We marshal the resources of the private bar to help effect change through direct legal services, policy advocacy, and impact litigation strategies. We depend on a dedicated corps of volunteer attorneys to lend their expertise to legal issues and cases that are critical to the advancement, protection, and promotion of civil rights.
DIRECT SERVICE PRO BONO OPPORTUNITIES
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer attorney, the best way to become involved is through one of our direct legal services programs and/or clinics. Volunteers receive support through training, practice manuals, and from mentors and interpreters throughout their tenure with us. If you are an attorney with one of our partnering law firms, please check with your Pro bono Manager / Pro bono Committee for Lawyers’ Committee opportunities that are currently available to you through your firm. We offer the following clinical services programs in which volunteer attorneys are needed:
Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE)
Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE) is an economic justice project that began in 1997. LSE provides free business legal services to low-income entrepreneurs who are starting or have existing business. Informed by the challenges and/or obstacles they encounter, we advocate for policies that will favorably impact the diverse local economy. We also partner with community organizations in economically distressed areas throughout the Bay Area in their efforts to sustain and improve the local business climate so their communities can flourish.
LSE offers business attorneys a unique opportunity to work on pro bono matters that are relevant to their practice areas. These matters cover the entire range of legal services necessary to begin or develop a business, including business law basics, entity formation, intellectual property protection, real estate / lease negotiation, labor and employment law, etc. LSE also has opportunities for attorneys to lead legal workshops on business law issues and participation in monthly legal clinics.
Asylum pro bono Program
The pro bono Asylum Program provides volunteers with the opportunity to save refugees’ lives by helping them win asylum in the United States. Immigrants who have escaped persecution in their native country based on their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion are eligible to seek protection under U.S. asylum laws. We welcome your pro bono service as a volunteer attorney, interpreter, or mentor attorney. Your help is critical for refugees who cannot afford an attorney.
Volunteers assist clients in preparing asylum applications and represent clients before the U.S. Asylum Office, in Immigration Court, and at the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Some of our cases have reached the U.S. Supreme Court.
We assemble a volunteer legal team for each client. Our volunteer attorneys do not need to have past experience or training in immigration law. We offer comprehensive training on asylum law and procedure. Volunteer attorneys are also assigned mentors from the immigration bar to guide them in preparing their cases. Finally, our program provides ongoing support, “brown bag” lunch workshops, and networking opportunities to learn from and share information with other volunteers.
Impact litigation and policy advocacy
Legal matters come to us as real-world conditions necessitate the need for attention and/or action. Our civil rights advocacy includes a wide spectrum of work, and volunteers are welcome to participate in a variety of impact litigation and policy advocacy matters, including, but not limited to:
Education; voting rights; housing; public contracting; criminal justice reform; equal access to municipal services; challenging abusive practices by government officials; police protection and abuse; vital government services, employment, etc.
LAW FIRM PRESENTATIONS
We offer noontime (or anytime!) presentations for law firms and legal departments that have attorneys, paralegals, and other volunteers who want to learn more about our current pro bono opportunities. Two to three members of our program staff will come to your offices and provide a one-hour overview of all our program areas, including those areas listed below. MCLE credit is available.
To schedule a presentation, please call 415.543.9444 ext. 217 or contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to meeting you.