Pro Bono Program


The recent fires have devastated many communities in Northern California. Here are some ways that you can help:

  • Legal Aid of Sonoma County has an online sign-up form on their website for anyone interested in volunteering. Please visit their home page at http://legalaidsc.org/ and click on the red “Fire Attorney Volunteer” button to register. The organization plans to run informational clinics and provide direct client services.
  • The State Bar of California is hosting a volunteer sign-up online for an emergency hotline and other pro bono opportunities at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JVZPFQG.
  • Once it is safe to do so, Bay Area Legal Aid will be mobilizing clinics and on-site services with staff and volunteers. Please check here for updates.
  • OneJustice is acting as a clearinghouse for fire-related legal efforts and has set up a webpage with the most current information.

If you would like to help provide legal assistance to survivors of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, or Hurricane Maria, please visit the ABA’s Disaster Relief webpage for more information about how you can help.

 


“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.