The Private Attorney Involvement (PAI) program is up and running! A sincere thank you to the volunteer attorneys who continue to serve clients in need. Your work is invaluable and we cannot close the access to justice gap without you.
Our PAI program’s mission is to engage attorneys from the private bar to expand access to civil legal services in our eleven-county area: Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Pine, and St. Louis. The program’s goal is to provide high quality legal services to eligible clients in all areas of poverty law. Our priorities are areas of law that impact an individual’s safety, stability or security.
How To Get Involved
Advice Panel -
Attorneys on the Advice Panel would be available to offer brief phone or in-person advice to clients. These cases are triaged so that the volunteer attorney can perform basic legal research or review and then provide advice to the client with a minimal time commitment.
The “Ask an Attorney” program will transform into subject matter clinics. LASNEM currently hosts clinics and other community events where private attorney involvement is critical to the success of the program. Some events include: monthly criminal expungement clinics, child support clinics, divorce clinics, and tenant education classes. If you are interested in aiding at these, or other clinics, or have other ideas for community events that PAI could develop, please let us know.
Brief Service -
Brief service cases are meant for the attorney that wants to do more than make an advice phone call but may not have the time commitment to provide full representation. This can include drafting a simple legal document or writing a demand letter to a third party.
Extended Representation -
These cases are for the attorneys that want to make meaningful and effective change in a client’s life. They are often a larger time commitment – both in number of hours and the overall time for which the case will stretch. These are cases when an attorney has provided representation and counsel to the client throughout the term of their legal proceeding or through the preparation of complex legal documents.
- Attorneys may also be approved to provide representation through Judicare. LASNEM compensates Judicare attorneys at a rate of $75.00 per hour. The attorney is paid directly by LASNEM and can count the hours as pro bono services. These cases typically require longer time commitment, i.e. divorce, custody, guardianship, or bankruptcy.
We are actively placing clients throughout our eleven-county service area. Family law attorneys are always in need, but we also have clients who need assistance in other areas - real estate, employment, tax forfeiture, general civil, bankruptcy/consumer credit, and housing. If you are interested in volunteering your time and talent to assist clients in need, please contact us at
And finally, a note about conflicts - LASNEM checks all potential cases for conflicts. At intake any direct staff conflict case is routed to PAI for full intake and potential placement. To further ensure the confidentiality of client information, the PAI staff will office separately from staff programs. There is also a virtual wall between PAI cases and staff program cases. PAI staff will only be able to access PAI cases and will not have access to staff program cases – the reverse is also true. If you have any questions about conflicts, please contact Carrie at
or (218) 613-8115.
Thank you for your commitment to pro bono!