FAQs Connecting to Free Legal Help with ALIGHT

How Survivors can Connect (& Community Service Providers can refer) to Pro Bono Attorneys in the ALIGHT Program

These FAQs are intended to explain to survivors of human trafficking, as well as community service providers who refer survivors, to free legal help through the ALIGHT program the type of services and support we can organizationally provide.

Below are FAQ’s on:

  • The Program
  • What to Know Before Calling ALIGHT Intake Advocate Warm Line (720-608-6039)
  • What Kind of Legal Help a Survivor Can Expect from ALIGHT
  • Working with Attorneys
  • Posting Tasks
  • ALIGHT Communications & Feedback
  • Resources
  • Technical Support

If you have any additional questions, please reach out to here.

The Program

What is the ALIGHT Program?

  • ALIGHT works with certain community organizations (“Community Partners”) and attorneys who contribute their expertise (“Pro Bono Attorneys”) in a unique way to fight for the rights of human trafficking survivors (“Survivors”). The ALIGHT Program provides an easy and streamlined way for Survivors’ legal needs to be matched to attorneys willing to lend their expertise and desire to help. ALIGHT is building a mobilized legal network of attorneys with expertise across a broad area of specializations who are alerted to pro bono opportunities on their phones and can respond.

What are the goals of the ALIGHT Program?

  • ALIGHT’s goal is to unlock a fresh start for Survivors. We are here to show that our scalable program grows in value as we expand our reach. Meaning, with more community organization and attorney partners, more human trafficking survivors will be served – fast. We have seen Pro Bono Attorneys respond to pro bono opportunities within hours – if not minutes! Quick response offers tangible help and hope to Survivors that a brighter life for them is possible.
  • Community Partners help us succeed through support of their Survivor clients’ engagement with the legal connection process and through communication with ALIGHT.
  • Pro Bono Attorneys help us succeed through their willingness to assist Survivor clients (including review and response to pro bono opportunities on the App) and through communication with ALIGHT.

Who are the participants in the ALIGHT Program?

  • Human trafficking survivors (“Survivors”) often present with many needs, including multiple legal needs. Survivors’ requests for legal assistance (“Tasks”) are posted on the 4Bells app (the “App”) by Community Partners (Colorado organizations working on various aspects of victim services – e.g., domestic violence, sexual assault, labor and sex human trafficking survivors, LGBTQIA+, immigrant rights, etc.- with whom ALIGHT partners). Community Partners screen and refer Survivors for legal help through the App. The Tasks are targeted to Pro Bono Attorneys with the relevant skills who are part of the mobilized legal network, who review and respond to the Tasks on the App. Additionally, other organizations or Survivors themselves may be referred to directly call the ALIGHT Warm Line at 720-608-6039 and be screened by our volunteer clinical social worker (the “Intake Advocate”), who posts the Tasks on the App.
  • Survivors do not have direct access to the App. ALIGHT facilitates the matches (“Connections”) between Survivors (through their Community Partner or the Intake Advocate) and the Pro Bono Attorneys.

Who is eligible for services in the program?

  • A Survivor of human trafficking, as defined under state and federal laws, who is in financial need of free legal assistance, as determined by the Community Partner or Intake Advocate in a given situation, are eligible to request free legal help through the ALIGHT Program.
  • We note that Pro Bono Attorneys responding to specific requests may have additional requirements.

What to Know Before Calling ALIGHT Intake Advocate Warm Line (720-608-6039)

Is the Intake Advocate a mandatory reporter?

  • Yes, the Intake Advocate is a mandatory reporter.

What type of legal services are available in the ALIGHT Program?

  • Generally, attorneys assist across a broad range of issues in family law, criminal law, civil litigation and commercial/contract law. Attorneys can also assist Survivors in different ways, including advocacy, counsel and representation.
  • The ALIGHT Program does NOT connect Survivors to attorneys on immigration law matters.
  • For examples of legal issues, take a look at ALIGHT’s Legal Needs Examples and reach out to us here if you have any questions.

Who are the attorneys in the ALIGHT mobilized legal network?

  • ALIGHT works with Pro Bono Attorneys who have a variety of expertise across family law, criminal law, civil litigation and commercial/contract law. These attorneys may be in a solo practice, an international law firm or anywhere in between.

