VLN maintains a large library of sample pleadings, forms and other legal resources for volunteers, most of which are found at the Volunteer Librarian Coalition Wiki (see below). If you are unable to find a resource, please contact the case placement coordinator or resource attorney in the area where you are volunteering.
VLN On-Demand CLEs
VLN has a growing library of free on-demand CLEs, many of which qualify for elimination bias credit. See our current offerings here and check back often for new additions!
Volunteer Librarians Coalition Wiki
The Volunteer Librarians Coalition Wiki contains sample pleadings, step-by-step instructions, forms, and other resources in many areas of poverty law. The wiki is free to use, but volunteers must register to access many of the available resources.
The VLN Clinics Wiki contains legal resources for legal advice and brief legal services, referral resources, information about VLN clinics and our community partners, and detailed information about VLN’s services.
Working with Pro Bono Clients Wiki
Working with Pro Bono Clients Wiki provides information about some of the cultural differences and challenges that can arise in a pro bono representation, as well as strategies to overcome the challenges. Topics include:
- Seeing/Bridging Differences
- Poverty 101
- Promoting Understanding
- Strategies for Success
Continuing Legal Education
VLN offers Continuing Legal Education (CLE) trainings to volunteers and the general public on topics relevant to poverty law and working with diverse populations. For more information about upcoming trainings, please go to the Events/CLE calendar.
ProJusticeMN.org provides sample pleadings, online document assembly tools, and recorded trainings on a wide variety of poverty law issues. VLN highly encourages all of our volunteers to register with and use ProJusticeMN.org. Access to the website is free, but registration is required.
LawHelpMN.org provides answers to legal questions, contact information for legal aid offices, links to courthouses and local community organizations. The site features fact sheets written for low-income clients about poverty law issues. These handouts can help explain legal issues to clients or be used as a starting point to educate attorneys of new legal topics.
Public Access to Minnesota Court Records
The Minnesota Court Information System allows access to the Register of Actions (sometimes referred to as the Docket) for most civil and criminal cases. MNCIS is useful when trying to determine the status of a case or upcoming hearing dates. Please note that some cases (e.g. paternity cases) are not accessible through the online MNCIS system.
Court Forms for Self Represented Litigants
The Minnesota Judicial Branch maintains a library of forms and instructions on a wide variety of civil law cases.
Hennepin County Bar Association
The Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN) is the pro bono arm of the Hennepin County Bar Association. For decades, the HCBA has had a unique partnership with VLN, providing core funding and promoting VLN as HCBA members’ primary resource for connecting with opportunities to fulfill pro bono obligations. More information about the benefits of bar membership and how to join can be found online.