Pre-Approved Pro Bono Projects

The Pro Bono Department works diligently to offer pro bono opportunities each semester, and during school breaks. To view a list of the projects with additional details, log in at PB Track.

Students wishing to request projects must submit preferences via PB Track.

Spring 2019

  • ACLU Border Litigation Project: The ACLU of San Diego seeks a law student to conduct internet-based research on police practices, but may also have opportunities to prepare short legal research memos on discrete questions, as needed.
  • ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties Research—Disparate Impact Discrimination Projects: One student will research a particular aspect of disparate impact and summarize court responses.  Another student will conduct a search for cases using civil rights laws in disparate impact litigation.
  • ACLU of Southern California—Santa Ana Office Volunteers: The Dignity for All Project needs a volunteer to work on cases and policy relating to individuals experiencing homelessness including criminalization, civil rights, sexual violence, and equal access to shelters for people with disabilities.
  • ACLU Orange County—Jails Project: The ACLU Jails Project is seeking law student volunteers to assist with monitoring in Orange County and LA County jails.  If an inmate is identified as having been involved in violence that may support ACLU litigation, the volunteer will have the opportunity to call out the inmate to the attorney room for a statement, and a declaration will be prepared.
  • Advanced Healthcare Directives Clinic: Students will volunteer one Friday of every month assisting individuals suffering from chronic and life-threatening illnesses with the documents necessary in case they become medically incapacitated, clarifying their wishes for health decisions. 
  • Affordable Care Act—Case Law Review for Protected Classes: Research how courts and agencies have examined the intersection of age and other protected classes in ACA, updating a summary of pleadings and decisions. 
  • American Constitution Society – Federal Register Watchdog Project: Volunteers will take responsibility for a policy area and regularly review federal/state regulations in that area for comment opportunities.  Volunteers are also welcome to draft comments on issues in which they are interested.
  • Anti Defamation League—Anti-Hate Advocacy: Volunteers are needed to assist with legal research on a range of civil rights issues from free speech to religious freedom, policy research, and legislative advocacy.
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles—Education Equity Research: Student volunteers will work closely with the supervising attorney of AAAJ’s Impact Litigation Unit to develop novel legal theories in areas of admissions practices, implicit bias, teacher tenure, and ethnic studies departments.
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice Orange County—In Office Litigation Volunteer: In office volunteers will be focusing on immigration and citizenship services, including adjustments of status , family petitions, and general immigration work
  • Asian Pacific Islander Language Clinics: Volunteers will assist at immigration and citizenship clinics held offsite in distinctive API communities throughout Orange County.  Most work involves client intake, N-400 Citizenship Application services, and client counseling.
  • Asylum Application Project with Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA): Students will work on an affirmative asylum application for an AMEMSA (Arab, Middle Eastern, South Asian, or Muslim) client, including interviewing the client, drafting a declaration, researching country conditions, and possibly preparing a legal brief, depending upon the client’s needs.
  • Bankruptcy Applications:  Students will assist self-represented debtors to complete and file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.  Students will review the debtor’s eligibility for bankruptcy, collect the required paperwork and complete the debtor's Chapter 7 petition.
  • Bankruptcy Courthouse Volunteer: Students volunteer at the Bankruptcy clinic at the Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.  Volunteers must have had prior experience with Bankruptcy.  Volunteers will meet with pro se litigants, and provide advice on filing bankruptcy forms.
  • Bet Tzedek Law Clerk: Volunteers will work in the office in one of the many direct service or impact litigation units:  Holocaust Survivors, Consumer Protection, Low-Income Tax Advocacy, Housing Conditions, Real Estate Fraud, Employment Rights, Family/Caretaker, Conservatorship, Elder Abuse Restraining Orders, Public Benefits, Guardianship, and Impact Litigation.
  • Bet Tzedek Legal Intakes: Students assist with intakes, which involve interviewing clients over the phone regarding their legal issues.  Volunteers would significantly improve their client interview skills while also learning to issue-spot important and often varied legal needs.
  • Border X Project—Remote Immigration Advocacy: Innovation Law Lab will supervise students preparing motions for bond hearings or parole requests for those detained at Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego County. 
  • California Women’s Law Center Research Project: Student volunteers will assist CWLC in evaluating school districts’ compliance with lactation accommodation and pregnant and parenting student laws; and then educate districts on the legal requirements and compliant policies.
  • CARES— Connecting Angelenos to Resources and Essential Services:  Students assist clients with emergency benefits advocacy, particularly relating to shelter, food, health, transportation, and other social service needs.
