Prisoner Advocacy Network

The Prisoner Advocacy Network (PAN) works to support prisoners incarcerated in California State Prisons. PAN focuses on supporting people in prison who have severe unmet needs, including people in solitary confinement, security housing units, administrative segregation, and gender-based segregation. PAN provides non-litigation advocacy for incarcerated people experiencing discrimination, retaliation, medical needs, and civil rights violations. PAN is especially interested in working with activists and jailhouse lawyers who are advocating for their rights from the inside.

After being trained to work as an advocate, Berkeley Law students will be assigned an incarcerated correspondent for whom they will, under the supervision of an attorney mentor, provide non-litigation advocacy assistance on an issue or issues identified by the correspondent. Tasks will vary according to the needs of each advocate’s correspondent, but may include phone calls and letters to prison and health care officials, assisting prisoners with filing administrative appeals, filing complaints, providing resources or research from the Internet, and public records requests. The advocate may travel to the prison to meet their correspondent and better understand the correspondent’s needs. The advocate may also participate in higher-level activities like identifying trending violations at prisons or writing template, well-researched letters for typical issues correspondents face.

PAN is a SLP for law students who want to learn first-hand about the challenges faced by people incarcerated in California State Prisons.

Supervision: Students will receiving training from and be supervised by attorney members of the National Lawyers’ Guild of San Francisco

Time Commitment: Participation in PAN requires at least an 18-month commitment in order to ensure a seamless transition for your correspondent’s issues to a new advocate if necessary.

Fall semester total estimate:                                      Spring semester total estimate:

4 hours of training                                                      10 hours for a prison visit

10 hours for group workdays                                      10 hour for group workdays

20-30 hours of correspondence & research              20-30 hours of correspondence & research


The time commitment varies depending on how needy your correspondent is. PAN will attempt to spread the work evenly and flexibly so that correspondents with greater needs have more than one advocate.

This SLP requires committed, self-motivated students who are looking for more than their 25 pro bono hours for the year. The work is extremely rewarding and eye-opening for individuals interested in learning first-hand about the California criminal punishment system.

For more information, please contact the student leaders at

How To Apply


We are grateful to our supporters:

Julie Hess
Loren S. Lewallen
David B. Oppenheimer
Select Equity Group, Inc.