The Gumshoe Group recently launched an initiative that connects freelance reporters pursuing FOIA claims to lawyers willing/able to advocate or litigate on their behalf and they are taking assistance inquiries.
Gumshoe is excited to be in the process of building two networks – one network of lawyers from law firms, private attorneys, legal non-profits and law school clinical programs (ideally willing to provide pro bono labor), and another network of freelance investigative reporters.
Their process works like this: after a reporter gets in touch, the staff at Gumshoe evaluates their request for legal assistance. They vet the project, including by evaluating the reporter’s track record for moving stories to publication and the potential value to the public of the records they’re trying to obtain.
If/when they approve the request, they then do their best to connect the journalist to an attorney.
Since their launch, they’ve also been connecting reporters who need assistance with drafting or filing specific FOI requests, to law students willing to volunteer their time. And thus far they’ve hosted two trainings for freelance reporters, including one workshop on how to file requests with police departments.