Students assist tenants and workers under attorney supervision on housing and employment issues in one-on-one meetings at Centro Legal de La Raza, a legal services organization that advances the rights of working-class immigrant communities in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. Students conduct intakes where they screen for legal issues, identify and propose solutions for the client, and draft legal documents as necessary.
Students may have the opportunity to write demand letters, complaints, Rent Board petitions, help with policy initiatives, testify at city council hearings, and attend hearings. Students will have the opportunity to hone their interviewing, client service, and legal research and analysis skills. Students may also help plan educational events and panels about housing and employment issues and get involved in local community actions.
Some ability to speak Spanish is a plus for any of these projects. For those students who already have some Spanish speaking ability, resources are available to help learn the vocabulary required to conduct legal intake. Additionally, Cantonese and Vietnamese speakers are encouraged to apply.
Supervision: Students will receive training from and provide pro bono legal services under the supervision of attorneys at Centro Legal de La Raza.
Time Commitment: Students have to attend one mandatory training at the beginning of the fall semester that runs from 5:30pm to 9pm and takes place at Berkeley Law. Additional trainings will be offered periodically throughout the semester before clinic starts. Students must participate in a minimum of four clinics per semester in either workers’ or tenants’ rights (or minimum of six if students choose to do both) in order for them to be fully trained to the extent Centro Legal would like and for them to meaningfully engage in housing/employment law. The clinics take place from 5:30pm to 9pm at Centro Legal de La Raza in Oakland almost every Thursday. There may be additional clinics on other days. Students are free to choose the clinics they want to attend.
If students would like to take on additional policy, client representation, or advocacy projects, they may set up their own reasonable time commitments with a supervising attorney.
For more information, please contact the student leaders at LaRazaSLP@berkeley.edu.
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