San Francisco Paralegal Association

Disclaimer: The San Francisco Paralegal Association (SFPA) Community Service and Pro Bono Committee thanks you for visiting our web site. We provide information as a service to our members and the San Francisco Bay Area community. Our program takes advantage of the legal skills and training of paralegals from all practice areas and settings and offers them the opportunity to contribute their expertise and gain experience and contacts while serving nonprofit organizations. By using this site, you accept and understand that SFPA is not responsible for the consequences of using or relying upon any information found on this site. Our Association does not necessarily support the views of the organization that offers the internships or other volunteer opportunties presented through our website. SFPA does not imply our endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation of each organization. Our Association does not maintain insurance for individuals who wish to apply for internships, and internship liability is confined solely to the individual and not our Association. Volunteers assume responsibilities for their own actions and practice.

For more information on the Pro Bono Committee, please email:communityserviceprobono@sfpa.com.

 

Current Pro Bono Opportunities


 Pro Bono Opportunity  Description
 


 

 

 

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) is a nonprofit law firm founded in 1968 that works to advance, protect and promote the legal rights of communities of color, low income persons, immigrants,  refugees, and other historically disadvantaged groups. Their offices are close to the Embarcadero Bart station in San Francisco.


Volunteer Paralegals are needed to perform Intake Interviews at their office for the Immigration Justice Program. After the interview,  an intake memorandum summarizing the interview will be completed and submitted to an LCCR staff attorney for review.  This is an exciting opportunity to hone your interview and critical thinking skills while volunteering to support a well known civil rights organization.    


LCCR asks that the volunteer commit to either a full day, or a minimum of four hours on Fridays. Office hours are 9 - 5 pm. Training will be provided.  The ideal candidate will be able to commit to at least two Friday days a month and volunteers must commit to performing the Intake duties at least 6 times.


Interested applicants are asked to complete the online volunteer application on the LCCR website. Go to http://www.lccr.com/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities/application-form/ 


Spanish speaking skills are a plus but all are welcome to apply.  If you are bi-lingual please check the box for Foreign Language Proficiency and list the 2nd language in the text box below. 


When completing the form please be sure to follow the instructions below:

Areas of Interest: Direct Services - check the box for Asylum Program. 

Areas of Interest: Impact Litigation- check the box Immigrant and Refugee Rights

What types of Volunteer opportunities are you interest in?- check the box Volunteer in-office. 

Text Box:  Enter that you are a paralegal and want to help with intake interviews and indicate how often you can volunteer. 


Please also send your resume to Carlos Mojica, at  volunteer@lccr.com.


 Image result for bay area legal aid logo

Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) ensures fairness in the civil justice system for the most vulnerable members of our community. From Silicon Valley to Napa Valley, we help clients protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. Our clients include the working poor, families with children, foster youth, seniors, immigrants, veterans, and persons with disabilities. Through our regional county offices, our mobile advocacy clinics, and our nationally-recognized Legal Advice Line, BayLegal prevents domestic violence and sexual assault, increases economic stability, protects consumers, expands access to healthcare, and prevents homelessness. For our clients, BayLegal makes the difference between staying in poverty and thriving toward a brighter future.


We offer pro bono opportunities in the following areas:

·        Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention: Assisting survivors escape violence and create safe and stable environments for themselves and their families through Family Law, Restraining Order, and Immigration assistance.


·        Housing Preservation: Helping clients access and preserve safe affordable housing free of discrimination, with specific focus on Eviction Defense and Fair Housing.


·        Consumer Protection: Assisting clients obtain economic self-sufficiency and avoid predatory lending and abusive collection practices.


·        Access to Health Care: Helping clients obtain and navigate essential health care services.


·        Economic Security: Eliminating barriers to employment and self-sufficiency by assisting clients secure public benefits to stabilize their lives.


Under the supervision of BayLegal staff attorneys, paralegal volunteers will have the opportunity to build cases from the ground-up; including conducting client interviews; initial case assessments; obtaining discovery and other evidence; preparing clients for trials; writing briefs and other legal memoranda; assisting self-represented litigants; community outreach and education; and assisting with administrative hearings and state court hearings/trials.


