The ABA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force

This webpage is intended as a national source of information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the delivery of legal services. It includes resources on remote service delivery, court access and rules changes, legal needs, public benefits programs, and pro bono mobilization.  We appreciate receiving new information for inclusion on the site, preferably links to dynamic content that is updated regularly.  Please contact Jason Vail at with submissions for consideration.

About the Task Force

In response to the growing legal needs of Americans arising from the coronavirus (COVID-19), the American Bar Association has created a nationwide task force of volunteer lawyers and judges from across the legal profession. The task force will identify the legal needs arising from the pandemic, make recommendations to address those needs, and help mobilize volunteer lawyers and legal professionals to assist people who need help.

The task force includes experts in disaster response; health law; insurance; legal needs of families to protect basic human needs such as food, shelter, medical and employment benefits; criminal justice; domestic violence; civil rights and social justice.

Survey Regarding Legal Needs Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic

In May 2020, the Task Force conducted a survey to help identify current and future legal needs arising from the Coronavirus Pandemic.  The survey was conducted from May 8 – May 14, and sent to the Task Force Members and Liaisons, Section Officers Conference, and the Chairs of the Special and Standing Committees and Commissions.  The survey results and summary report can be found here.  

2020 ABA Annual Meeting: House of Delegates Approved Resolutions Relating to COVID-19 Pandemic

During the 2020 ABA Virtual Annual Meeting, the House of Delegates considered approximately 58 resolutions during August 3-4, 2020.  The House of Delegates adopted a total of seven resolutions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn – MORE

Practice Tools and Remote Work

  • ABA Practice Forward - Practical tools and resources to support and advance the practice of law and the judicial system amid potential long-term changes due to COVID-19.
  • The ABA Judicial Division’s Court Technology Committee presented a webinar, titled, “ZOOM 101: Zooming with Zoom”.  The program addressed the various Zoom screen views, how to host a meeting, a judge’s perspective, overview of the collaboration tools and beyond meetings: potential court usage.

COVID-19 CLE and Videos

Resource Kits

  • Bloomberg Law is providing free access to comprehensive legal resources relating to COVID-19.  The links below include information on judicial operations, state agency announcements and emergency rules, state-by-state unemployment insurance benefits, labor protections, checklists and toolkits, and state legislative activity.
  • LexisNexis offers a Lexis Practice Advisor Coronavirus Resource Kit to help U.S. attorneys manage the evolving novel coronavirus  (COVID-19) crisis. The Kit features select content addressing emerging issues related to coronavirus (COVID-19) across a variety of practice areas.
  • BakerHostetler has established an online resource center to help address and answer legal questions about COVID-19, including actions business may or must take to address to protect employees and business operations.
  • The National Institutes of Health offer guidance with work/life balance resources and many other topics with regards to telework.
  • Leadership Strategies provides a free webinar entitled, "The Secrets to Virtual Facilitation."
  • The National Conference of Bar Presidents offers guidance and resources on tools to assist with remote work for Bar Leaders.
  • National Association of Bar Executives has dedicated a resource page for bar professionals facing challenges in light of COVID-19.
  • The ABA’s Cybersecurity Legal Task Force has practice tools for remote work and legal needs.  They have resources related to cybersecurity and data protection in the employer/workplace and teleworking, as well as information on data protection in the health industry. 
  • Fastcase is working to ensure lawyers have access to resources available to them. The Fastcase COVID-19 resource hub, bringing together legislative and government updates and COVID-19 content across leading news media sources. 
  • The ABA Committee on Disaster Response & Preparedness has resources for lawyers, bar associations and the justice system to help them prepare for and respond to disasters; provide resources to assist lawyers and the public recover from disasters; and ensure the rule of law in times of disaster.
  • The ABA Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs provides mental health resources for the legal profession during COVID-19.
  • The ABA Law Student Division’s blog, Before the Bar, has coronavirus resources and information for law students.
  • Sidley Austin LLP has produced numerous podcasts, a brand new “e-magazine” as well as a COVID-19 resource center.
  • Winston & Strawn LLP has developed a COVID-19 Client Resource Center which houses over 150 pieces of content in various practice areas ranging from Data Privacy & Security, Capital Markets, Energy, Pro Bono and Wellness Initiatives.
  • The ABA Section of Litigation has a dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) page on articles and resources.
  • Arnold & Porter has established a multidisciplinary Coronavirus Task Force with the crisis management, regulatory, litigation and transactional expertise necessary to plan for and navigate the legal and public policy impact of this pandemic.
  • Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP developed a resource page which includes dynamic information related to updates, alerts and programming regarding coronavirus and the impact on clients and various industries.
  • Standford Law School has a COVID-19 Memo Database, developed and maintained by the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University and Cornerstone Research.  The Database aggregates 5,260 memoranda in a searchable format designed to help users quickly identify relevant information.  These memoranda were generated by leading U.S. law firms, the four major audit firms, and a leading insurance broker.
  • The executive leadership of the National Council for Bar Presidents has been producing COVID-19 response videos with bar leaders and others about their responses to the pandemic.

