Student-Initiated Legal Services Projects (SLPS)

Student-Initiated Legal Services Projects (SLPS) are a vital part of the student experience at Berkeley Law. Most students join at least one SLP during their first year and many join two or more. Still others continue SLPS work throughout law school.

Student-Initiated Legal Service Projects (SLPS) are pro bono projects founded and operated by Berkeley Law students. Some of these projects date back decades; others began as recently as last semester. In each case, law students identified a legal need, recruited supervising attorneys, researched the relevant law, and enlisted classmates to bring legal services to under-served communities.

SLPS are open to all Boalt students and participation is voluntary. Run by second and third year law students and primarily staffed by first years, these projects allow 1Ls to interact with clients from their very first semester. With training and supervision provided by the SLPS and local attorneys, students gain the benefit of practical experience to inform their academic coursework.

While participation is voluntary and not for course credit, the hours spent working for SLPS may be used to meet the minimum number of hours required to receive summer pro bono grants (also known as Edley Grants). The hours also count towards the 50 hour Pro Bono Pledge.

Through SLPS work, students and their organizations have formed long-lasting partnerships with a variety of prominent public interest organizations, law firms, and government agencies including the Accountability Counsel of San Francisco, the Asian Law Caucus, Centro Legal de la Raza, Disability Rights California, the East Bay Community Law Center, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Legal Services for Children, Morrison & Foerster LLP, National Center for Youth Law, Reed Smith LLP, and the San Francisco Legal Aid Society's Employment Law Center.

There are currently 22 active SLPS projects at Berkeley Law. To learn more about these organizations and the work they do view Current SLPS Projects or contact the SLPS Coordinator at slpscoordinator@gmail.com


 

The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) has been one of my most meaningful experiences in law school. Working under the supervision of volunteer attorneys in order to provide direct legal services to refugees overseas has given me an array of practical skills together with substantive training in this incredibly important and timely area of humanitarian and public interest law.

-- May Whitaker, Class of 2014