED TO A PRO BONO ATTORNEY TO HANDLE YOUR CASE FOR FREE. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO PROVIDE REQUESTED DOCUMENTATION OR REQUIRED RECEIPTS AND PROOF OF INCOME YOU MAY BE REJECTED BY THE PRO BONO ATTORNEY. Other Housing Resources: Miami-Dade County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) 305-723-1815; City of Miami Emergency Rental Assistance Program (305) 330-1508; State of FL Rental Assistance Program OUR FLORIDA 1-833-493-0594; Miami Dade County Homeless Trust 305-375-1490; Legal Services of Greater Miami 305-576-0080; Broward Legal Aid 954-765-8950; Florida Bar Lawyer Referral 1-800-342-8011
Educating Not-for-Profit Agencies– Non-profit groups serving low-income clients may need pro bono attorneys to handle general legal matters, incorporation, obtain tax exempt status from the IRS or serve as general counsel. We accept requests from qualifying agencies and startups and pair them with pro bono counsel to serve as their attorney. Attorneys are available remotely to answer your questions through Put Something Back’s Legal Helpline and in partnership with the Arts Business Council, Inc.
Put Something Back (“PSB”) – The Official Pro Bono Project of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, PSB matches thousands of pre-screened income eligible clients with pro bono attorneys and has been recognized annually for stalwart services to the entire community. “Pro Bono” is a Latin term meaning “for the public good”. Pro bono resources are critical to helping low-income individuals and families in need. To be eligible for free services, a client’s income may not exceed 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. An organization may qualify for free services if it is primarily comprised of eligible clients. You may apply online or call 305-579-5733 ext. 2279, 2222 or 2264 to see if you qualify. IF YOU QUALIFY FOR ASSITANCE YOU MAY BE REFERRED TO A PRO BONO ATTORNEY. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO PROVIDE REQUESTED DOCUMENTATION OR REQUIRED RECEIPTS AND PROOF OF INCOME YOU MAY BE REJECTED BY THE PRO BONO ATTORNEY. If you are an attorney please join one of our projects: Family Law & GAL Project, Child Advocacy Project, Foster Youth Child Project, Bankruptcy Project, Probate & Guardianship Project, Consumer Project, Housing Project, Disaster Relief Project, Patent Project, Venture Law Project, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Mentorship & Emeritus Attorney Project, and more.
More About Put Something Back Pro Bono Project, the Official Program for Providing Bro Bono, or Free Legal Assistance to the Needy Population of Miami-Dade County. It is designed to increase access to the civil legal system and improve the administration of justice by serving as an umbrella agency for referral to all other legal service providers and as a clearinghouse for attorneys who volunteer to help the indigent of the community. Through this project, clients are referred to volunteer attorneys experienced in a wide range of legal matters, including: family cases; children’s matters requiring Guardians Ad Litem in family, juvenile dependency, domestic violence, probate and civil court; consumer, bankruptcy; and housing concerns; domestic violence permanent injunction matters; general civil issues; social security and veterans benefits; employment matters; the preparation and processing of Wills; and, non-fee generating civil court cases. Since 1991, the program has handled thousands of cases and recruited thousands of attorneys, including private, corporate counsel and law firms who have signed up to assist. It is the largest and most comprehensive pro bono project in Florida.
Frequently Asked Questions for Pro Bono
How does the program work?
Put Something Back “PSB” accepts applications online at www.dadelegalaid.org and through a secure telephonic intake system 305-579-5733. If you do not have access to a computer or phone you may request an application for services in person or by mail to PSB 123 NW 1 Avenue Miami FL 33128. If you are income eligible and qualify for the program’s services, and PSB has located an available pro bono attorney to handle your case, PSB will notify you by mail or email. PSB does not handle fee generating cases, or cases where someone is suing another party for damages. A limited number of persons are served on a first come, first served basis and as most legal problems have time limits, you should act quickly. The project does not accept emergencies.
Who can receive free legal assistance through Put Something Back?
You may be eligible for free legal assistance through Put Something Back if: 1) Your household income is not greater than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines, 2) You are a resident of Miami-Dade County, 3) You have a civil legal matter that is handled by Put Something Back’s volunteer attorneys, and 4) You have not already been advised that you do not qualify. To find out if you may qualify for free legal assistance through this program, you must apply and be screened by the program.