Can the community service provider call the Intake Advocate on behalf of the Survivor to receive legal services?

  • No, the Intake Advocate needs to speak with and conduct the intake process with the Survivor directly. If the Survivor requires the help of a service provider or advocate, please reach out with the Survivor to the Intake Advocate together or arrange a time for a call, pending the Intake Advocate’s availability.

Can the family member call the Intake Advocate on behalf of the Survivor to receive legal services?

  • No, the Intake Advocate needs to speak with and conduct the intake process with the Survivor directly. If the Survivor requires the help of a service provider or advocate, please reach out with the Survivor to the Intake Advocate together or arrange a time for a call, pending the Intake Advocate’s availability.

Is the Intake Advocate Warm Line 24/7?

  • No, this is not a hotline. Please call during business hours and, if the Intake Advocate is not able to answer, leave a message with your name, phone number and other relevant information so the Intake Advocate can return the call.

How can a community service provider support a Survivor who needs to reach out for free legal help?

What Kind of Legal Help a Survivor Can Expect from ALIGHT

What type of legal services are available in the ALIGHT Program?

  • Generally, attorneys assist across a broad range of issues in family law, criminal law, civil litigation and commercial/contract law. Attorneys can also assist Survivors in different ways, including advocacy, counsel and representation.
  • The ALIGHT Program does NOT connect Survivors to attorneys on immigration law matters.
  • For examples of legal issues, take a look at ALIGHT’s Legal Needs Examples and reach out to us here if you have any questions.

Does ALIGHT provide direct legal services or legal advice?

  • No, ALIGHT does not provide direct counsel, advocacy or representation. ALIGHT facilitates the Connections between Survivors and the Pro Bono Attorneys.

Are there guarantees that ALIGHT will find free legal help for the Survivor?

  • No. While we make every effort to provide access to Pro Bono Attorneys with a range of legal skills and specializations, their ability to assist may be restricted by the timing of the request or the specific nature of the request.
  • Additionally, specific language skills may not always be available.
    If there are no responses within 2 business days of the initial post, you may repost the same issue. If there is still no response to the second post within 2 business days, you can contact ALIGHT to discuss how to break the issue into components or refer to other resources that may be helpful in that instance.
  • Usually, the Survivor will know if there is no response from Pro Bono Attorneys to the Survivor’s request for legal help within about one week. If there is no response from our network, we will try to suggest other legal options.

Can a Survivor return to ALIGHT with the same legal request if there has been no response from Pro Bono Attorneys?

  • Unfortunately, ALIGHT can not post the same request for legal assistance to the Pro Bono Attorneys more than two times. If there is no response from our network, we will try to suggest other legal options.

Does ALIGHT or the Intake Advocate provide case management for the Survivor, or supervise the legal case of the Pro Bono Attorney?

  • While the Intake Advocate will make every effort to follow up and return calls, the Intake Advocate will not repeatedly call or manage the survivor’s contact with the attorney.
  • ALIGHT also does not manage or supervise the legal matter.
  • Survivors often need extra support form their community service provider.
  • ALIGHT can not repost the same legal request more than 2 types (the second time will usually be after 2 business days after the initial request is posted).
  • To support Survivors and community service providers to interact with attorneys and engage in the legal process, ALIGHT has developed the following resources:

Working With Attorneys

Who are the attorneys in the ALIGHT mobilized legal network?

  • ALIGHT works with Pro Bono Attorneys who have a variety of expertise across family law, criminal law, civil litigation and commercial/contract law. These attorneys may be in a solo practice, an international law firm or anywhere in between. Every Pro Bono Attorney on the App has completed the ALIGHT on-boarding process, which involves a reference check, signed agreement and completing training on the use of the App.

What can the Survivor expect when they call the Pro Bono Attorney?