For more information: http://baylegal.org/pro-bonovolunteer-opportunities/

 

Alameda County Bar Association 

Volunteer Legal Services Corporation

Paralegals may be able to volunteer at certain VLSC pro per assistance clinics, including: Domestic Violence Restraining Order clinic (Hayward and Fremont), Family Law Day of Court clinic (Hayward), Low-Income Landlord clinic (Hayward), and Guardianship Day of Court clinic (Berkeley). Current needs require experience with family law forms, bankruptcy forms, or unlawful detainers. Volunteers must complete training prior to volunteering.

            

Daniela Meza-Gray, VLSC Clinics Coordinator 

Phone: (510) 302-2219

Email: daniela@acbanet.org 


              

EDC Web

 

 

The Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) in San Francisco seeks paralegals and paralegal students interested in housing rights and social justice to volunteer in our offices!  EDC is the principal nonprofit legal services organization in San Francisco helping low-income tenants respond to eviction lawsuits. Each year we provide emergency legal services and rental assistance to over 5,000 tenants through our drop-in clinic.

 

EDC’s volunteers are essential to the day-to-day operations of our drop-in legal clinic:  they enjoy significant responsibilities under the supervision of EDC staff attorneys, including substantial client interaction and preparation of legal documents to be filed in court.

 

Volunteer opportunities and internships are for a minimum of 12 hours per week for a duration of at least three months.  Volunteers must fulfill the 12 hour requirement through three “shifts” in our legal clinic.  Shifts occur Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.and from 1:00-5:00 p.m.  Start date is completely flexible!


EDC strives to create a team that reflects the diversity of the tenant community we serve. People of color, immigrants, women, and LGBTQ people are strongly encouraged to apply. 


To apply for a volunteer opportunity, please send a brief cover letter and resume to volunteer@evictiondefense.org.

 Image result for fair housing advocates of northern california
 

Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California (FHANC) (formerly Fair Housing of Marin) is a non-profit agency dedicated to promoting equal housing opportunities in Marin, Sonoma and Solano Counties. Fair Housing is hiring “testers” as on call employees to help with investigations of housing providers. It is a flexible role with no guaranteed minimum number of hours per month. Testers are given profiles and are then instructed to contact rental agents, visit sites, and ask questions at the pre-application stage. Testers then provide a detailed written report about the experience.  FHANC compares reports of testers to determine if any group is being treated unfairly. The information gathered through tests can be used as evidence to support a housing discrimination complaint. 


Trained testers assume the role of homeseeker and report on their experience. Testers are paid $30 for phone tests or $55 per housing site visit test plus a travel reimbursement of .535 cents per mile traveled to and from a site. To be considered, individuals must:

  • Attend a three hour tester training at office located at 1314 Lincoln Avenue, San Rafael 
  • Have good observation skills and be able to write clear, objective reports.
  • Have reliable transportation.
  • Be available approximately 2-3 hours for each investigation, some of which may be done on weekends or evenings.
  • Conduct a practice test. (paid $25 plus travel expenses)

Please email or call Katherine Collado at katherine@fairhousingnorcal.org or (415) 483-7516 if you are interested in joining our team of fair housing testers.


Image result for community legal services in east palo alto logo


Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA) is currently accepting applications for a Volunteer Immigration Intern who will assist immigration staff attorneys at their San Francisco office located at 39 Drumm St., San Francisco, CA 94111Applicants must be able to volunteer at least two days per week.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

1.  Manage client inquiries;

2.  Help with case management;

3.  Provide administrative support to immigration attorneys, including copying and scanning, file/database maintenance, & assistance with USCIS and court filings;

4.  Assist with translations from Spanish to English, when applicable; and

5.  Perform other related duties, as needed.

 

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities Required

1.  Fluent in Spanish;
2.  Strong attention to detail;

3.  Excellent written and oral communication skills;

4.  Empathy, professionalism, and commitment to low-income and  underserved  communities;

5.  Facility with Microsoft Office, Google Applications, Dropbox; and

6.  Previous paralegal experience preferred.


If you would like to apply, please send a resumé, cover letter, your availability, and a list of three references to Aileen Connolly, Volunteer Coordinator at aconnolly@clsepa.org


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  A flyer regarding this position is available in a downloadable PDF format here.


CLSEPA is a non-profit legal services agency that provides free and low-cost legal services to low-income persons in the areas of immigration, housing, and economic advancement. CLSEPA immigration attorneys represent immigrants in a variety of affirmative and defensive proceedings, including the representation of victims of crime in applications for U visas, and survivors of domestic violence in VAWA self-petitions. In addition, CLSEPA represents unaccompanied minors and families with children on the expedited docket in immigration court.  CLSEPA has a robust detained and non-detained removal defense practice. 


