Public Service

St. Thomas law school students volunteer for a public service event with Habitat for Humanity

Serving others during your time in law school will ensure that you remain a member of the broader community and foster your commitment to pro bono work throughout your legal career.

At St. Thomas Law, we recognize that lawyers are in a strong position to effect positive institutional and social change. As such, we expect and encourage all law students to explore a variety of ways their interests, skills and talents can best serve the public‎‎. As a requirement for graduation, all J.D. students must complete 50 hours of public service during law school. 

"The PSB will be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Program. Its duties will include maintaining and distributing to students information about public service opportunities; overseeing the maintenance of the on-line public service reporting system; making determinations as to whether particular service constitutes “qualifying public service” within these Guidelines; and maintaining records of qualifying public service performed by law students. The adviser will certify satisfactory completion of the Program requirements by law students." Academic Policy Manual p. III-8.

Public Service Board Members

  • Brandon Mickelsen - President
  • Kelsey Rick - Vice President
  • Madeleine Haberman - Secretary
  • Jenna Steffl - Policy Chair, Compliance Chair
  • Ellen Morrissey - Public Service Day Chair
  • Anna Brekke - Ongoing Public Service Chair

Class Representatives
2L - Caitlin Callahan and Tea Baker
1L - Sarah Davidson, Claire Cullen, Eline Rodsjo and Kate Byrne

For more information, contact lawpsb@stthomas.edu.  

ADOPT-A-DRAIN

www.adopt-a-drain.org 

Volunteer 15 minutes twice a month for cleaner waterways and healthier communities. Storm drains flow directly to local lakes, rivers, and wetlands, acting as a conduit for trash and organic pollutants. Adopt a Drain asks residents to adopt a storm drain in their neighborhood and keep it clear of leaves, trash, and other debris to reduce water pollution. Create an account on the website above to find a drain to adopt near you.


CARDS FOR SENIORS (remote)

www.giftsforseniors.org/cards-for-seniors 

Create greeting cards for isolated seniors in need in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Students can also volunteer to collect and sort donated gift and cards. Visit the website above to sign up.


CATHOLIC TUTOR CORPS

https://catholictutorcorps.com 

Catholic Tutor Corps places tutors in Catholic K-8 schools in urban areas of the Twin Cities. Volunteers work with students of all grades and in all subjects. The time commitment can be as little as 2 hours per week.


FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN
401 93rd Avenue NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55433

763-504-2919
info@fmsc.org
www.fmsc.org/get-involved/volunteer 

Volunteers nutritionally complete meals into bags which are sealed and shipped to partners working hard to reach the neediest children around the world. Packing sessions are available Monday-Saturday at locations in Chanhassen, Coon Rapids, and Eagan.


THE FOOD GROUP MN
8501 54TH Avenue N
New Hope, MN 55428

www.thefoodgroupmn.org/get-involved/volunteer
volunteer@thefoodgroupmn.org

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, hunger in Minnesota has reached historically high levels, making The Food Group’s need for volunteers greater than ever. Create an account at the Volunteer Hub at the website above to get started. Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Pack food at the warehouse in New Hope
  • Work with Fare for All and Twin Cities Mobile Market to provide affordable retail
  • Help grow fresh produce at the Food Group Farm (seasonal)

GREAT RIVER GREENING
251 Starkey Street, Suite 2200
St. Paul, MN 55107

www.greatrivergreening.org
Volunteer: https://www.givepulse.com/group/events/373736
651-665-9500
greening@greatrivergreening.org

Great River Greening hosts various outdoor volunteer events throughout the Twin Cities during the Spring and Fall. Examples of volunteer events include planting trees, clearing buckthorn, and restoration.


HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
2700 Minnehaha Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55406

www.tchabitat.org
612-588-3820

Volunteers help build and repair hopes and assist at community outreach events. Most positions require no experience. Visit the volunteer hub at the website above to view opportunities and sign up online.


