SAN FRANCISCO PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION

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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
 

For over 40 years, Legal Assistance to the Elderly (LAE) has provided free legal advice and representation in civil matters to seniors and disabled San Franciscans.  Our mission is to keep this vulnerable community safe, financially secure and housed.  Our primary practice areas are Eviction Defense/Housing (tenants only), Income Support (Social Security and SSI), Elder Abuse Prevention, Consumer issues and Debt Collection Defense.  Additional areas of practice include Wills, Powers of Attorney and Conservatorship Defense. LAE is a friendly and collaborative work environment. 


Internship Description: 

LAE interns are an integral part of our staff and are given significant responsibilities.  We have seen that by providing support, training and supervision to our interns, they excel.  The work of our interns is invaluable to us, but more importantly, it truly makes a significant difference in the lives of our clients. This is a very hands-on internship where you will have significant client contact; the ability to prepare discovery and pleadings, and the opportunity to go to attend court proceedings with attorneys. 

The primary focus of our office is eviction defense,which is an active and fast paced civil litigation practice and the bulk of the cases LAE sees.  Because evictions are summary proceedings, interns are generally able to work on cases from start to finish.  The quick pace of the litigation gives interns an opportunity to participate in all aspects of a case: interviewing clients and evaluating the case for merit; drafting pleadings and discovery plans; preparing for depositions; attending Court-mandated settlement conferences; and trial preparation.  In Addition, we often enter eviction law suits at critical moments in the procedural process when clients have defaulted and evictions are imminent.  This work requires immediate filing of motions and ex parte applications.  General housing worn can consist of client interviews and follow up advice letters. We also work closely with community social workers and medical professionals around disability rights and requests for reasonable accommodations for housing retention.

In addition to our housing attorneys, our office has an elder abuse attorney, a consumer debt defense attorney, a health law attorney and a benefits practice area. Interns are able to work on other cases as desired.


Office Culture:

LAE’s office atmosphere is professional, but friendly and informal.  We work 35+ hours a week.  Wednesday mornings we have a case conference to review and place the new cases, and the rest of the week is filled with casework, i.e. client meetings, court appearances, gathering evidence and preparing pleadings. 


We prefer interns to commit to at least 1½ to 2 days per week, with attendance at the weekly case meeting required.


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The Alameda County Public Defender's Office, established in 1927, is one of the oldest public defense offices in the United States. The Office’s reputation for exceptional legal representation to indigent clients is due to its historically rigorous professional and ethical standards. The Alameda County Public Defender’s Office takes pride in being a leader in holistic defense. With the addition of the first immigration removal defense unit to be embedded within a public defender office in California, a team of social workers, reentry programs that include a clean slate practice and voter registration, and a know-your-rights program for youth, we have expanded what it means to advocate for our clients. 


Immigration Representation Unit Volunteer Paralegal Position at 545 4th Street, Oakland

The Immigration Representation Unit of the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office defends immigrants impacted by the criminal legal system from detention and deportation by the Department of Homeland Security. First, the Unit provides critical legal advice (Padilla consultations) to public defenders representing immigrants in criminal proceedings in order to help them mitigate or avoid devastating immigration consequences. Secondly, the Unit provides representation to immigrant clients of the public defender’s office in deportation proceedings before the Immigration Court, Board of Immigration Appeals, or U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Unit also provides post-conviction relief representation to individuals with prior criminal convictions in order to eliminate or minimize the immigration consequences of those convictions. Finally, the Unit has a thriving federal litigation practice that includes challenging the legality and constitutionality of actions by DHS or by the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

  • Index and Prep Documents for filing – involves copying, paginating, two-hole punching indexing exhibits for submission to courts. 
  • Requesting and Securing copies of criminal conviction documents from various county courts and police departments– involves identifying the process for obtaining records from each court or police department and completing the process for obtaining necessary records. 

  • Requesting and obtaining various other records when necessary including birth certificates, medical history records, other records. 

  • Document Review – searching for necessary facts in documents

  • Proof reading briefs, motions, etc. 

  • Possible country conditions research or other web based research in support of legal claims prepared by attorneys. 

Requirements:

  • Experience: Immigration law office experience preferred but training is provided. 

  • Length of assignment: 4 months minimum but 6 months preferred

  • 8 hours per week minimum, during hours of operation: M-F 9:00-5:00

  • Remote work available for language paralegals only (translating documents).

Please contact Raha Jorjani, Supervising Immigration Defense Attorney, at Raha.Jorjani@acgov.org  When applying, please submit a cover letter and resume.


Clean Slate Volunteer Paralegal Position at 545 4th Street, Oakland 

The Alameda County Public Defender’s Office Clean Slate Program is a unique opportunity to work with criminal justice impacted reentry clients. Our program helps people clean up their criminal records to help them access jobs, occupational licenses, and more. We are one of the few public defender office clean slate programs in the country offering representation in both criminal records remedies and employment and licensure matters. Our program hosts biweekly clinics in partnership with the East Bay Community Law Center at our Oakland and Dublin offices. We also attend community events and trainings to bring our program directly to the population we serve.


