Volunteer Opportunities with BASF’s Justice and Diversity Center

The Justice & Diversity Center utilizes volunteer attorneys, law students, social workers and other non-attorney professionals including interpreters and psychologists who are supported by JDC staff attorneys and social workers. JDC offers training in most of its pro bono projects, and offers pro bono opportunities in both litigation and transactional law. JDC’s volunteer based projects are divided into four types of service delivery: Full-Scope Representation, Limited-Scope Representation, Transactional Matters, and Legal Clinics.

  1. Law firms looking for a pro bono avenue
  2. New attorneys looking for experience
  3. Transactional attorneys
  4. Graduates who have not yet passed the Bar
  5. College students, law students, paralegals and other professionals
  6. Retired or non active attorneys

1. Law firms looking for a pro bono avenue

JDC offers attorneys and law firms a spectrum of volunteer opportunities, from business law and civil litigation, to family law and public benefits work.  JDC also offers projects with varying levels of time commitment, from full-scope matters to brief consultations in legal clinics.
We recognize that your firm has specific needs and goals for your pro bono work, and we work with you to design a successful program, including:

  • Free continuing legal education (CLE training)
  • Training and experience (including courtroom experience) for newer associates
  • Malpractice insurance (primary to your firm’s insurance)
  • Ongoing mentoring

For more information or to request a presentation, please contact Gloria Chun at 415-782-8970 orgchun@sfbar.org.


2. New attorneys looking for experience

If you are a new attorney and are looking for experience, we suggest the Family Law, Eviction Defense, and/or Consumer Projects.

  • Extensive training programs designed for new attorneys
  • Courtroom experience and client contact
  • The chance to consult with more experienced attorneys as needed

The Family Law Project is an excellent opportunity to help families with children and battered women.

The Eviction Defense Project involves procedures which are the same as those in business litigation, but are more condensed.

The Consumer Project provides assistance to clients facing collection defense and bankruptcy issues. Volunteering with these projects is a great way to gain experience and help change lives at the same time.


3. Transactional attorneys

If you are an experienced transactional attorney we suggest volunteering with our Community Organizations Representation Project (CORP). CORP assists nonprofits with their various business issues, including employment, corporate governance, contracts and real property.

You might also want to consider volunteering to help negotiate settlements in our Housing Negotiation Project, or helping clients with uncontested guardianships in our Family Law Project.


4. Graduates who have not yet passed the Bar

If you graduated from law school and have not yet passed the California Bar, or are admitted to practice in a state other than California, we suggest volunteering with our Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP).

Much of HAP’s work is administrative public benefits advocacy with the Social Security Administration and does not require California Bar admission.


5. College students, law students, paralegals and other professionals

If you are a law student, college student or other professional who is interested in law, please consider volunteering as a legal interviewer with our Legal Advice and Referral Clinic (LARC).

We also suggest volunteering with our Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) if you have a flexible schedule and are looking to volunteer a significant amount of time to a specific project.

If you speak a second language, please also consider volunteering with the Legal Advice and Referral Clinicor our Interpreter Project.

We also have student internships available each semester. We recruit for interns every August/September, January and April/May. We post internship announcements at Bay Area colleges and law schools during these times. Please do not send us unsolicited resumes.

For more information on non attorney volunteer opportunities, visit our non attorney volunteer opportunities page.


6. Retired or non active attorneys

If you are an attorney that has recently retired or if you are taking a temporary break from the active practice of law, you can still do pro bono work through the California State Bar’s Pro Bono Practice Program (PBP).  This is a great way for someone who has practiced law or served as a judge in California for at least three of the last five years to continue practicing law while giving back to the community.

To find out more about the program, please go to the State Bar’s website at:http://www.calbar.ca.gov/AboutUs/CenteronAccesstoJustice/ProBonoPracticeProgram.aspx

JDC is a qualified legal services provider for purposes of the PBP. Once you’ve been accepted into this program, you can then help with one of JDC’s pro bono projects.

For more information, email probono@sfbar.org