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Current Pro Bono Cases

Updated 2/17/2017

ALSC Pro Bono Cases


Please contact Laura Goss at 222-4521 or if you are interested in any of the cases and/or projects listed below.

Current Cases needing a Pro Bono Attorney:  

Alaska Native man is seeking help to inherit his biological mother’s ANCSA corporation shares from Koniag.  Later adoption decrees in Alaska say that Alaska Native children may inherit from their biological parents.  At first Koniag seemed willing to allow him to inherit at least 50 of these shares, but after staff turnover, Koniag told the client he could not inherit. 

A 10 year old girl lost her mother to suicide, and her father has had nothing to do with her for years while he has been in and out of jail for drug-related crimes.  Her grandmother has had legal custody since 2009 and would like to adopt her now.  Biological father refuses to sign consent for tribal adoption (child is enrolled in Hoonah).  The adoption will have to proceed without his consent. 

Alaska Native elder needs a divorce.  Her husband sexually abused their granddaughter and he is currently incarcerated.  She needs an attorney who can obtain court orders releasing pension information from the school district and the Alaska Railroad, and to prepare a QDRO.   

A single mother experiencing mental illness got clean after past drug addiction.  She wants to return to work, but has a judgement against her for $36,000 from her treatment center, the amount not covered by her insurance.  She wants a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  

Disabled woman with multiple health issues, including a stroke in 2015, need assistance with a Custody Modification. The child at issue is 16 years old with Asperger’s.  Mother has had custody with father having visitation, however father has not regularly exercised his visitation. Father has filed a motion to modify claiming mother has been keeping this child from him.   

Alaska Native woman in Metlakatla and her husband would like to adopt her 12 year old daughter from a previous marriage.  The child would like the same last name as her parents and half-siblings.  Biological father has not seen the child since she was 1, and said he will consent to the adoption to get out of his paying future child support.  They have tried and have been unsuccessful trying to work with Metlakatla Social Services to complete a tribal adoption.  They would like to file in state court.

Client with 2 teenagers would like a divorce from her husband who is a Master Sergeant in the US Army.  There is a history of domestic violence against our client and her children.  She needs the help of an attorney familiar with military pensions and the 20-20 rule.  His military pension will be the major asset to be divided in the divorce.

Man living in Delta Junction needs an attorney to assist him with settling trust.  His mother passed away in August 2016, leaving behind a trust making our client the trustee.  He is now receiving collection calls from creditors threatening to take his home.

Our client is a senior that has been the victim of serious domestic violence by her husband and daughter.  She seeks a divorce and states there is not much in personal property and there is no real property.  She needs an attorney to help her file her petition, division of marital property/debts, and her claim for spousal support.

Young single mother wants full custody of her less than one year old son.  The child’s father was physically abusive to her while she was pregnant, and he was convicted for domestic violence assault against her.  She fears that if she doesn’t seek custody, her ex may try to take her son from her.

60 year old disabled Filipino immigrant needs a divorce.  She was married for 17 years and became disabled after a stroke in 2015.  Her husband abandoned her early this year after going to jail for domestic violence.  There is marital property and debt to be divided, including retirement from husband.  She was recently homeless, but has now procured safe housing.

A young single mother in Kotzebue needs help with a probate matter.  There is conflict among the heirs to her mother’s estate, and there has not yet been a probate case in state court.  Other heirs were nominated to act as executor in the will, but they are not pursuing a state probate case. 


Unbundled Pro Bono Opportunities with ALSC:

Housing Court Justice Project

TWO POSITIONS CURRENTLY OPEN:  Assist Pro Se low-income tenants or low-income landlords (if the other side has an attorney) in Eviction Court.  You will be present at Anchorage District Court one morning per month to provide limited assistance to clients scheduled for eviction proceedings such as: legal counseling, negotiating settlement agreements, representation in an eviction hearing, and drafting any relevant documents, such as pleadings and answers.  Contact Laura Goss at ALSC for more information.  907-222-4521 or

Veterans Legal Clinic – sponsored by ALSC and the VA

You will provide free consultations for income-qualifying Veterans regarding civil legal matters.  Clinic days are scheduled once monthly and in advance.  Shifts will be 7 hours (9am-4pm) at the Northway Mall.  Consultations are 45 minutes and are pre-scheduled one hour apart.  Contact Laura Goss at or 222-4521 for more information and to sign up to volunteer to help Vets.

Anchorage – Palmer – Kenai – Juneau – Early Resolution Project (ERP)

In one afternoon, you will offer free legal advice to family law pro se litigants referred by the Alaska Court System, who they have deemed as easy to resolve with attorney assistance.  You will meet privately with your client and work out an amicable agreement between both parties that same day.  86% of ERP cases are amicably completed that afternoon.  ERP volunteers are needed in Anchorage, Palmer, Juneau, and Kenai.  ERP sessions are held once per month in each city except Anchorage where it is held weekly.  Contact Laura Goss at ALSC for more information.  907-222-4521 or

Pro Bono Attorney Mentoring Opportunity  

The Pro Bono Training Academy (PBTA) is an exciting new initiative aimed at increasing support for our pro bono volunteers.  We hope to do this in many ways, one of which is by creating a mentoring system wherein experienced volunteer attorneys mentor newer volunteer attorneys in specific areas of the law.  Hopefully, knowing they are supported will encourage attorneys to take on more complex cases on a volunteer basis. This project is in the planning phase. We are looking for experienced attorneys interested in serving as a mentor attorney.  We are also very interested in your ideas about what such a program should look like.  If you want to serve Alaska's low-income population by sharing your legal expertise, please contact: Sarah Carver, Project Coordinator, Pro Bono Training Academy,, 907.406.2222.

Prisoner Pro Bono Project 

Federal USDC case for the District of Alaska concerns safety issues at Spring Creek Correctional Center.  Prisoner alleges he reported to prison officials threats made to him by prison gangs after he testified in a high-profile case.  He alleges that because of the threats he reported, he was taken out of the general population and subsequent disciplinary actions caused him to be segregated in “the hole.”  At the end of his disciplinary period, prisoner alleges only being given the option of continuing to be housed in “the hole” or return to the general population; and, when he returned to housing in the general population he was beaten by a gang member as threatened.  Prisoner alleges he should not have been given the option of returning to the general population if he could not be kept safe there; the prison gang presence at Spring Creek is counterproductive to Alaska’s sentencing goals; and procedural due process issues regarding the determination of his housing categorization.  Prisoner needs assistance drafting amended complaint and Court is willing to appoint pro bono counsel for this limited-scope representation.  If interested in volunteering please contact Catherine Rogers (, 677-6135), Susan Orlansky (, or Eva Gardner (  

(Updated 2/13/2017)

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