On March 21, federal judges and volunteer attorneys braved rain, wind gusts, and toppled trees, to gather at the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Courthouse to celebrate the Justice & Diversity Center’s (JDC) Federal Pro Bono Project for the 2022 Reception. The Reception celebrated the Project’s 15th anniversary, its accomplishments, and volunteers during 2022.
Chief District Judge Richard Seeborg and Senior Judge Edward M. Chen thanked the volunteers, and both echoed the need for more volunteers to combat the widening and persistent Justice Gap that impacts low-income, unrepresented litigants and their ability to defend or advance their rights. The Judges challenged volunteers to share their pro bono experiences at their firm meetings and urge colleagues to volunteer. Also, Aaron P. Silberman, shareholder at Rogers, Joseph O’Donnell, shared his volunteer experience and its triumphs, challenges, and the gratitude he receives from clients appreciative of being heard and his service. Aaron has volunteered for all 15 years of the Project.
In 2022, the Project arranged pro bono counsel for 31 unrepresented litigants, while 19 firms volunteered on matters that were resolved last year. The Project also assisted nearly 300 unrepresented litigants at the court-based San Francisco and Oakland Self-Help Centers.
Prospective volunteers can learn more about volunteering with the Project by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org