The Committee on Appellate Courts has compiled the following list of nonprofit organizations throughout California that need pro bono appellate assistance on an ongoing basis. Interested attorneys should contact the organizations directly.
Organization name: A New Way of Life Reentry Project
Brief description of organization: A New Way of Life Reentry Project (“ANWOL”) is a nonprofit organization that provides housing and support services to formerly incarcerated women in Los Angeles County, facilitating a successful transition back to community life. In addition to its housing services, ANWOL provides legal assistance to people of all genders who have conviction histories, with a primary focus on helping people overcome barriers to employment. Our legal services include providing representation for expungement and felony reduction petitions, providing representation for denials of state occupational licenses, and filing impact litigation focused on protecting the constitutional rights of people with conviction histories.
Type of appellate pro bono assistance typically needed: representation of clients in appellate proceedings dealing with criminal resentencing (e.g. SB 1437 petitions); co-counseling appeals or writ petitions with the organization’s attorneys for occupational licensing and post-conviction appeals.
Contact name for pro bono: Natalie Roberts
Contact email for pro bono: Nroberts@anewwayoflife.org
Organization name: Centro Legal de la Raza
Brief description of organization: Free legal services to low-income workers, tenants, and immigrant clients, including individual representation and impact lawsuits.
Type of appellate pro bono assistance typically needed: Centro needs occasional writ / appellate advice, co-counsel, or representation in our various practice areas, including: (1) for our affirmative litigation practice, assistance in writs or appeals for individual and class action lawsuits in state and federal court for tenants, workers, and immigrant communities; (2) for our immigrants’ rights practice, assistance in writs or appeals for habeas proceedings or petitions for review in federal court, or state court proceedings related to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status; (3) for our tenants’ rights practice, assistance in writs or appeals for unlawful detainer (eviction defense) or rent board proceedings; (4) for our workers’ rights practice, assistance in appeals of California Labor Commissioner decisions.
Contact name for pro bono: Jesse Newmark
Contact email for pro bono: email@example.com
Organization name: Community Legal Aid SoCal
Brief description of organization: Community Legal Aid SoCal helps our neighbors fight injustice by providing compassionate, high quality legal aid and advocating for stronger communities and is dedicated to meeting the legal needs of low-income people throughout Orange and Southeast Los Angeles Counties. With an emphasis on innovation, language access, and a holistic approach to client care, we support clients and promote equal access to the justice system through advocacy, legal counseling, innovative self-help services, in-depth legal representation, economic development and community education.
Type of appellate pro bono assistance typically needed: Family Law and Domestic Violence Appeals; potentially appeals related to Elder Abuse; housing law appeals
Contact name for pro bono: Monica Mar
Contact email for pro bono: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organization name: Family Violence Appellate Project
Brief description of organization: Family Violence Appellate Project is the only nonprofit organization in California and Washington states dedicated to appealing civil cases on behalf of domestic violence survivors and their children, for free. We work to provide individuals and families with the safety from abuse that they need, while creating a body of case law that prioritizes the safety of abuse survivors. We also appeal cases for survivors of other forms of gender-based abuse, such as sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and human trafficking.
Type of appellate pro bono assistance typically needed: Co-counseling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs with the organization’s attorneys; Moot court judges; Case publication program assistance; Legal research and writing projects; and more: https://fvaplaw.org/volunteer/
Contact name for pro bono: Jennafer Wagner, Director of Programs
Contact email for pro bono: email@example.com
Organization name: Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Brief description of organization: Legal support center for legal aid organizations, providing information relevant to currently and formerly incarcerated people and their family members. Also participate in task forces seeking criminal justice reform.
Website: : www.prisonerswithchildren.org
Type of appellate assistance: occasional amicus briefs on key cases in the appellate courts and occasional appeals in impact litigation
Contact: Rita Himes
Organization name: Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice
Brief description of organization: Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (LACLJ) secures justice for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and empowers them to create their own futures. We provide holistic legal services in the areas of Family Law, Immigration, and Criminal Justice Advocacy. In addition, we provide legal services to human trafficking survivors through our Human Trafficking Special Project. Through our Community Advocacy program, we connect survivors to supportive services throughout Los Angeles County.
Type of appellate pro bono assistance typically needed:
1. Representation of clients in appellate proceedings involving domestic violence or custody
2. Co-counseling appeals or writ petitions with our attorneys
3. Appellate consultation for our clients
4. Supporting immigration related appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals or 9th Circuit
Contact name for pro bono: Paxcely Marquez
Contact email for pro bono: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organization name: Public Law Center
Brief description of organization: PLC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal services to low-income individuals and families in Orange County, California. PLC staff and volunteers provide assistance across a range of substantive areas of law, including consumer, family, immigration, housing, and health law. Additionally, PLC provides legal assistance to low-income small business owners and nonprofits serving clients similar to those of PLC. The services include counseling, individual representation, community education, and strategic litigation and advocacy to challenge societal injustices.
Type of appellate pro bono assistance typically needed: appellate division, court of appeal, and Ninth Circuit representation, usually for appellant; writs; amicus brief drafting; administrative appeals, including adverse decisions by Social Security Administrative Law Judges or by Immigration Judges, and more!
Contact name for pro bono: Leigh Ferrin
Contact email for pro bono: email@example.com
Organization name: Social Justice Collaborative
Brief description of organization: SJC is a 501(c)(3) legal aid nonprofit providing deportation defense services to low income noncitizens. The very inner mission is to end with the immigrants deportations in the USA once and for all. At SJC, we honor our clients and uphold their narratives. We provide legal services and knowledge about complex legal systems that continue to attack undocumented communities in the US. Our goal is to elevate our clients ability to assert their rights and make informed decisions about their legal futures.
Type of appellate pro bono assistance typically needed: representation of clients in appellate proceedings; and appellate consultations for the organization’s clients or attorneys.
Contact name for pro bono: SJC Pro Bono Coordinator
Contact email for pro bono: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organization name: Tahirih Justice Center
Brief description of organization: We protect courageous immigrant women and girls who refuse to be victims of violence. By elevating their voices in communities, courts, and Congress, we are creating a world where all women and girls enjoy equality and live in safety and with dignity.
Type of appellate pro bono assistance typically needed: appeals from immigration court decisions to Board of Immigration Appeals, petitions for review in federal circuit courts
Contact name for pro bono: Rachel Sheridan
Contact email for pro bono: email@example.com
In addition to the pro bono appellate opportunities with nonprofit organizations, the following program provides opportunities for pro bono representation of low-income litigants with civil appeals in the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One.
Program name: Access to Appellate Justice Program (ATAJ), a program of the San Diego County Bar Association, and its Appellate Section.
Brief description of program: The ATAJ program serves to help unrepresented low-income civil appellate litigants in the state courts find an attorney who is willing to represent them on a pro bono basis. The program currently applies to litigants who have a civil appeal in the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One.
The program is beneficial on three levels. First, it provides much needed legal assistance to unrepresented low-income appellate litigants, who have a difficult time representing themselves in the appellate courts. Second, it provides attorneys with an opportunity to gain appellate experience and to give back to a community of deserving individuals. Third, it helps the appellate courts deliver justice and fairly and efficiently process cases.
Type of appellate pro bono assistance typically needed: Legal representation of low-income civil litigants on appeal. Program volunteers also needed to operate and manage program.
Contact name for pro bono: Melanie Gold; Helen Irza; Elisabeth Cannon