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Justice & Diversity Center: Legal Services Program Volunteering

Volunteer Opportunities Overview

 

The Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) utilizes volunteer attorneys, law students, social workers and other non-attorney professionals including interpreters and psychologists who are supported by JDC staff attorneys and social workers. JDC offers training in most of its pro bono projects, and offers pro bono opportunities in both litigation and transactional law. JDC’s volunteer based projects are divided into four types of service delivery: Full-Scope Representation, Limited-Scope Representation, Transactional Matters, and Legal Clinics.

 

Full-Scope Litigation

  • Family Law Project: Assists low-income clients in matters such as dissolution of marriage, child custody /support, and restraining orders. Limited-scope opportunities available.
    • Training and support provided.
  • Eviction Defense Project: Provides representation to low-income San Franciscans facing eviction.
    • Training and support provided.
  • Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP): Works with clients who are homeless, or at serious risk of becoming homeless. HAP assists clients in obtaining or retaining housing through government benefits advocacy, eviction prevention and resolution of other issues that present barriers to stability.
  • Guardianship/Conservatorship Project:Provides representation to adults wishing to become legal guardians of children  or conservators of the person.
    • Training and support provided.
  • Federal Pro Bono Project: Provides representation of low-income litigants in Federal Court. Five years of federal practice experience required.
    • No training or support provided.
  • Tax Project: Assists low-income taxpayers who have tax issues with the IRS. Experience required.
    • No training or support provided.

 

Limited-Scope Representation

These projects are particularly popular with attorneys looking for short-term pro bono commitments, large law firms, or corporate legal departments. Training and support provided for all of these projects

  • Housing Negotiation Project (HNP): Provides limited-scope representation to pro per litigants during their unlawful detainer mandatory settlement conferences.  Both transactional and litigations attorneys volunteer with this project.
  • Consumer Debt Project: Provides limited-scope representation to low-income people defending collection cases or being harassed by debt collectors.  

Transactional

  • Community Organization Representation Project (CORP): Provides nonprofit organizations with legal representation and advice in transactional areas including employment, real estate, intellectual property, taxation, business contracts and corporate formation / governance.
    • Experience required. No training or support provided.
  • Medical-Legal Projects Project: Works with residents in the Bayview Hunter’s Point district and at the Bayview Hunter’s Point and St. Mary’s Medical Center’s Sister Mary Philippa Health Center to address community issues. Litigation opportunities also available.
    • Training and support provided.

 

Clinical

  • Legal Advice and Referral Clinic (LARC): Free monthly walk-in clinics held on Saturdays at UC Hastings College of the Law and in the Bayview Hunter’s Point district, providing clients expert legal advice and guidance in all areas of civil law.
    • 5 years of experience needed to provide legal advice.
  • Project Homeless Connect (PHC): JDC runs the ID and Legal Clinic areas of PHC, a city-wide event held every six to eight weeks to provide a wide range of services to homeless individuals and families.
    • 5 years of experience needed to provide legal advice.
  • Consumer Debt Defense and Education Clinic (CDDEC): Free monthly clinics assisting low-income clients defending collection cases or being harassed by debt collectors. 
    • Training and support provided.