Alternative Break Projects
There are many wonderful opportunities to have an alternative fall break (October 10-14) by volunteering time to provide access to justice to those most in need. Additionally, National Pro Bono Week is October 23-29, and there are several opportunities for volunteering locally that week.
Since these are projects with very limited time frames, 1Ls are allowed to participate. Mileage reimbursement ($.10/mile) will be available for students carpooling out of county. Individuals that have no option but to drive alone may be available for mileage reimbursement as available.
To sign up: Fill out the Fall Break Preference Sheet and submit by 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26, 2011. Please note this is a Word document. You may email the preference sheet back to Anna Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or print and deliver it to MPAA 410. If you have multiple requests, please rank them. If more students sign up than spaces are available, spots will be given based upon a lottery system.
Note: Sign-ups for the Pro Bono Week opportunities with PLC (Know Your Rights and Justice for All Clinics) occur directly through PLC by emailing or registering as indicated in the instructions below.
Fall Break Opportunities (October 10-14)
- Permanency Applications for Victims of Crime: This is an amazing opportunity to literally change the life of a person in need of permanent legal status. All too often victims of crime are tormented by their undocumented status, often by their abusers. Assisting them with these applications will provide them the freedom they need to move on. Feedback from student participants in the past has been outstanding. Nine (9) students will assist victims of crime that are clients of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), and are requesting legal permanency. Supervision will be provided by attorneys from the firm of Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe LLP. The clients have previously requested and received legal status in the United States due to their victimization, usually for domestic violence or child abuse. They are now eligible for permanent legal residency (aka a “green card”). Each student will work with two clients. Volunteers will attend a morning training at LAFLA’s Long Beach Office on Monday (10/10) 10:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m., which includes training on interviewing low-income clients, preparing applications, FREE LUNCH with your supervising law firm attorney, and a case review. Each student will then interview both clients. Interpreters will be provided, if needed. Interviews will begin at 2:00 p.m. and may run as late as 6:00 p.m. On Tuesday (10/11) students will spend 5-10 independent hours preparing both application packets, based upon the information in the file and gathered at the first client meeting. On Wednesday (10/12) students will go to Orrick’s Irvine office for a FREE LUNCH and a meeting with the supervising attorney, who will review the applications and help finalize them at that time. Students will not be expected to work on the cases after the documentation is submitted on Wednesday, but are welcome to continue to work with the Orrick supervising attorney if additional information is requested, or an interview is schedule.
- Dates/Location: Monday (10/10) in Long Beach 10:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (includes lunch); Tuesday (10/11) 5-10 hours of work on your own; Wednesday (10/12) 12:00-2:00 p.m. at Orrick office in Irvine (includes lunch)
- Number of students: 9
- Elder Law in San Diego — Advanced Healthcare Directives and Intakes: Students may volunteer for one or two days for this project, but should rank their preference in case it is not possible to do two days due to demand. Lodging is a possibility if students volunteer for both days, and if they have no access to housing in the area.
- Tuesday, October 11 (Advanced Healthcare Directives): Four (4) students will volunteer to prepare Advanced Healthcare Directives and Powers of Attorney at a Senior housing complex in South San Diego County (near Chula Vista). Supervision will be provided by attorneys and volunteers from Elder Law and Advocacy, a San Diego based legal services organization. The day will begin at 9:00 a.m. This may be a half-day or full-day project depending upon demand from clients. Volunteers will know more detailed times and location information shortly. A training will occur prior to the volunteer date.
- Wednesday, October 12 (Intakes): Four (4) students will shadow attorneys from Elder Law and Advocacy as they go into senior communities around San Diego County to do intakes. Students will go to four different locations, including Clairmont, Chula Vista or National City, Poway, and either La Mesa or El Cajon. Students will assist with the intakes by doing the initial interview, while sitting with the attorney, and observing while the attorney answers the clients’ questions. Students will need to arrive at their assigned location at 8:30 a.m. This may be a half-day or full-day project depending upon demand from clients. Volunteers will know more detailed times and location information shortly.
- Eviction Trial Prep Clinic: Students will be trained and supervised by attorneys from the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) in working to provide justice to low-income clients evicted from their homes. On Wednesday morning (10/12), six (6) students will receive a three (3) hour training on eviction defense and interviewing legal services clients, and then after a FREE lunch students will observe 2-3 hours of evictions trials at the downtown LA superior court. On Thursday morning (10/13), students will attend a LAFLA Trial Prep Clinic at which self-represented defendants in eviction actions receive training on representing themselves at their upcoming trial. Immediately following the clinic, students will assist LAFLA attorneys in reviewing pro per pleadings and answering questions from clients under the supervision of a LAFLA attorney. Students may also summarize and propose cases for representation to LAFLA attorneys.
