Central Valley

The mission of the Central Valley BLAST is to introduce students to the unique legal issues of rural poverty in California and to be thoughtful, supportive partners with community members already working and leading in the area. We will practice substantive legal work outside the law school under attorney supervision; gain awareness of our privilege as Berkeley Law students; and learn about how important the Central Valley is to California’s history, its economy, and its environmental and immigration trends.  Attorneys in California are concentrated in large cities like the Bay Area, leaving a dearth of resources and huge unmet need in the rest of California. As of now, organizational commitments will be divided as follows:

Central California Legal Services (CCLS): One group will be paired with CCLS to provide legal services to low-income residents across the Central Valley. Past BLAST/CCLS projects have included housing clinics, trust and estate services, and homelessness education.

Root & Rebound (R&R) and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND): The other group will spend one half of the week with KIND, helping research and file asylum applications for children living in the Central Valley. The second half of the week will be spent with R&R, which provides wraparound post-conviction services and advocacy for women in the Central Valley. Past BLAST/R&R projects have included legal research, post-conviction reentry clinics, and judicial filings.

Time Commitment: If we are able to travel, Students should be available to travel to the Central Valley on the weekends prior and subsequent to Spring Break. In addition to the Spring Break commitment, we will have general meetings for about 2 hours once per month throughout the year to plan and discuss topics relating to the trip and complete trainings.

For more information, please contact the student leaders at blastcv@berkeley.edu.