  • Children’s Law Center of California—Policy & Legislation: Volunteers are needed to research and track pending and proposed legislation in California related to juvenile justice and the foster system.
  • Citizenship Fair Project—LA County: Catholic Charities of Los Angeles assists with affirmative immigration petitions, with a large focus on assisting Legal Permanent Residents that are eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship.  Volunteers will assist at a minimum of four citizenship fairs during the semester.
  • City Council Comments on Behalf of the Homeless and their Pets: Elder Law and Disability Rights Center is working through litigation and advocacy to provide humane options for the homeless in OC.  Volunteers will assist by attending city council meetings in OC to comment on regulations and ordinances that effect the homeless and their pets. 
  • Civil Gang Law Research: The Urban Peace Institute works to end the overbroad targeting of communities for gang suppression. UPI needs law students interested in researching novel legal arguments and issues as they arise. 
  • Civil Rights in Education: Provide in-office assistance and attend IEP meetings with families of children living with disabilities or special needs receive appropriate special education, related services, and access to their education, free from discrimination and harassment from the schools and peers. 
  • Coastkeeper VolunteerFocusing on protecting the water quality in this area by providing legal research in areas of environmental permitting, review upcoming legislation, and possibly draft comment letters in response to permitting requests or local, environmental regulations.
  • Community Economic Development Clinic: UCI Law’s CED Clinic works with a land trust to create a mercadido (urban garden), another case involves low-income housing.  Spanish speaking volunteers will be used on an as-needed basis to assist with translation and case work.
  • Consumer Law at PLC: Volunteers assist low-income Orange County residents with a variety of issues, including debt collection disputes, student loans and for-profit schools, bankruptcy and other civil litigation issues.
  • Consumer Law Clinic: Under attorney supervision, students will provide assistance to low-income litigants in civil court, usually defendants in debt collection cases. Students will assist with responding to lawsuits, managing discovery and other issues arising in litigation. 
  • Consumer Law Research for Public Counsel: Assisting victims of fraud, such as elderly and vulnerable adults, by researching financial abuse law, declaratory and injunctive relief, and the cancellation of contracts where the underlying contract for goods/services is separately financed. 
  • Crime Victims Legal Assistance—Immigration, Civil & Family Law: Victims of domestic violence and crimes are assisted with restraining orders, divorce, paternity, custody and visitation orders as well appropriate visas. Civil help includes tenant defense, tax and other consumer related cases.   
  • Criminal Defense Research for Colorado PD: Student volunteers are needed to research all level of criminal cases, from trial to appeal, including research and drafting pre-trial motions such as motions to suppress, compose memos for trial, assist with special projects such as appeals or bond litigation.
  • Criminal Law Projects in Orange County:
    • District Attorney’s Office: Students may get significant exposure to issues of evidence and criminal procedure while observing in court, researching and writing, and possibly assisting with preparation for in-court appearances by a Deputy District Attorney.
    • Federal Public Defender’s Office Research: Assist trial and capital habeas attorneys with the Federal Public Defender's Office.  Work will include researching and drafting for active cases and/or recurring issues, as well as drafting motions, sentencing positions, and other court filings.
    • Public Defender’s Office: Volunteers will help interview clients, assist with arraignments, and possibly help in the preparation of a misdemeanor trial and expungement petitions.  Students may work in appellate, misdemeanor, felony, or dependency units.
  • Defending Detained Migrants—Short Term Research Projects: Students will provide legal research for a variety of deportation defenses, including fear-based defenses for individuals seeking Asylum, Withholding, or CAT (Convention Against Torture) relief. 
  • Deported Veterans Legal Services Project: A student will be assisting with phone intakes for deported veterans, help prepare Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the immigration agencies and criminal records requests to the courts, and assist in researching and analyzing potential claims for relief.  
  • Disability Rights for Veterans--PTSD, TBI, Sex Assault, & Toxic Water: Preparing and submitting disability benefits applications, focusing on Veteran clients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma and toxic water at Camp Lejeune.
  • Disabled and Elderly Social Security Benefits (SSI)—Intake Clinic: Volunteers help secure Supplemental Security Income benefits for elderly and disabled clients by helping clients navigate the complicated SSI appeals process, and possibly represent a client at an Administrative hearing.
  • Domestic Violence Clinic—Long Beach: The Legal Aid Foundation of Los needs volunteers to staff the Domestic Violence Clinic in Long Beach. Students will work with survivors of domestic violence in restraining order and other family law proceedings. 