National Affinity Bars COVID-19 Resources

Court Access and Rules Changes

Remote Notarization

  • The National Notary Association updates their site frequently on details about state emergency actions.  Please note some emergency orders only cover documents to be filed in court and some do not allow remote witnessing.
  • The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel has prepared a state-by-state compilation of information about remorse notarization and witnessing of documents.

Federal Administrative Agencies

Legal Needs

  • On December 1, 2020, ABA President Patricia Refo sent a letter to U.S. Senate and House majority and minority leadership, urging immediate passage of a renewed moratorium on housing evictions and much needed economic relief for rental property owners. A letter to the editor from President Refo was published in The Arizona Republic on November 27, 2020, detailing the impact of the expiration of the eviction moratorium on renters.
  • On October 28, 2020, ABA President Patricia Refo issued a letter to the presidents of state, local, specialty, and affinity bar associations urging them to (1) mobilize pro bono volunteers among their members to provide legal assistance in eviction cases and (2) join a new ABA COVID-19 Pro Bono Network that will focus initially on the eviction crisis.
  • On September 8, 2020, ABA President Patricia Refo sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate and House committees with oversight authority over FEMA seeking their assistance in activating and implementing the FEMA/ABA YLD Disaster Legal Services program to help meet the legal needs of low-income Americans suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, and the Netherlands-based The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law, recently launched the largest-ever survey entitled, “US Justice Needs,” to assess justice needs of Americans.  Funded by Bohemian Foundation, the survey will reach 10,000 people in the United States and seek to uncover their experiences in accessing justice when they need it.
  • As part of the 21st Century Lawyers Virtual Sessions, the National Conference of Bar Presidents is checking in with bar leaders and industry professionals to see how they are providing services to their members in this trying time.
  • The ABA Commission on Disability Rights hosted two captioned webinars on the impact of COVID-19 on the legal rights of persons with disabilities focused on the discriminatory rationing of treatment and lack of special education services:
  • The National Health Law Program is dedicated to protecting and expanding access to health rights for low-income and underserved individuals. Their site provides an assortment of resources related to coronavirus. 
  • The National Resource Center for Reaching Victims has resources to support victims of crimes in response to COVID-19. This site includes recordings from their national strategy sessions, webinars on critical topics and tip sheets. 
  • The National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center website includes resources on COVID-19 legal response needs and maintains a listserv for sharing resources and strategies.
  • Tribal Law and Policy Institute has launched an Indian Country resource page with information and resources concerning tribal, state and federal initiatives, best practices, and service provision strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The National Center on Law & Elder Rights has a training on Strategies for Providing Remote Legal Services to Older Adults.
  • Declarations for Death Penalty Representation During COVID-19 (April 3, 2020)
    The ABA Death Penalty Representation Project signed Declarations to address issues of inadequate defense of persons facing the death penalty during the pandemic. Read the Declarations here and here
  • Support of H.R. 6414, the Correctional Facility Emergency Response Act of 2020 (April 7, 2020)
     ABA thanked House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler for introducing H.R. 6414, the COVID-19 Correctional Facility Emergency Response Act of 2020. 
  • The ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) has launched a web page that consolidates resources from across the country to assist the access to justice community in addressing the many challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The ABA Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence has compiled a list of resources for survivors, lawyers, domestic violence providers and advocates.
  • ABA Letter Regarding the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Memorandum (April 10, 2020)
    Regarding Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Director’s March 17 Memorandum granting limited waivers from some of the federal contract compliance requirements that would otherwise be applicable to contracts for Coronavirus relief efforts, ABA recognizes that in this time of national emergency, the federal government needs to move quickly to acquire life-saving necessary goods and services. Nonetheless, the ABA has repeatedly, for decades, supported affirmative action, and even in these trying times we urge the Department to remain steadfastly and visibly committed to affirmative action and equal opportunity for minorities, women, the disabled, and veterans. ​
  • ABA Legal Fact Check: State powers and public health during pandemics
  • Equal Rights Advocates is hosting COVID-19 resources for workers and student survivors, Title IX administrators, and families.
  • ABA Legal Fact Check examines how COVID-19 is raising questions — and legal challenges — to employers’ actions related to keeping their workplace safe and to workers’ rights to seek reasonable accommodation under federal and state law.
  • The Legal Services Funders Network in the Bay Area of California is funding a minimum of 25 fellowships for 2020 graduates of Bay Area law firms to spend six months with legal services organizations.  The initiative addresses increased legal needs relating to COVID-19 and reduced employment prospects for this year’s law school graduates.
  • National Association of Counsel for Children has resources to help keep child welfare legal community informed and prepared to safeguard rights and wellbeing of children and families. 
  • The Children’s Defense Fund responds to Coronavirus and offers resources for protecting children and families.
  • Department of Health & Human Services provides federal guidance on addressing priority court hearings, parent-child contact, timing of legal decisions, and other legal issues.
  • The National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership has a variety of links related to legal needs and emerging legal issues pertinent to civil legal aid and medical-legal partnership fields.
  • Online legal assistance portals in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio show jump in traffic, increase in searches about unemployment and government benefits.
  • The Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice developed a multi-part webinar series exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic highlights critical legal issues of criminal justice, civil rights, human rights, and economic concerns, to name a few.
  • COVID Coverage Litigation Tracker, created by Tom Baker at Penn Law, is an insurance law analytics tool.