  • Different Pro Bono Attorneys have different protocols and practices that they follow. Below are some suggestions for how to support and help the Survivor prepare for their initial call with the Pro Bono Attorney.
  • Additional Information. During the initial conversation, the Pro Bono Attorney will likely ask more specific questions to better understand the situation, the legal issues involved and whether a conflict of interest exists.
  • The Pro Bono Attorney may ask about such things as the survivor’s name, date of birth, deadlines, information on the other parties and other aspects of the matter.
  • For the below types of matters, it may be helpful to have this information ready
    • In Civil Law
      • Civil Litigation
        • other party = adversarial party (or parties), such as landlord or creditor
      • Victim-Inclusive Advocacy
        • other party = county/state entity which has brought the case
          • also, the date of notice or court order MM/DD/YY
        • other party = spouse/intimate partner/child
          • also, that party’s date of birth
      • Housing
        • other party = housing provider,
          • also, the notice date MM/DD/YY
      • Unemployment Benefits
        • other party = employer
        • also, the date of hearing MM/DD/YY
    • In Criminal Law
      • other party = county/state entity which has brought the case
        • also, the date of notice or court order MM/DD/YY
    • In Family Law
      • other party = spouse/intimate partner/child/parent
  • Screening and Conflict Check. Pro Bono Attorneys may need the additional information to ascertain if they are a good fit for representing the Survivor. Some Pro Bono Attorneys have specific processes for checking that they are not limited from representing the Survivor because of their prior representation of a party related to the request.
  • Scope of Representation. The Survivor and Pro Bono Attorney would likely discuss the scope of representation, meaning with what the Pro Bono Attorney can and can not help the Survivor.
  • Engagement Letter. Some Pro Bono Attorneys may request the Survivor to sign an agreement or engagement letter specifying their arrangement to make sure both sides are clear that they are agreeing to the same thing. For example, the Pro Bono Attorney may not be willing to cover the filing and other fees related to the request, and the Engagement Letter may specify that the Survivor is responsible for those costs with the Survivor’s prior approval. (Note: See “Who pays the Survivor’s fees?” below for more information.)
  • Additional Legal Issues. If there are legal issues the Pro Bono Attorney can not assist with and they are eligible for the ALIGHT Program, you can repost them on the App for other Pro Bono Attorneys.
    • EX: Survivor calls family law attorney for counsel on their visitation rights and it turns out there are also criminal records that need to be sealed. The family law attorney is not able to assist with that matter, and the Community Partner posts that request as a separate Task for the criminal law attorneys.

What happens after the Survivor and Pro Bono Attorney agree to work together?

  • The referral is complete, and usually the Community Partner will step aside. Once an attorney-client relationship is formed the Pro Bono Attorney is responsible for the legal process. (Note: Pro Bono Attorneys are not obligated to consult or obtain the Community Partner’s permission during the legal process as they represent the interests of their client, the Survivor.)
  • However, if the Survivor requests your continued involvement, for example for support, translation or assistance during meetings with the Pro Bono Attorney, that needs to be specifically addressed with the Pro Bono Attorney. (Note: If you remain involved in the legal assistance, there may be a risk to the attorney-client relationship. If so, advise the Survivor of the risk and consult with the Pro Bono Attorney on whether you can be set up as an agent of the Pro Bono Attorney for the purpose of legal representation.)

Who pays for the Survivor’s fees?

  • The Pro Bono Attorneys in the ALIGHT Program have agreed to provide their services to the Survivor free of charge. The Pro Bono Attorneys are not responsible for the Survivor’s court and filing fees. If there are fees, you can encourage the Survivor to apply for waivers or assist the Survivor with the paperwork where the Pro Bono Attorney is not able to assist.

What if I need additional resources to help this Survivor?

  • We endeavor to compile and curate resources, manuals and organizations that could be of assistance to you and other Community Partners when providing services to a Survivor of human trafficking. Please refer to the Resources for Survivors and Providers. If you have additional resources to suggest that we add to this list, please contact ALIGHT here.

What if the Survivor calls the Pro Bono Attorney, and can not speak directly with that person?

  • Ask the Survivor to leave a message and be sure to include (1) Survivor’s name, (2) phone number where Survivor can be reached, (4) that the legal matter is in connection with the ALIGHT Program and (5) a brief description of the Task.
  • If numerous Pro Bono Attorneys responded to the post, the Survivor can proceed to call the other Pro Bono Attorney(s).

Resources

What if the Survivor needs urgent services?

  • For urgent and/or non-legal Survivor resources call:
    • the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888)
    • the Colorado Human Trafficking Hotline (1-866-455-5075)