Pro Bono Program


“Some schools have a pro bono requirement;
At Berkeley Law, we have a pro bono culture.”

~David Oppenheimer
Clinical Professor of Law

Berkeley Law’s Pro Bono Program offers students the opportunity to engage in meaningful client service as early as their first semester of law school. Students can apply to participate in our Student-Initiated Legal Services Projects (SLPS) or work independently with community organizations. Either way, students gain practical skills while bringing life-changing legal services to underserved communities. Students also earn hours toward the community service requirement for state bar requirements, summer public interest stipends (commonly referred to as “Dean’s Grants”) and recognition at Berkeley Law’s Public Interest and Pro Bono Graduation.

Student-Initiated Legal Services Projects (SLPS) are the heart of our Pro Bono Program and a vital part of the student experience at Berkeley Law. These pro bono projects are founded and operated by Berkeley Law students. Some date back decades; others began as recently as last semester. In each case, law students identified a legal need, recruited supervising attorneys, researched the relevant law, and enlisted classmates to bring legal services to under-served communities.

Students also participate in other (non-SLPS) Pro Bono Opportunities.

For questions and additional information, please contact Diana DiGennaro, the Pro Bono Program Director, at probono@law.berkeley.edu.

If you are a legal services organization seeking law students to assist with a pro bono project, please click here.

 


The Berkeley Law Pro Bono Program does not provide any direct legal assistance and does not refer individuals and organizations seeking assistance to private attorneys. Law students are not permitted to represent individuals in legal matters unless they are working under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Faculty members make individual decisions about pro bono projects; please contact them directly. Please do not telephone, e-mail or write to the Pro Bono Program with legal questions or requests for referrals as we are unable to respond to these inquiries. If you believe you need a lawyer, please contact your local bar association at sfbar.org or http://www.acbanet.org/ or the East Bay Community Law Center.

The California State Bar also provides resources for Californians who need help finding an attorney as well as ways to avoid fraud from notarios and other people posing as attorneys.