  • Domestic Violence Declarations: Students will volunteer at the courthouse in Orange, assisting self-represented clients to prepare declarations for their Temporary Restraining Orders.  Students conduct an interview, and immediately prepare a declaration. 
  • Education Rights—In Office Volunteers: The Learning Rights Law Center’s mission is to ensure equitable access to public education for all students.  Students will travel to LRLC’s office near downtown Los Angeles to volunteer at least ½ day per week, likely conducting intakes.
  • Elder Abuse Restraining Orders: Volunteers assist at this clinic to protect seniors and dependent adults from abuse and neglect or assist those responding to allegations of abuse allegations.  Abuse can include physical, mental, financial or neglect.  Attorneys from O’Melveny and Myers LLP  provide supervision. 
  • Environmental Activist—On Call:  A student volunteer is needed to be “on call” to assist Coastkeeper in attending upcoming state and local administrative hearings and meetings, and speak on behalf of the environment. 
  • Environmental Law Research—Tackling Barriers to Renewable Energy Deployment and Climate Change Progress: As part of the organization’s climate change and clean energy campaign efforts, the Center for Biological Diversity is in need of a student to support litigation to challenge legal and policy barriers to wide-scale renewable energy deployment.
  • Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project —Community Education Programs: Intakes, assist with applications and motions, and workshops for unaccompanied children and the L.A. Immigration Court self help desk.
  • Eviction Defense Workshop: Workshops for tenants facing eviction, and providing legal assistance to members of the community facing potential homelessness.  Student volunteers will help tenants with completing answers and provide critical information about the laws and procedures.
  • Expungement Project—Orange County Clean Slate Clinic: An expungement allows an individual that has completed their sentence to dismiss or reduce certain criminal convictions, allowing them to seek jobs that would otherwise not be available. Clean Slate also assists with applications for Certificate of Rehabilitation, Responses to a DA Opposition, Motions for Reconsideration, and Juvenile Sealing.
  • Family Law at Public Law Center:  Students will conduct research and write pleadings for family law proceedings and will be provided with training regarding domestic violence restraining orders, guardianships, custody and visitation, and other family law matters.
  • Freedom for Immigrants--Immigration Detention Research: Law student volunteers will assist with intakes, focused on mental health issues and access to services, and may assist with additional research and drafting pleadings. 
  • Guardianships:  Students will work with attorneys from Rutan & Tucker, LLP to assist caretakers seeking probate guardianships of minor children that are in their care
  • Gun Safety Litigation & Legislation Research: Students will assist Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence with legal research on the issue of whether computer code for 3D-printed guns is protected by the First Amendment.  
  • Health Consumer Action Center: Assist a specialized unit of Legal Aid with policy advocacy regarding access to health care and serious issues clients may have with their medical insurance.  Students will speak with clients, and assist with their health care related issues. 
  • Homeless Citation Clinic:  Students will do intake interviews at two clinics for homeless individuals with traffic and misdemeanor citations. Students will assist with representation of clients, including research, writing, client communications, and investigation.
  • Homeless Outreach Clinic—Santa Ana: Volunteers will assist Legal Aid onsite at a shelter with client intake, interviewing, and fact gathering on family law, consumer law, expungements, government benefits, camping citations, and a variety of other legal issues. 
  • Hotel/Food Service Worker Project—Union Labor Work: UNITE HERE Local 11 represents Southern California hotel workers.  Students may represent members in grievance and arbitration proceedings; File unfair labor practice charges to the NLRB; Research and formulate legal strategy to support organizing campaigns; and protect members' free speech rights.
  • Housing Element Investigation and Litigation Preparation: Ensure local government provides housing through the jurisdiction’s Housing Element. Students will review housing element plans, investigating their compliance through Public Records Act requests, and researching possible remedies.
  • Housing for the Poor—Remote Research for Legal Aid: Research, memo and motion drafting to assist low-income tenants facing eviction from subsidized properties or Section 8 terminations.
  • Housing Impact Litigation Student volunteers work on active litigation cases of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, including issues of land use discrimination, fair housing discrimination, relocation assistance, Section 8 advocacy, and code enforcement issues. 
  • Human Rights Violations in Yemen—Legal Memo: Attorneys from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP supervise students drafting a legal memo analyzing the ongoing human rights violations in Yemen against the major international human rights treaties to which Yemen is a party.
  • Immigrant Defenders Law Center-Supporting Juvenile Immigration Removal Defense & Related Research: Remote legal research including but not limited to changes to Asylum Law under the Trump Administration.
