Students who participate in the Reentry Advocacy Project (RAP) have the opportunity to work with Root & Rebound, a non-profit in Oakland founded by Berkeley Law alums, to provide legal information to individuals who are reentering society from prison. Root & Rebound’s mission is to transfer power and information from the policy and legal communities to the people most impacted by our criminal justice system through public education, direct legal services, and policy advocacy, so that the law serves, rather than harms, low-income communities and communities of color in the United States.
RAP Volunteers work alongside Root & Rebound attorneys to resolve nuanced legal questions and to provide reentry resources for formerly incarcerated individuals and their loved ones. Students who are available on Fridays assist with the Reentry Legal Hotline, which offers free legal information on reentry-related topics. Root & Rebound also receives approximately 400+ letters a week from currently incarcerated individuals; under the direction of an attorney, students research and respond to reentry-related questions in the letters. Students may also assist staff attorneys with other research or support projects. Using the Roadmap to Reentry guidebook developed by Root & Rebound, RAP Volunteers will grow familiar with California and federal law regarding reentry issues such as voting rights, registration laws, employment, and housing.
Supervision: Students will receive training and be supervised by attorneys at Root & Rebound.
Time Commitment: RAP Volunteers will complete 15-20 hours of pro bono work per semester. Volunteers will work on a bi-weekly basis with supervising attorneys at the Root & Rebound office in Downtown Oakland. Volunteers will be split into two cohorts: a Thursday Cohort that meets every other Thursday from 1:30pm-4:30pm to research and write letters and to assist with other legal research and advocacy needs and a Friday Cohort that meets every other Friday from 12pm-3pm to help with inquiries made through the Root & Rebound Reentry Legal Hotline. All volunteers are required to attend an evening training at the beginning of the semester (approximately three hours; exact time and date to be announced) and at least one Root & Rebound Clinic each semester (approximately two to eight hours, depending on the clinic; exact times and dates to be announced).
For more information, please contact the student leaders at ReentryAdvocacy@berkeley.edu.
We are grateful to our supporters:
Loren S. Lewallen
David B. Oppenheimer
Select Equity Group, Inc.