What type of legal matters are and are not handled by this program?
In general, the following civil court matters are handled by Put Something Back’s volunteer attorneys: family cases; children’s matters requiring the appointment of Guardians Ad Litem in juvenile, family, domestic violence, probate and civil court; consumer, bankruptcy, and housing concerns; domestic violence matters for persons seeking permanent injunctions for protection; employment matters; the preparation and processing of Wills; civil lawsuits where you are the party being sued and cannot afford an attorney. Put Something Back also coordinates the “Wills on Wheels” Program, which assists the homebound, incapacitated and elderly of our community who need help in the preparation of their Wills, but are unable to travel. Cases that are not handled by the program include: Criminal, juvenile delinquency, personal injury, and traffic cases; civil cases where you are suing for money; small claims court cases (lawsuits up to $8,000), unless unusual circumstances exist; cases that can be settled by existing court mediation programs, such as landlord/tenant mediation; child support enforcement cases processed by the State Attorney’s Office; any case, except a domestic violence permanent injunction matter, for which you need emergency legal attention within 21 days of your applying for the program’s services; and, cases that can be handled by the Legal Aid Society or another program. To find out if your particular case qualifies, you must be screened by program staff.
Where do I apply for the program’s services?
The fastest and easiest way to apply is on line www.dadelegalaid.org or call 305-579-5733 ext. 2279
What do I need to apply for the program’s services?
Please be prepared to provide upon request the following information to verify that you qualify for the program::
1) A picture ID, such as a driver’s license, passport or resident card showing that you are a resident of Miami-Dade County;
2) If you or other members of your household are employed, copies of pay stubs or letters from employers stating incomes. If you or other members of your household are self-employed, notarized affidavits explaining the nature of the work and income;
3) If you or other members of your household receive any public assistance, social security or other documents to verify the amount of benefits;
4) Any other legal papers or other documents which will assist program staff in determining the type of legal assistance needed.
If you misrepresent your income or the nature of your case, you may be rejected by the referral attorney. If your economic circumstances change at any time, you must notify the program’s staff immediately.
If I qualify for the program’s free legal services, will I be responsible for paying any costs?
Although your attorney’s services will be free, you may have to pay for depositions, expert witnesses and other costs, depending on the type and complexity of your case.
If a person does not speak English, when is an interpreter needed?
Put Something Back staff who screen clients can assist Spanish and Creole- speaking persons. However, when meeting with an attorney assigned to the case, persons who do not speak English may be asked to bring someone to translate for them. Although program staff try to match non-English speaking clients with attorneys who speak their language, this is not always possible.
If I don’t qualify for the program’s free legal services, who may I contact for legal assistance?
If you do not qualify under Put Something Back’s low income guidelines, or you have a case that is not handled by the program, intake staff will direct you to another program which may be able to assist you. One such program is the Miami-Dade Bar Association Lawyer referral service which provides referrals to private attorneys. For further information, please call 305-371-2646. You may also visit the Florida Bar’s website at https://lrs.flabar.org. Information for Public Defender clients and their families can be found on the Public Defender’s web site at http://www.pdmiami.com
For further information about Put Something Back, who do I call?
To reach Put Something Back, contact the Legal Aid Society at (305)579-5733 ext. 2252.
NOTE: If you are a person with a disability and need assistance in contacting the Put Something Back office, please call the ADA Coordinator at Florida Relay Services by dialing 1-800-955-8771 (TDD). Ask to be connected to the Put Something Back project at telephone number (305) 579-5733 ext. 2240 or ext. 2252 or you may email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I am a person with a disability and need assistance, who do I call?
If you are a person with a disability and need assistance in appearing in court or participating in a court program or service, please contact the Court ADA Coordinator, at: Voicemail: (305) 349-7175 TDD: (305) 349-7174 Fax No: (305) 349-7355
If you are a person with a disability and need assistance in contacting the Put Something Back office, please call the ADA Coordinator at Florida Relay Services by dialing 1-800-955-8771 (TDD). Ask to be connected to the Put Something Back project at telephone number (305) 579-579-5733 ext.2240 or ext. 2252.