HEART MINISTRY

www.hosannalc.org/ministries/heart-ministry

Volunteer with local ministries of Hosanna Church that partners with businesses, ministries, and government agencies to assist individuals, families, and communities locally and nationally in times of difficulty and crisis. Opportunities include customer service, transporting donations, organizing donations, repairing homes, and more. Visit the website above to sign up online.


HELP AT YOUR DOOR
8441 Wayzata Blvd, #160
Golden Valley, MN 55426

www.helpatyourdoor.org
volunteer@helpatyourdoor.org
651-642-1892 or 763-231-3117

Help at Your Door organizes volunteers to help seniors and individuals with disabilities to continue living independently in their homes. Positions include personal driver, grocery helper, delivery assistant, client connector, shopper, home helper, handyperson, and office assistant. Contact the volunteer coordinator via the email address or phone number above to get started.


HOME LINE
8011 34th Avenue S, Suite 126
Bloomington, MN 55425

https://homelinemn.org/volunteer-with-homeline/volunteer-as-a-student-enrolled-in-lawparalegal-program/ 

Erik Vegel, Tenant Advocate and Volunteer Coordinator
erikv@homelinemn.org
612-728-5770 x111

Home Line volunteers assist in the operation of a statewide tenant hotline. Minnesota renters call for free legal advice on their rental housing problems from attorneys, students, advocates, and volunteers. Home Line’s advice helps Minnesota tenants save money in wrongfully withheld security deposits, fees, and more. To apply, submit a resume and a letter of interest to the Volunteer Coordinator.


IMMIGRANT LAW CENTER OF MINNESOTA
450 N Syndicate Street, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55104

www.ilcm.org/get-involved/volunteer/ 
651-641-1011
volunteer@ilcm.org

Check the website above to see if there are any open volunteer positions. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter to the email address above. Some positions may have additional requirements such as references or writing samples. Cover letters must address the following points:

  • What is your interest in ILCM’s work?
  • What contributions can you bring to the organization?
  • Why do you believe that advocacy for immigrants is important?

LEARN TO BE (remote)

www.learntobe.org/apply 

Learn to Be pairs volunteer tutors with underserved students from around the U.S. in an online classroom. If interested, fill out a tutor application at the website above. Learn to Be allows you to select a student that fits you and your schedule, provide an online classroom tutorial, and tutoring resources.


LOAVES AND FISHES
721 Kasota Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

www.loavesandfishesmn.org/volunteer
volunteer@loavesandfishesmn.org

Loaves and Fishes needs help cooking and serving meals to individuals in need at dining site locations across the metro area. Select an area of interest at the website above to enroll online, or email the Volunteer Coordinator for more information.


MAPPING PREJUDICE (remote)

www.mappingprejudice.umn.edu
Volunteer: www.zooniverse.org/projects/mappingprejudice/mapping-prejudice

The Mapping Prejudice Project is working to identify and map racial restrictions buried in historic property deeds throughout the country. These restrictions, known as racial covenants or racially-restrictive deeds, were used in most American cities before 1968 to prevent people who were not white from buying or occupying property. Volunteers help transcribe racial covenants from historic property records. The information that volunteers enter is exported to a database and used to finish Mapping Prejudice’s map of racial restrictions.


MEALS ON WHEELS
1200 Washington Avenue S., Suite 380
Minneapolis, MN 55415

612-623-3363
info@meals-on-wheels.com
www.meals-on-wheels.com/volunteer

Help Meals on Wheels bring nutrition independence to seniors and people with disabilities in the metro area. Volunteers are needed to help prepare and package dinners to be delivered, organize schedules, make phone calls, load delivery vehicles, and deliver meals. Congregate meal sites need volunteers to plan, cook, drive vans, help serve seniors, clean up, and more.

Perhaps as important as getting meals to seniors is your smiling face and some words of kindness and friendship. Many seniors are lonely and those that can assist in meal programs are their only daily contact with other people. Many delivery volunteers take a little time with each senior to visit and provide much needed conversation. Whether you only have a few hours one day per week, can volunteer every day, or can only work a few hours on a weekend, your assistance is needed.