Under general supervision of an attorney, volunteer paralegals would perform a variety of paraprofessional legal duties including, but not limited to: 

  • Communicating with clients and serving as a liaison between clients and attorneys; 

  • Drafting and preparing legal documents, including petitions and orders for dismissal;

  • Processing applications and intake forms submitted by clients seeking assistance;

  • Collecting and analyzing documents to be used in support of Clean Slate petitions;

  • Inputting client and case file data into spreadsheets; 

  • Organizing case files for court; and

  • Conducting basic legal research.

Requirements

  • Experience: College graduate and prior legal experience preferred but not necessary. Training provided. 

  • Length of assignment: 6 months minimum but1 year preferred.

  • 16 per week minimum Remote work is not available

Please contact Sue Ra, Recruitment Coordinator, at sue.ra@acgov.org . When applying, please submit a cover letter, resume, and a writing sample of no more than three pages.     

Last revision on 11/1/19.


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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 Helpdesk receives over 1,000 requests every year from transgender people and their family members seeking legal information and referrals. TLC is based in Oakland and welcomes remote volunteers for the following roles:

Legal Information Helpdesk 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, an approximately ten-hour-a-month commitment. 

Legal Information Helpdesk Intake Volunteer:

Intake volunteers help process incoming calls and voicemails, perform intakes, and gather information from Helpdesk callers so that Helpdesk response volunteers can provide complete and personalized answers to their legal questionsAll training and volunteer work can be done remotely. Intake volunteers commit to contributing at least four 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 Project Manager, at ian@transgenderlawcenter.org.

Updated 2/17/2021


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Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) is committed to ensuring fairness in the civil justice system for the most vulnerable members of our community and addressing systemic inequities that foster intergenerational poverty. Practicing in seven Bay Area counties, BayLegal is the largest provider of free civil legal services in the Bay Area. 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  and Health Consumer Center hotlines, BayLegal's mission is to  prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, increase economic stability, protect consumers, expand access to healthcare, and prevent homelessness. For our clients, BayLegal makes the difference between staying in poverty and thriving toward a brighter future.


Questions: If you have specific questions about the project, please contact Kemi Mustapha at kmustapha@baylegal.org.


BayLegal thrives on our diversity and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.  We are committed to building

a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, persons of color, LGBTQ individuals, veterans, personswith disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply. 


   Legal Access

Paralegals with relevant legal subject matter experience may be able to volunteer at certain Legal Access pro per assistance clinics, including:


·           Guardianship Day of Court Clinic: Held every first and third Friday of the month from 9am-12pm at theBerkeley Courthouse. Volunteers assist self-represented litigants referred by the probate examiners to correct mistakes or complete judicial forms. Supervising expert attorneys are on-site to help and answer any questions. Volunteers must complete training prior to volunteering.

 

·           Community Legal Assistance Saturday Program (CLASP): Held every first Saturday of the month from 10am-2pm at the Alameda County Law Library in Oakland. Non-attorney volunteers are recruited each month to assist with client intake, interpretation services, client management and administration of the clinic.

 

·           Low-Income Landlord Clinic: Provides eviction assistance in nuisance and/or non-payment of rent cases to low-income landlords or master tenants in Alameda County. Volunteers assist with preparation of notices, judicial forms, and explaining court procedures. The clinic is held every Tuesday morning from 9am-11am at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland. Supervising expert attorneys are on-site to help and answer any questions. Volunteers must complete training prior to volunteering.


*Volunteer interpreters needed for many clinics specifically Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin*

            

Amarilis Medrano, Clinics and Volunteer Coordinator 

Phone: (510) 302-2219

Email: amarilis@acbanet.org 


For more information: www.legalaccess.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 office located at 1338 Mission Street, San Francisco. 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.

 


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


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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. 


    Please call (415) 483-7563 if you are interested in joining our team of fair housing testers. 



     
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    About Project Sentinel

    Project Sentinel is a government-supported, nonprofit  agency that provides education, counseling, investigation, and advocacy services to individuals with housing related issues. As part of our mission to uphold the laws that prohibit housing discrimination, we conduct testing and surveying to ensure that housing providers comply with fair housing laws. 

      Contact our Civil Rights Investigations Coordinator, Mia X. Hernandez if you have any more questions.


      mhernandez@housing.org| (408) 749-1856 (direct line) | (408) 338-8270 (cell)






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      Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity (ECHO) is a non-profit housing counseling agency. We investigate housing discrimination complaints. We also provide counseling, education and mediation between landlords and tenants. Our landlord-tenant programs provide information to both landlords and tenants about their rights and responsibilities. We also conduct first time home-buyer classes and contract with several cities to provide rent mediation for their residents. We do not provide legal help. 

      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.                                                                






       

        

      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. 




      @2021 San Francisco Paralegal Association

      FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE EMAIL US:

      INFO@SFPA.COM

      San Francisco Paralegal Association

      1 Sansome Street, Suite 3500

      San Francisco, CA  94104

      (415) 946-8935