Children, Youth and Families

Criminal Legal Issues and Fines and Fees

  • Fines & Fees Justice Center has recommended policies to assist jurisdictions across the country in dealing with COVID-19. The Center also maintains a COVID-19 Fines and Fees Policy Tracker, and policy recommendations for people in the criminal justice system. 
  • ABA Support for H.R. 2868, the Ensuring Quality Access to Legal (EQUAL) Defense Act (February 27, 2020)
    The ABA commends senators for their introduction of the Ensuring Quality Access to Legal (EQUAL) Defense Act in each chamber of Congress (S.1377 and H.R. 2868, respectively). The EQUAL Defense Act would help protect the constitutional rights of defendants who are unable to afford a lawyer, increase indigent defense representation in local and tribal public defense systems, and provide needed relief to the men and women providing public defense services every day.
  • Statement Re: Provisions for prisons and jails in COVID-19 economic stimulus package (March 27, 2020)
    Prisons and jails are some of the highest-risk environments for the spread of COVID-19. The ABA is encouraged that the COVID-19 economic stimulus package approved by Congress includes provisions to allow prisons greater access to personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing materials. The ABA is further encouraged by the bill’s provisions that expand use of home detention and electronic monitoring. The availability of these alternatives to incarceration should be considered particularly for individuals whose cases are still pending. The ABA is disappointed the bill fails to include provisions to increase access to release for older and infirm prisoners, but commends a separate action taken by the Department of Justice which directs federal prison authorities to identify elderly and medically compromised inmates for home confinement. The ABA also applauds state and local prosecutors, courts, law enforcement officers and corrections officers who are seeking practical alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders, especially during this national emergency.


  • Special alert for VA, SSI recipients who don’t file a tax return and have dependents.
  • This fact sheet from the Social Security Administration provides more information on how individuals who receive SSI and Social Security benefits will receive stimulus payments and any additional actions they need to take.
    • During the COVID-19 pandemic, guardians for older adults and adults with disabilities may have questions about fulfilling their duties and staying connected to people they represent. Guardianship experts, including the National Guardianship Association, ABA Commission on Law and Aging, and the National Center for State Courts, have created a FAQ document with answers, actionable tips, and links to key resources.


Eviction, Housing, and Homelessness

  • On December 4, 2020, ABA President Trish Refo sent a letter to the National Governors Association, encouraging an effective response to the eviction crisis, and offering assistance and collaboration.
  • The Virginia Poverty Law Center has developed an Eviction Tracker for that state.
  • Renters in South Carolina no longer need to pay past-due rent in order to appeal evictions.
  • Jacksonville Area Legal Aid has created an online Eviction Court Form Builder program for Florida residents. 
  • On September 5, 2020, ABA President Patricia Refo sent a letter to Congressional leadership calling for immediate action in reinstituting the eviction moratorium and providing financial assistance to renters/landlords and property owners.
  • On September 1, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control issued a broad eviction moratorium, effective September 4 – December 31, 2020.
    Below is a summary of the moratorium, according to the National Housing Law Project:
    • It applies to all tenants who present a signed declaration to their landlords;
    • The declaration requires the tenant to state that:

      (i) their income is less than $99,000, they did not have to pay income tax in 2019, or they received a stimulus check;
      (ii) they are unable to pay rent due to income loss or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
      (iii) they would become homeless or need to double-up if evicted;
      (iv) they will still make partial payments ("using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual's circumstances may permit, taking into account other non-discretionary expenses”);
    • It applies wherever there is not a more protective tate moratorium in effect, i.e. it acts as a floor;
    • It applies to evictions for nonpayment of rent
    • There are criminal penalties for violations.

