Pro Bono Opportunities

Each year, the Law Foundation receives more requests for help than we can respond to. Hundreds of pro bono attorneys help us serve clients in need by offering their time, talent, and legal skills. The goal of the Law Foundation’s Pro Bono Program is to increase access to justice by utilizing the skills and expertise of volunteer lawyers to serve more clients than we could if solely handling matters “in-house.”

We offer a wide variety of pro bono opportunities, including customized team-building programs for law firms and general counsel departments.

How to Get Involved

SUpport & RESOURCES

Contact

For more information about the Law Foundation's pro bono opportunities, please contact our Pro Bono Manager, Allison Barnum at probono.info@lawfoundation.org or at (408) 280-2412.

PROGRAMS

Pro Bono Housing Program

Many residents in Santa Clara County face serious housing problems. The Law Foundation hosts a weekly Friday morning clinic in San Jose where pro bono volunteers analyze individual housing cases and provide clients with advice, counsel and brief legal services in housing matters. If interested, pro bono attorneys can represent a low income tenant in eviction proceedings by assisting in negotiations and at trial.


Special Education Clinic

Special education eligibility can be an uphill battle for disadvantaged children with disabilities. Volunteers in our clinic educate, inform and empower parents and guardians so that they can be effective advocates for their children’s access to education. Pro bono attorneys may also help with filing compliance complaints with the California Department of Education when school districts violate the law.


Guardianship Representation Project

The Guardianship Representation Project provides representation to children and families in guardianship matters. When children in our community are not able to live with a parent because of death, incarceration, abuse or neglect, pro bono attorneys can help a child achieve safety and stability by representing the youth or prospective guardian in a guardianship proceeding.


School Discipline Legal Assistance Project

More and more schools are depriving youth of the key to children’s future success—an appropriate education—by unfairly subjecting them to zero tolerance policies and the harsh punishment of expulsion. When expelled, students are removed from their learning environment they are more likely to fall behind, get lower grades or drop out. Pro bono attorneys can positively influence a child’s life by ensuring his or her right to a public education is adequately protected.


Unaccompanied Minors Legal Assistance Project

For years, Central American children have been fleeing their home countries to escape domestic violence, gang wars and crushing poverty. Many of these children have ended up in our community, far away from home and family.  By providing representation to an unaccompanied child in probate guardianship and immigration proceedings, pro bono attorneys can help to ensure a safe and promising future for these children.


Co-Counseling Opportunities

The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley has a long history of partnering with law firms to co-counsel impact litigation cases in an effort to create much-needed systems change.


Co-Counsel Opportunities

The Law Foundation relies on pro bono attorneys and law firms to enable us to achieve equity and justice through litigation. Through the efforts of our pro bono attorneys, the Law Foundation is able to effectively leverage resources to handle significant and impactful litigation matters that our staffing capacity ordinarily might not allow. Learn more here about our co-counsel programs and here for examples of co-counseled litigation cases.


PRO BONO SPOTLIGHTS

Navigating Guardianship and Maintaining Stability

The Law Foundation’s expertise in guardianship representation made a difference in a case with pro bono counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, LLP. They represented a 15-year-old girl at risk of losing her stable home after her grandmother and long-time caretaker passed away in the midst of guardianship proceedings. The pro bono counsel successfully petitioned for a guardianship with a classmate’s family, so the teen client was able to remain at the same school with an already established support network.

Keeping Children Safe and Families Together

When a pro bono attorney from Reed Smith LLP began representing an immigrant mother in obtaining custody and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) for her 13- and 15-year-old daughters, the Law Foundation was there to help. SIJS is available to minors forced to flee their home countries due to threats to their physical safety, abuse, severe neglect, or abandonment. Through the partnership with a Law Foundation attorney and social worker, the pro bono attorney obtained a family court order establishing parentage and SIJS, and then successfully filed for legal status, obtaining green cards for the children. The girls are currently living safely with their mom in secure housing.