COVID-19 Legal Response
This page was last updated on March 31, 2020.
National Efforts & Resources
On Friday, March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a national emergency to address the impact of a novel (new) coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 (“the virus”) that has caused outbreaks of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 around the world, including in the United States.
Coronavirus Legal Response Calls & Listserv
On March 12, 2020, legal aid and pro bono advocates across regions in the US met over a conference call to discuss a COVID-19 legal response. The call was chaired by Tiela Chalmers, co-chair of the Disaster Legal Assistance Collaborative (DLAC) in California, and CEO the Alameda County Bar Association and Legal Access Alameda, in collaboration with Pro Bono Net.
- Advocates interested in continuing to share information, resources and strategies are welcome to join a new COVID-19 Legal Response listserv available here.
- For a brainstorming list of issues and resources identified by legal aid and pro bono advocates across regions, please click here.
- For California-specific resources, visit the statewide disaster legal services website at www.disasterlegalservicesca.org.
- If you are not yet a member of the Advocacy Center, please visit https://www.disasterlegalaid.org/advocates/join/ to submit a membership request.
The American Bar Association created a task force to address legal needs arising from coronavirus pandemic. The task force will include up to 20 representatives from top legal organizations in the United States. The group will identify legal needs arising from the pandemic, make recommendations to address those needs and help mobilize volunteer lawyers and legal professionals for people who need help.
Please visit our Events Calendar here to register for publicly available webinars related to COVID-19 response efforts, remote technology for legal aid programs, legal issues, and more.
- The National Center on Law & Elder Rights has materials on COVID-19 here.
- The ABA Commission on Law and Aging has Coronavirus Updates for the Elder Law Community here.
- Visit Voices for Civil Justice's COVID-19 page for media Guidance for Civil Justice Advocates.
- The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project released a nationwide map of eviction moratoriums and tenant protections. They will keep building on it over the next few weeks and adding new information and policies as they emerge. If you've heard of anything you want to add to the map, you can use the "Submit your updates" button to add your knowledge to the map. They will also be working towards translating into multiple languages to increase accessibility.
- The National Low Income Housing Coalition is maintaining a COVID-19/Housing and Homelessness News and Resource page.
- The National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Public and Affordable Housing Research Service maintain a National Housing Preservation Database website that lists projects participating in the following housing programs: Project-Based Section 8, HUD insured housing, Section 202, Low Income Housing Tax Credit, RD Section 515 and 538 rental housing, Public Housing, Section 236, HOME, and State Subsidies. It is searchable by program, property name, address, city, zip code and other criteria.
- Justice in Aging has COVID-19 Resources for Advocates Serving Older Adults.
- Stateside created the 2020 State and Local Government Responses to COVID-19 chart to track state legislative actions, executive agency actions, gubernatorial actions, and local government actions related to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
- The National Housing Law Project has put together resources for attorneys, advocates, policymakers, and others for assistance during the COVID-19 national public health crisis.
- The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) has created a new COVID-19 & Consumer Protections page to provide updates on their current efforts to protect renters, homeowners, and consumers, and advocate for student loan borrowers whose ability to repay their loans may suffer due to lost income, insufficient paid leave, or lack of access to childcare. The NCLC is also offering free access to the digital edition of Surviving Debt: Expert Advice For Getting Out of Financial Trouble, NCLC’s most comprehensive guide to navigating debt for consumers and consumer advocates.
- The Immigration Advocates Network has resources for pro bono attorneys, nonprofit advocates, organizers, and service providers.
- The Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative has created a new COVID-19 Resources page to provide information on the current pandemic, connect community members to local resources and amplify self-care tools as social distancing goes into effect.
- The Self-Represented Litigation Network has a COVID-19 page with resources on remote service delivery, best practices in legal hotlines, and remote pro bono delivery.
- The National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) has a page on COVID-19 Resources for Legal Services and Victims’ Rights.
- The Practising Law Institute (PLI) is providing free access to online programs covering legal developments related to the global coronavirus crisis.
- The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty has a COVID-19 page for recommendations and resources.
- The National Health Law Program has an assortment of resources related to coronavirus from NHeLP and their trusted partners.
Law School Students
Over 300 law students, paralegals, and student paralegals have offered to provide remote pro-bono support for COVID-related matters. These students stand ready to provide research, drafting, and other support to attorneys. If attorneys are interested in receiving student support on their COVID-19 related matters, they should fill out this form. If students are interested in providing support, they should fill out this form.
Remote Legal Resources
The Remote Legal Support Guide: A Best Practices Manual for Nonprofit and Pro Bono Innovation is a collaborative text by over 10 organizations that pools expert resources and experience and explores different ways to leverage technology and share strategies that increase rural and underserved communities' access to justice. The Guide and more background on this initiative is available here. We hope this resource is helpful for any programs considering shifting to remote support to help keep staff, clients and communities healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Are You Looking for Legal Help?
If you're looking for legal help or have questions about COVID-19 and your rights, consider visiting www.lawhelp.org to look up information in your area.