Website helps provide free legal services

By Ashley Harding - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A new website is matching attorneys with people in need of free legal services.

Pro Bono Matters was created by a central-Florida based company. It is an online marketplace for lawyers looking to do some free work. 

The city's local legal aid posts all the information about a case and from there, a lawyer can get a better sense of what someone is going through.  With many people unable to afford an attorney, this tool can help them land the right one for their case.
 
The website is open to cities all over the state of Florida including Orlando, Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville.
 
Lawyers can do searches for possible clients, by typing in the city or listing the type of service.

The services include helping people with guardianship, getting charges expunged from a record, or helping people become a naturalized citizen.
 
If the lawyer sees a case they're interested in picking up, they fill out basic information about themselves, and from there, legal aid does the vetting to make sure it's a good fit. 
 
News4Jax looked into pro-bono cases through the American Bar Association. It says attorneys are encouraged to provide about 50 hours of pro-bono service per year. With the website, it's still recommended you speak with your local legal aid service.
 
Since the website launched earlier this year, about 120 pro bono cases have been taken from the site to date. 

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