MINNEAPOLIS VA
One Veterans Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55417

612-725-2050
www.va.gov/minneapolis-health-care/work-with-us/volunteer-or-donate/ 

Minneapolis VA lists open volunteer opportunities on Volunteer Match, which can be found via the link above. New volunteers are requested to serve four hours per week for a minimum of six months. All new volunteers are required to complete an application, allow for a background check, and agree to be finger-printed. When accepted as a new volunteer, Voluntary Service staff will match you to an assignment and complete the volunteer training orientation with you. Staff in the assignment areas provide additional training and orientation as needed.


NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE
179 Robie Street E
St. Paul, MN 55107

651-789-2500
www.neighb.org/support/volunteer 

Volunteers bring enthusiasm, expertise, and share diverse perspectives that foster a community of mutual enrichment. This past year alone, volunteers provided invaluable service by working to support hungry families, educate new immigrants and refugees, create safe spaces for youth, and move families from survive to thrive! Visit the website above for an updated list of individual and group opportunities.


PEOPLE SERVING PEOPLE
614 Third Street S
Minneapolis, MN 55415

612-332-4500
hnorman@peopleservingpeople.org    
www.peopleservingpeople.org/home/volunteer-2/ 

As of August 2021, most on-site volunteer opportunities have been temporarily suspended. Ordinarily, volunteer assignments include:

  • Resident Resources Assistant
  • Daytime Early Childhood Development Program Assistant
  • K-5 Educational Support, Tutoring, and Enrichment
  • Teen Program
  • Reading Partner
  • Deliver/Serve Meals
  • Building Beautification
  • Development Assistant

PRISON PEN PAL (remote)

www.writeaprisoner.com

Volunteers help prisoners get in touch with resources and groups to help them reintegrate into society post-incarceration and stay up to date with current events.


PROJECT FOR PRIDE IN LIVING
1035 East Franklin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404

www.ppl-inc.org/volunteer 

PPL builds the hope, assets, and self-reliance of individuals and families who have lower incomes by providing transformative affordable housing and career readiness services. PPL volunteer positions include Computer Lab Volunteer, Personal Shopper, and Classroom Assistant.


REACH FOR RESOURCES
5900 Green Oak Drive, Suite 303
Minnetonka, MN 55343

www.reachforresources.org/volunteer
952-200-3030
info@reachforresources.org

Volunteers play a crucial role in Reach for Resources’ ability to serve children and adults with disabilities. Adaptive Recreation Assistants serve at programs in the western and northwestern suburbs of the Twins Cities. Visit the website above to apply.


RED CROSS BLOOD DONATION

www.redcrossblood.org

Visit the website above to find a blood drive near you.


SHARING AND CARING HANDS
525 N 7th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55405

612-338-4640
info@sharingandcaringhands.org
www.sharingandcaringhands.org/individual-opportunities

Sharing and Caring Hands has opportunities for individuals to help parents with job searches and applications and to tutor children at the Mary’s Place shelter. See the link above for more information.


UNITED WAY

612-340-7440
volunteer@gtcuw.org
www.gtcuw.org/get-involved/volunteer/  

United Way has both at-home and in-person volunteer opportunities. Assemble school supply packs, create hygiene packs, create tie fleece blankets, or write cards for seniors at home. See the United Way Volunteer Match dashboard for individual opportunities at various events and programs.


VOLUNTEER LAWYER’S NETWORK
600 Nicollet Mall
Suite 390A
Minneapolis, MN 55402

www.vlnmn.org/intern-application
612-752-6655

Law student volunteers help with client intake and office support. Apply at the link above or through the Minnesota Justice Foundation.


WATCH
330 2nd Avenue S, Suite 800
Minneapolis, MN 55401

612-341-3302
watch@advrights.org
www.watchmn.org/volunteer 

Volunteers monitor court hearings in Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington counties involving violence against women and children. They record important data and observations, and WATCH uses this information to make recommendations for how the courts can provide greater safety for women and children. The morning shift runs from 8:30am-12:30pm, and the afternoon shift runs from 12:45pm-4:30pm. Apply at the link above or through the Minnesota Justice Foundation.

Please visit community.stthomas.edu to register your organization and post volunteer opportunities.