Volunteer for LAFLA

Volunteers provide a valuable service to our community and help extend Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles’ capacity to serve. We seek help from law firms, individual attorneys, law students, law school graduates who are not yet attorneys and paralegals. We also seek community volunteers, such as interpreters and social workers, who can assist with other supportive tasks.

Law Firms and Individual Attorneys
From handling major litigation, to individual attorneys staffing legal clinics, LAFLA offers a variety of pro bono cases available for placement with law firms and individual attorneys. We match law firms and individual attorneys with appropriate clients and issues.

Available Opportunities
We have a variety of opportunities available. Get info on current opportunities here.

Examples of opportunities include:

  • Assisting at any of our legal clinics. Every clinic can use the assistance of qualified volunteers to assist walk-in clients.
  • At our Self-Help Legal Access Centers, located in four area courthouses, attorneys can assist self-represented litigants in preparing pleadings.
  • Transactional attorneys can help community organizations incorporate or assist with other tax-related matters.
  • Housing or consumer affairs attorneys can help seniors who are victims of title fraud.

Bilingual volunteers are especially encouraged to apply, as we have a need for attorneys fluent in Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Thai, Tagalog and Khmer.

Attorneys wishing to volunteer in an area different area from their regular area of practice can get training online anytime through the Pro Bono Training Institute.

Benefits for Law Firms and Individual Attorneys
We assist firms before and during the course of a case. We screen our potential pro bono cases carefully, provide malpractice insurance and provide technical assistance for each of our cases. We also offer training through our new program, Pro Bono Training Institute, which allows attorneys to get training online anytime in a variety of areas of practice.

Qualified Pro Bono: In order to receive LAFLA’s free legal services, all clients must qualify under the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) or U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) income and asset guidelines. Therefore, any clients placed with your firm qualify as pro bono clients under the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge©, ABA Model Rule 6.1, and the State Bar of California’s Board of Governors’ Pro Bono Resolution (2002) definitions.

Screening: LAFLA carefully screens potential pro bono cases for viable causes of action or defenses to ensure that your clients will be able to actively participate in their cases.

Malpractice Insurance: LAFLA provides you with primary malpractice coverage, so that LAFLA’s coverage takes effect before your coverage or deductible.

Fee Waiver: The majority of our pro bono clients qualify for a waiver of court costs and fees under California Rule of Court, Rule 985 and Cal. Gov. Code § 68511.3. Pro bono volunteers are not expected to pay for clients’ court fees.

Transcript Reimbursement: Pro bono attorneys who do depositions or use court reporters qualify for reimbursement of deposition and trial transcript costs through the Transcript Reimbursement Fund (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 8030.2-8030.8).

Technical Assistance: For the majority of the cases we offer, LAFLA’s attorneys who have expertise on these legal areas are available to answer any of your questions or concerns. From immigration to landlord/tenant issues; consumer law to vocational school fraud, our attorneys are available to support you throughout your representation.

Law Students and Law School Graduates (JDs)
Law students and recent law school graduates play a vital role in LAFLA’s work to help meet the legal needs of our clients. Law students may serve as an extern or volunteer during the fall, spring and summer semesters. Our goal is to help you gain practical legal experience to complement your coursework. Opportunities include working on all aspects of civil litigation, handling client intake and legal advice, drafting legal memoranda on a broad range of issues, and representing clients in administrative hearings.

LAFLA seeks talented, enthusiastic law students who want to assist our clients with their many urgent needs.

If you are interested in volunteering for one of our many projects, please fill out the application.

Community Volunteers
LAFLA offers a variety of volunteer opportunities to deliver legal services to our clients in Los Angeles County. Our current volunteers range from undergraduates to retired executives. All of our opportunities are offered during normal business hours, 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. We generally do not offer community volunteer opportunities on evenings or weekends.

Volunteers are matched individually with openings in our projects. We do not use volunteers to screen phone calls or handle telephone intake.

Volunteer opportunities can be highly competitive; we typically place about 20% of those who apply to volunteer with us. Click here to begin the application process. It is advisable to apply for these opportunities a couple of months before you are ready to start. We are unable to start someone within a few days of receiving an application.

While we require a minimum of 100 hours a year, the more time an applicant is able to commit, the more likely we can place that volunteer. Other factors include the applicant’s reasons for volunteering, fluency in speaking Spanish or an Asian language, and related experience or training.

Paralegals and Paralegal Students
Paralegals, paralegal students and other community volunteers who wish to volunteer at one of our Self-Help Legal Access Centers located at the Inglewood, Santa Monica, Torrance or Long Beach courthouses, please apply here. Click here to see where each of the Self-Help Centers are located.

Other Community Volunteers
In addition to the categories listed above, LAFLA does have opportunities from time to time for retired individuals and others who are not interested in pursuing a legal career.

To let us know you want to volunteer, please fill out the application here.

Volunteer Attorneys and Law Students Needed at the Domestic Violence Clinic in the Santa Monica Courthouse

Free CLE Training on Domestic Violence Prevention (3 hours)

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) operates a domestic violence clinic in the Santa Monica courthouse every weekday morning. Attorneys or Law Students interested in volunteering at the clinic must attend the free Domestic Violence training, which will provide them with all the information needed to assist victims of domestic violence with their temporary restraining orders (TROs) and permanent orders.

Date of Training: Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Location: LAFLA Santa Monica Office
1640 5th Street, Suite 124,
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Parking: Street parking is available
Pre-Registration: RSVP with rvelasquez@lafla.org
*Space may be limited

Requirements:

  • Volunteer Attorneys must attend the training and commit to one morning a month for at least 6 months
  • Volunteer law students must attend the training and commit to attending one morning clinic each week through the semester
  • The clinic is open from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. each morning, though volunteers must stay until clients are seen. Parking at the courthouse is free for volunteers.

* For attorneys who would like to attend the training, but not volunteer, the cost is $100. Other arrangements may be worked out for nonprofits.

Office Locations

We also have three Domestic Violence Clinics, located at the Superior Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Courthouse and the Long Beach Courthouse.

LAFLA operates four Self-Help Legal Access Centers located in the Inglewood, Long Beach, Santa Monica and Torrance courthouses.