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Hours for a Cause provides innovative way for attorneys to help

It’s no secret that the Texas legal community provides pro bono services, helping those in need. But while attorneys across the state may want to offer their assistance, they may not always have the time or necessary skills to do so. That’s where Hours for a Cause steps in. The website encourages lawyers to pledge to donate a day of billable hours to an organization that provides pro bono services.

Through the website, attorneys fill out an online pledge form, committing to match pay from a work day toward a nonprofit legal service organization that provides pro bono services. The site currently focuses on organizations that are helping with immigration issues, such as American Gateways, Kids in Need of Defense, and Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

Hours for a Cause was created by Liz Nielsen, of Austin-based Nielsen Law. During the recent family separation crisis, Nielsen wanted to help but needed to get creative with her busy estate-planning practice and lack of knowledge on immigration. Her solution: to donate a day of her billable time to a legal services organization that provides pro bono services to asylum seekers.

“It occurred to me that there were probably lots of attorneys like me, who wanted to give back in the wake of the immigration crisis but didn’t have the time or skills to provide pro bono legal representation,” Nielsen said.

She then created Hours for a Cause so that other attorneys could pledge to support causes they feel passionate about. Hours for a Cause sends out email reminders about pledges. Attorneys are instructed to donate directly with their preferred organizations.

For more information on Hours for a Cause and how to donate, go to hoursforacause.com.

Original author: Eric Quitugua
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