Loan Defaults, Deferrals, Forgiveness


Legal Services Corporation; Legal Services Providers

  • ABA Urges Congress to Include Supplemental Emergency LSC Funding in Stimulus Bill (March 19, 2020)
    ABA letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urged them to act quickly to pass supplemental emergency appropriations for the Legal Services Corporation to help address the increasing legal needs of low-income Americans caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
  • The Federal Reserve's significant reduction in interest rates is reducing Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts, a significant source of funding for legal aid programs across the United States. This reduction may be compounded by reduction in revenue from court filing fees, another source of funding for legal aid programs in many states, as courts limit their operations as a result of the coronavirus. Law360 has this item on these developments.
  • ABA Requests Additional Emergency LSC Funding to Address Pandemic (April 8, 2020)
    ABA thanked leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for including $50 million of emergency funding for the Legal Service Corporation in the CARES Act of 2020, which was 50% of the $100 million that LSC originally requested. The letter also asked the committee leaders to include the remaining $50 million in the next stimulus bill to help address the "tidal wave" of low-income Americans needing legal assistance due to the dramatic spike of evictions, foreclosures, domestic violence, family law issues, and other legal problems caused by the pandemic.
  • The Justice in Government Project and NLADA have created a new resource that provides information about COVID-19 related appropriations, law, and agency guidance that can help support legal aid providers and courts. It contains information on non-LSC federal funding sources including:
    •  AmeriCorps
    • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
    • Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
    • Edward Bryne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant
    • Fair Housing Initiatives Program Education and Outreach (EOI)
    • Family Violence Prevention Services (FVPSA) formula grants
    • Older Americans Act
    • Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program
    • HHS HRSA Section 330 funding for health centers
    • STOP (Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grant
    • Title IV-E foster care program

July 2020 Bar Examination Changes

Public Benefits

Pro Bono Mobilization

  • The Southeastern Council of Foundations hosted a webinar entitled, “Disaster Philanthropy in the Time of COVID-19,” to share a first look at the new report from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) and Candid, that examines philanthropic awards for the coronavirus pandemic from foundations, corporations, grantmaking public charities and high-net-worth individuals from around the globe.  Panelists explored the data and discussed how they are supporting communities during the pandemic while also managing other disasters.
  • Pro Bono Net, the Immigration Advocates Network and partners have published a guide for nonprofit pro bono innovation, entitled "Remote Legal Support Guide: A Best Practices Manual for Nonprofit and Pro Bono Innovation." 
  • Big law firms are joining with the Lawyers for Good Government Foundation to help small businesses access government support.
  • The ABA Center for Pro Bono has resources related to pro bono organizations and management during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ABA Free Legal Answers is a virtual legal advice clinic where qualifying users post their civil legal questions to their state’s website.
  • Amid COVID-19, the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division’s Disaster Legal Services Program and Paladin launch pro bono portal to provide free legal services.
  • Practicing Law Institute’s (PLI) Pursuing Justice: The Pro Bono Files podcast provides a behind-the-scenes exploration of pro bono and public interest legal work.
  • Under NJ Court Order, pro bono work by out-of-state counsel, including in-house counsel, is another measure to minimize disruption and allow access to the state’s court and legal system during the health crisis.
  • Dallas Eviction 2020 Project provides pro bono legal help if you get an eviction notice in Dallas, TX.
  • COVID-19 Pro Bono Support Needs Project – A loosely organized group of law students, paralegals, and paralegal students are providing pro bono support for attorneys working on client matters related to COVID-19.  The project is not affiliated with any university or larger organization.
  • The Pro Bono Project provides important legal resources such as applying for civil legal aid, inquiring about your case status, and self-help desk hotline.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Legal Media/News

State and Local Government Action

  • Stateside has a 2020 State and Local Government Report on Responses to COVID-19.
  • The ABA’s Standing Committee on Election Law has information on how coronavirus is impacting elections in the states.
  • Faegre Drinker is tracking executive orders, enacted legislation and guidance at the federal, state and major municipality levels related to COVID-19.
  • Wolters Kluwer has created a comprehensive app that covers over 2000 executive orders, laws and regulations across Federal and 50 State jurisdictions.
  • The ABA’s Section of State and Local Government Law has resources on the CARES Act, public health legal preparedness, American Health Lawyers informational hub, and the National Association of Attorneys General.
  • The COVID-19 Outbreak at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke: An Independent Investigation Conducted for the Governor of Massachusetts – June 23, 2020
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies and the National League of Cities have created a COVID-19: Local Action Tracker.  It is the most complete collection of municipal responses to COVID-19.  The information below was collected through active research and direct submissions from local leaders:

National Conference of State Legislatures

 Council of State Governments Website 

  • The Council of State Governments has collected state-by-state information on resources and restrictions relating to COVID-19.
    • The Council of State Governments has collected Executive Orders relating to COVID-19 and organized them by state and subject matter.

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