For more information on CLSEPA, you may visit their website here.


Also, you may view a map showing the communities of those who have been helped by CLSEPA here.

 
Image result for project sentinel logo

About Project Sentinel

Project Sentinel is a nonprofit housing agency serving Northern California. We promote housing equality by investigating allegations of housing discrimination, and assisting individuals with mortgage foreclosure and delinquency, landlord and tenant disputes, and other housing needs. Project Sentinel has been a HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency since 1998.


What is Fair Housing Testing?

Fair housing testing is a method used to detect housing discrimination. Testers pose as prospective tenants or buyers by phone or in person, and report on their experience. Testers’ experiences are compared to determine if discrimination has occurred.


Who can be a Tester?

All are welcome. To qualify, individuals must:

  • Attend a tester training and complete a practice test.
  • Pass a criminal history check.
  • Be reliable and committed to civil rights.
  • Be able to write and submit objective reports within 24 hours of completing a test.

People with fluency in Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Tagalog, Hindi, Hmong, Farsi, and Russian are encouraged to apply.


Do Testers get paid?

Testers are used when needed and earn a stipend depending on the type of test. Testers earn $15 to $25 for a phone or email test, and $20 to $55 for an in-person test, plus mileage and expense reimbursements.


How Do I Sign Up?

For more information about fair housing testing, or to sign up for an upcoming tester training, contact Margarita Maiz at mmaiz@housing.org or (408) 749-1856. To learn more about Project Sentinel, visit

http://housing.org/fair-housing/become-a-fair-housing-tester/




Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity (ECHO) is a non-profit housing counseling agency.


Fair housing Testers are needed in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.  The "testers" act as on-call Independent Contractors to help uncover housing discrimination.  Trained Testers will act as home seekers, collect information and report back to ECHO staff. 

Testers are paid $45 per test plus travel reimbursement of .45 cents per mile.  To be considered, individuals must:

    • Attend a two hour tester training.
    • Conduct a practice test.
    A flyer regarding this position is available in a downloadable PDF format here.

    For more information on ECHO, you may visit their website at http://www.echofairhousing.org/  Please email or call Angie at angie@echofairhousing.org or (510) 581-9380 ext 15 to apply or get more details.

      Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.


    TLC's Legal Information Helpline receives over 2,000 requests every year from transgender people and their family members seeking legal information and referrals. TLC is based in Oakland and welcomes remote or in-person volunteers for the following roles:


    Legal Information Helpline Response Volunteer:

    Response volunteers answer questions with the help of TLC's database of legal information and TLC staff training and support. All incoming questions come in through a web portal and are answered by email; volunteers do not need to respond to questions in real time. All training and volunteer work can be done remotely. Volunteers commit to answering at least ten questions a month for three months, approximately a ten-hour-a-month commitment. 


    Legal Information Helpline Intake Volunteer:

    Intake volunteers help process incoming calls and voicemails, perform intakes, and gather information from Helpline callers so that Helpline response volunteers can provide complete and personalized answers to their legal questionsIntake volunteers who are able to come into TLC's downtown Oakland office on a semi-regular basis are especially helpful, but committed remote volunteers are also welcome. Intake volunteers commit to contributing at least three hours a week.


    No particular expertise or background is necessary, but a knowledge of basic legal terminology and processes and strong communication skills and cultural sensitivity are helpful. Those interested in either role should email Ian Anderson, Legal Services Coordinator, at ian@transgenderlawcenter.org.

       
       

     

      

    Disclaimer

    The San Francisco Paralegal Association (SFPA) Community Service and Pro Bono Committee thanks you for visiting our web site. We provide information as a service to our members and the San Francisco Bay Area community. Our program takes advantage of the legal skills and training of paralegals from all practice areas and settings and offers them the opportunity to contribute their expertise and gain experience and contacts while serving nonprofit organizations.

    By using this site, you accept and understand that SFPA is not responsible for the consequences of using or relying upon any information found on this site. Our Association does not necessarily support the views of the organization that offers the internships presented through our website. SFPA does not imply our endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation of each organization. Our Association does not maintain insurance for individuals who wish to apply for internships, and internship liability is confined solely to the individual and not our Association. Volunteers assume responsibilities for their own actions and practice. 


    San Francisco Paralegal Association • 1 Sansome St., Ste. 3500 • San Francisco, CA 94104-4448 • (415) 946-8935 • info@sfpa.com