  • Immigrant Tracking for Tijuana Collaborative:  Student volunteers are needed to assist advocacy groups in researching the detention/release status of migrants who have entered the U.S. and to determine where they are geographically and the status of their legal claims. 
  • Immigration Assistance for Undocumented Anteaters & Family Members: Assist undocumented students at UCI, and family members who are undocumented with spousal petitions to become a legal permanent resident, and screen for various forms of immigration relief.
  • Immigration Waivers for Hardship: Volunteers will research medical or financial hardships, conditions in the client’s home country, and obtain evidence of the waiver claims, including  dozens of exhibits. 
  • Innocence Project Collaboration: Students assist the California Innocence Project in reviewing requests for representation under the supervision of attorneys from K&L Gates LLP.  Students may research issues related to forensics, or may contact family members or the inmate for information. 
  • Innocence Rights of Orange County: Volunteers assist in investigating current and potential Orange County innocence cases, including clemency petitions on behalf of prisoners to the California Governor, and filing petitions under AB 2942 asking the District Attorney to recall excessive criminal sentences. 
  • International Refugee Assistance Project #1—Casework: IRAP assists refugees from many Middle Eastern countries and parts of Africa, providing legal assistance for refugees seeking resettlement from abroad.  Students work under the supervision of attorneys from several firms, including  Irell & Manella LLP; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; Hueston Hennigan LLP; Littler Mendelson P.C.; Microsoft; Jones Day; Payne & Fears LLP; Polsinelli LLP Sheppard, Mullin, Richter, and Hampton LLP; and R & S Law Group LLP. 
  • International Refugee Assistance Project #2—Intakes:  Students will assist IRAP national by completing intake calls with highly vulnerable individuals from Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, and Afghanistan just to name a few.  
  • Kids In Need of Defense—Asylum Assistance for a Child: Assist with asylum case for an unaccompanied child, who was abused by his own father while working 19 hours a day in the fields to help support his family, and was repeatedly attacked by local gang members.  
  • Korean Legal Services and Outreach/Litigation Unit: Assisting Korean-speaking clients. Matters may include: Health related cases including Medi-Cal and insurance qualifications, medical billing issues; Family law; Housing and landlord/tenant issues; Government benefits; and Consumer problems.
  • Litigation Assistance: Attorneys from Irell & Manella LLP are working on several pro bono litigation matters.  One student may assist with any of the following: legal research and memo writing, discovery, drafting pleadings, or even observing a hearing. 
  • Litigation Services for the Poor: This is a great opportunity to learn the nuts and bolts of litigation practice. Volunteers will have the opportunity to work in landlord-tenant, family law, tax, and many other areas of law with Yolanda Omana of the Legal Aid Society of OC.
  • Long Beach Families of Developmentally Delayed Children: Students will assist the families of  developmentally disabled children to apply for conservatorships at weekly clinics held in several courthouses in LA County
  • Los Angeles Air Force Base:  Volunteers will have the opportunity to assist Judge Advocates with a variety of military professional and legal issues, including military justice, military administrative law, and/or legal assistance work. 
  • Los Angeles Drop-In Clinics: Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles offers two clinics at which law students can just “drop in”.  The Santa Monica clinic covers low-income tenants who live in rent controlled units to discuss substandard housing, habitability, retaliation, and harassment.  The Downtown LA Clinic provides expungement assistance.
  • Military Law and Policy Project: The Center for Law and Military Policy seeks to protect those that served the nation in uniform.  Students will serve as policy analysts, to evaluate deep-seated structural problems within the military that lead to homelessness, mental health challenges, and suicide. 
  • Mobile Home Owner Advocacy: Mobile home ownership is one of the few ways for low-income individuals to acquire assets. Student volunteers are needed to assist low-income mobile home owners with issues they face with the park management/ownership and or other tenants.
  • NAACP Legal Defense Fund Hot Topics Research: Student volunteers will work with attorneys from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP to prepare regular reports for LDF on “hot topic” cases.  Student volunteers will run searches, review results, and summarize cases. 
  • Pet Protection Project #1—Housing Clinics in LA: HEART LA focuses on protecting renters from eviction, which also keeps pets in their homes.  Volunteers will provide housing advice to monthly spay and neuter clinics, conducting intakes, and preparing reply letters to eviction notices.
  • Pet Protection Project #2—Legal Information in OC: Student volunteers will staff an informational table at free veterinary clinics, providing information about tickets, infractions, court appearances, expungements, and eligibility for benefits such as SSI, General Relief, MediCal, food stamps, and more. 