- Dates/Location: Wednesday (10/12) for 6 hours in downtown L.A. (lunch provided); Thursday (10/13) for 6 hours in downtown L.A.
- Number of students: 6
- General Relief Assistance Project (GRAP): Volunteers are needed on Monday (10/10), Tuesday (10/11) and Wednesday (10/12) to participate in GRAP. Volunteers only need to attend ONE of the dates. GRAP is run by Public Counsel in Los Angeles, and works at Department of Public Social Services (“DPSS”) offices in Los Angeles County. Students assist clients with emergency benefits advocacy, particularly relating to shelter, food, health, transportation, and other social service needs. GRAP advocates routinely arrange for homeless individuals to receive shelter they would not otherwise have received, and assist indigent individuals in obtaining food and nutrition. Students must view a 2.5-hour training video (a live training may be available), and will then go to DPSS offices in Los Angeles County in groups of 4-10 for supervised advocacy from 1:45 p.m. until the last client is served, which is usually no later than 6:30 p.m.
- Dates/Location: One of the following dates - Mon (10/10), Tues (10/11), and Wed (10/12) in Los Angeles County, usually Compton, South L.A., or downtown; 1:45 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
- Number of Students: Flexible depending upon demand
- Restraining Order Declarations for Victims of Domestic Violence: Students will volunteer from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 1:00 p.m. at the courthouse in Orange, assisting self-represented clients to prepare declarations for their Temporary Restraining Orders. Students will bring their own laptops, and will conduct an interview and immediately prepare a declaration. Training will be provided in advance, and supervision will be provided by experienced students or practicing attorneys from UCI Law. Additionally, students may accompany the victims to their afternoon TRO hearings, and sit at counsel table. However, the student will not be permitted to advocate as an attorney, just as a lay advocate. Two volunteers will go to court on each date.
- Dates/Location: Monday, October 10 and Friday, October 14; additional dates may be added depending upon demand
- Number of students: 2 per day
National Pro Bono Week Opportunities (October 24-28)
- Know Your Rights Presentations—Debtors Rights (Mon 10/24): As part of the Public Law Center’s “Lawyers in the Library” project, law students will give presentations focused on debtors' rights in two libraries in Orange County (Fullerton & Westminster). Students will educate the public on what to do about creditor harassment, what to do if you can’t pay a debt, and how to determine if you are collection proof. The presentation is focused towards senior citizens on a fixed income, but all are welcome. The presentation will run from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, 2011. Training will take place at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, 2011 in Santa Ana at the Public Law Center office. A PLC attorney will supervise the presentations. No consumer law background is necessary. To volunteer, contact Vanessa Leonardo (email@example.com; 714-541-1010 ext. 280) immediately. There are only four (4) spots for volunteers, and it is open to all Orange County law students!
- Justice for All Legal Clinics (Tues 10/25): The Public Law Center (PLC) will hold its 3rd annual Justice for All legal clinics all over Orange County on Tuesday, October 25. Free legal clinics will be held during the day and into the evening. Law student and attorney volunteers will conduct intakes of low-income clients. Expected case types include domestic violence, dissolution, landlord/tenant, bankruptcy, and immigration. Volunteers will interview the clients, following a list of questions provided by PLC depending upon the legal issue. Volunteers may come for a few hours, or for the duration of the clinic. A webinar training will be provided to volunteers that includes an overview of PLC, clinic intake procedures, and what volunteers can expect at clinics. No issue-specific training is necessary. To sign up for one of the clinics listed below, register here by clicking “RSVP to volunteer” under the clinic where you would like to work.
- Morning: Share Our Selves (“SOS”) in Costa Mesa, 9-11 a.m.
- Afternoon: La Habra Family Resource Center, 1-4 p.m.
- Afternoon: Mission Basilica (adjacent to Mission) in San Juan Capistrano, 2-5 p.m.
- Evening: Families Forward in Irvine, 5-8 p.m.
- Evening: Public Law Center in Santa Ana, 5-9 p.m.
- General Relief Assistance Project: See description above. Supervision will be provided by Becky Raizman of Public Counsel on Friday, October 28, 1:45-6:30 p.m. in Los Angeles County. Exact location TBD.
- Domestic Violence Restraining Orders: See description above. Two students per day can volunteer from 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 27 and Friday, October 28.
> Click here for current Alternative Break opportunities
> Click here for current projects offered throughout the semester