The Office of the Attorney General seeks volunteers from the Delaware Bar to provide legal services that benefit the public. Volunteer attorneys assist in a number of areas, particularly criminal and family court litigation. Other opportunities exist in civil law, consumer protection enforcement, and senior abuse cases.
The wide range of legal issues the Office is charged with addressing calls for much of the same legal expertise that is the hallmark of the private and corporate Bar in Delaware. The litigation skills, pleadings practice, and specific expertise that volunteer attorneys bring in other areas all contribute to helping the Office meet it mission to combat crime, safeguard families, fight fraud, and protect consumers.
The most urgent need is litigation assistance in the Court of Common Pleas and Family Court, where the Office is challenged to provide the adequate resources to prosecute criminal cases, while safeguarding the human rights of victim and witnesses and the Constitutional rights of defendants.
Who can help?
This request is directed to members of the Delaware Bar generally. However, attorneys in the best position to consider a volunteer position may be those who have recently passed the Bar but have not yet obtained legal employment, are preparing to wind down a legal practice or are retired, are transitioning between positions, or, after an absence, are considering a return to the practice of law.
Is there a minimum time commitment for volunteers?
Volunteers may commit as much time as they choose. The Office of the Attorney General requests that individuals be able to commit at least one day of volunteer time per week.
Is training provided?
Yes. Training is determined by the professional experience and background of each volunteer. For those who would like to volunteer in the Court of Common Pleas, but have limited background in criminal matters, several training sessions are held to provide a necessary level of familiarity and comfort. Experienced Deputy Attorneys General lead orientation and training sessions and remain available afterward for liaison and guidance.
What is the scope of volunteer attorneys' authority?
That depends on each volunteer's assignment. Volunteers handling criminal matters in court, for instance, are sworn in as Special Deputy Attorneys General with all concurrent authority.
How are conflicts of interest addressed?
Volunteers who currently practice law or who have recently retired may be faced with conflicts in certain cases. The Office of the Attorney General works with them to screen the potential for conflicts. Volunteers appropriately recuse themselves from participation in such matters.
How to apply
Those who are interested in exploring a volunteer attorney position should contact Human Resources, Office of the Attorney General:
Address: Carvel State Building, 6th Floor, 820 N. French St., Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 577-8400
Fax: (302) 577-5866