  • Physicians for Justice—Ethical Guidelines for Collaborating with Mandated Reporters: Student volunteers will help develop model practice guidelines that give lawyers insight into how to collaborate with mandated reporters. 
  • Poverty Law Clinics with Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles: Students can participate in monthly clinics hosted at various sites in Los Angeles County.  During clinics, students may observe and support volunteer attorneys, or may be permitted to conduct interviews.
  • Removal Defense Work for Low-Income Detained Immigrants: Public Law Center provides representation to immigrants detained in two local detention facilities.  Students will research and investigate possible avenues of relief for these detained clients.
  • Right to Counsel: Research for the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel (NCCRC) on issues including involuntary medical treatment; fees/fines leading to incarceration of indigent people, and Federal District court pro bono plans. 
  • Saturday Academy of Law (SAL): Law students work alongside certified teachers in this pipeline program for ninth graders.  Volunteers teach lessons on the First Amendment, briefing a case, the U.S. court system, and recent constitutional challenges that have made impacts on society. 
  • Self Help Centers in Long Beach, Santa Monica, or Torrance: Volunteers staff the self-help center at Superior Courthouse locations.  Students will get hands-on experience with individuals that are representing themselves in legal actions primarily in eviction defense and family law.
  • Skid Row Legal Clinic: Weekly clinics in the skid row area of downtown Los Angeles providing general counsel and advice on various issues affecting low-income residents of the community, who often have no one to turn to when they have legal needs.
  • Small Business Development (Via Skype): Student volunteers will conduct in-depth intakes of small business owners, who are prospective pro bono clients of Bet Tzedek Legal Services.  Issues may include employment matters, intellectual property, tax issues or entity formation. 
  • Tenant Defense Clinic: Provides direct services to tenants who are being evicted by landlords and/or by the by the Housing Authority under the Section 8 or other HUD programs.  Students will assist clients with completing answers, providing information on procedure, and with trial preparation. 
  • Tijuana Border Rights Protection for Asylum Seekers: The Border Rights Project of Al Otro Lado is in need of law student volunteers to assist asylum seekers who present themselves at the San Ysidro port of entry with preparation for credible fear/reasonable fear interviews and applications for release from detention once they have made it to the United States.
  • Transactional Law Project—Child Care Centers: Students will assist non-profits and small businesses with Intellectual Property matters such as copyright and trademark; taxation and compliance; review of a non-profit’s website; non-profit formation; or employment issues.  
  • Transgender Law Center Legal Information Helpline: Volunteers respond to questions submitted online to the Transgender Law Center, including issues about employment, health care, housing, civil rights, immigration, and identity document changes. 
  • Transgender Legal Assistance Clinic:Students serve the legal needs of the transgender population in Southern California, primarily with name and gender marker change documentation. 
  • Victims of Crime Special Visas (U-Visa): Students will be supervised by attorneys from Snell & Wilmer LLP in preparing U-Visa requests for victims of crime, usually women and children, who have cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation related to their victimization 
  • Video Conferencing—Legal Aid Clients in Need: The project connects law students with clients in need, usually in communities with insufficient legal resources, including Inglewood, Downtown LA, or Palmdale.  Students will provide limited legal advice to clients. 
  • Wage Justice Center Project: Students are needed to conduct intakes and meeting with Spanish speaking clients as well as research remotely in a variety of areas:  Judgment enforcement; wage theft cases; and fraud by employer among others. 
  • Women and Girls’ Rights Research Project: A student will assist with legal research assignments focusing on income equity, exploitation in the workplace, impacts of domestic violence, discriminatory practices that disfavor women and girls in our schools and in our public benefits programs. 
  • Workers’ Rights Clinic Orange County: Student volunteers will participate in employment law intake clinics for low-income workers in a wide range of areas, including discrimination/harassment, wage and hour, unemployment benefits, and wrongful termination.  
  • Workers’ Rights Project with Bet Tzedek: Bet Tzedek Legal Services represents low-wage workers, regardless of immigration status, who are asserting claims for unpaid wages and unlawful working conditions.  Volunteers will interview potential clients at walk-in clinics.
  • Youth Health Care and Education Policy Research—Student Supports for Parents and Disadvantaged Students: Volunteers will research issues related to health care and higher education for Young Invincibles.  Research may include current legal issues such as proposed changes in the law as well as proactive research about upcoming issues facing America’s youth.