Prisoner Advocacy Network

PAN (Prisoner Advocacy Network) SLP Logo

The Prisoner Advocacy Network (PAN) is a volunteer network working to support people incarcerated in California State prisons.  PAN focuses on researching common issues facing incarcerated people (“correspondents”) and providing legal research to assist jailhouse lawyers in understanding the law and the innumerable barriers in seeking justice from behind bars.  

PAN’s activities take two main forms: a) responding to correspondent requests, including case searches for incarcerated litigators, researching Title 15 and governing regulations, and sharing updates to the laws impacting correspondents; and b) working with PAN to build and update our resource handouts, including updating past research to account for changes in the law, revising our habeas corpus practice guide, and working on a self-litigation practice guide for 1983 civil rights claims.

Berkeley Law students will be trained to correspond with and assist incarcerated individuals in advocacy efforts. Tasks will vary according to the needs of the correspondent. PAN utilizes technology so most of the work is remote, but in person meetings on campus are required and in-person support at the NLG office in San Francisco is greatly appreciated. This year, due to a reduction in attorney volunteers at PAN, the work will be more research-focused and will consist of less long term and direct advocacy than in past years. A primary goal of the organization this year is to move many of our internal resources into a public database on the internet which will be accessible to all.

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 a full year commitment through April 2022. Students will commit to approximately 40-45 hours over the course of the year, subject to some variance depending on the projects.

Fall Semester total estimate: Spring Semester total estimate:
6 hours of training (broken over 2-3 sessions) 6-8 hours for group workdays
6 hours for group workdays    10-15 hours of correspondence & research
10-15 hours of correspondence & research    

We will have a regular, in person all-hands meeting on the last Tuesday of every month, and small working groups will have additional in person and virtual meetings as necessary. Meeting times for small working groups will be determined by the team lead in coordination with students in October. There will also be required trainings in October to onboard new students;  specific times will be determined based on student/attorney schedules.

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 and the surviving constitutional rights of those behind bars.

For more information, please contact the student leaders at

We are grateful to our supporters:

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