Economic Justice 

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCRSF)’s Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE) program provides free legal services to low-income individuals who want to start or develop businesses; businesses committed to investing in economically distressed communities, including hiring people with arrest and conviction records; and mom and pop shops located in areas where gentrification is a force for displacement. LCCRSF strives to provide assistance to minority small business owners. The LSE program pro bono work has become particularly urgent during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

(1) Volunteer at a Virtual Small Business Clinic 

  • Training & Technical Assistance During the Clinic: You need no prior experience to volunteer at a virtual clinic to help small businesses with commercial leasing matters! A training video will be sent to volunteer attorneys to review before the clinic, as well as helpful documents for your review, in order to help you prepare. A supervising expert attorney will be present to answer any questions that come up during the clinic. Please note, LCCRSF’s malpractice insurance covers pro bono clinic volunteers. 
  • Scope of Pro Bono Work: The Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE) program runs a free virtual legal clinic for small businesses owned by people of color, immigrants, and low-income entrepreneurs. Participants will have 60 minutes to explain their legal issues, ask questions, and receive advice from a pro bono attorney. Topics include entity formation, contract drafting and review, licensing and permits, employment law, intellectual property, commercial lease assistance and negotiations, and more. 
  • Time Commitment: Varies from 1h clinics to 1-5 limited scope representation (pro bono volunteers can select scope of work).

(2) Longer-Term, Limited Scope Representation, as Well as One-Hour Consults Outside the Clinical Setting 
 
We also have an ongoing need for pro bono attorneys to provide longer-term limited scope services to commercial tenants, helping them to respond to demand letters, assist in the negotiation process or draft legal pleadings.  

We often have one-hour consult needs outside the clinic dates. We welcome pro bono attorneys to take on these consults. 

  • Training & Technical Assistance: Training and technical assistance will be provided. 
  • Scope of Pro Bono Work: Volunteer attorney will meet with the client for an initial hour-long consult, review necessary paperwork, and help the client draft letters to landlord or engage in negotiations with Landlord.  
  • Time Commitment: Minimum time commitment for longer-term representation is five hours.  
  • Contact Information: Cristal Jones, LSE Program Coordinator: lse@lccrsf.org.

(3) Webinars & Know Your Rights presentations 

During the pandemic, LSE has begun to deliver one-hour commercial lease webinars for commercial tenants on a monthly basis, offering guidance about moratorium protections, an overview of lease provisions that are key to engaging in negotiations, as well as negotiation strategies.  

  • Scope of Pro Bono Work: When the moratorium expires, the LSE program will be providing “Know your Rights” trainings to commercial tenants, as well as a training that provides an overview of the commercial eviction process, and what to expect.  
  • Training: LSE attorney will train pro bono attorney to deliver this presentation and provide a template presentation to work from. Prior knowledge of the eviction process would be helpful to answer questions from participants. 
  • Time Commitment: One to two hours to prepare, and additional hour to present. 
  • Contact Information: Cristal Jones, LSE Program Coordinator: lse@lccrsf.org.

Immigrant Justice 

Since 1983, LCCRSF’s Asylum Program has provided legal representation for refugees who have escaped persecution and torture in their native countries.  Pro bono attorneys play a critical role in securing asylum, with asylum seekers five times more likely to win their case with legal representation. Our pro bono attorneys have won dozens of asylum cases over the past several years, but hundreds of asylum seekers still urgently need legal representation — and you can help.. 

Training & Technical Assistance: Little to no immigration law experience needed. The Asylum Program will provide extensive support, including trainings, written materials, technical assistance, and guidance from a mentor attorney on an ongoing basis. “This is a great opportunity for attorneys to lead a case with hands-on client and courtroom experience providing full-scope representation in matters that have life-changing outcomes.” 

  • Scope of Pro Bono Work: Volunteer attorney(s) will represent client(s) in their asylum claim at the San Francisco immigration court.
  • Time Commitment: Our volunteer attorneys spend an average of 30 hours per year for 3 years on each case.  

Contact Information: Bekah Stroik, Immigrant Justice Program Coordinator: bstroik@lccrsf.org.

Racial Justice 

For more than 50 years, LCCRSF has fought to dismantle the many manifestations of institutionalized white supremacy and the oppression of Black communities and other people of color. We are committed to challenging policies, institutions, and systems that are violent, unjust, and inequitable to BIPOC communities. LCCRSF’s Racial Justice program works directly with our communities through our free legal service clinics, and partner with grassroots groups and community partners, to identify and address patterns of abuse and inequality. We train and support attorneys who represent clients, research legal issues, and advocate passionately for meaningful and lasting change. We amplify our communities’ calls for justice through class action litigation, reports, and legislative and policy campaigns, to prevent future harm and to build affirmatively anti-racist, equitable systems. 

The People’s Clinic 

Black, Indigenous, and people of color and people with disabilities are disproportionately targeted by police and other law enforcement throughout Northern California. The People’s Clinic started in January 2021 and was created to empower people to take action and/or file suit after violent and unconstitutional interactions with law enforcement. This clinic provides free legal services and support to help clients injured by police or other government agencies receive justice and compensation. Those interested in pursuing a case against California law enforcement can meet with attorneys for 60-minute consultations and receive assistance preparing necessary claims and forms. This clinic helps clients draft documents and navigate the requirements of filing Government Tort and small claims actions to recover damages for the injuries they have sustained. Our pro bono partners have tremendously supported the launch of the clinic and we are always seeking additional pro bono assistance with drafting these claims and staffing the clinic on a regular basis. 

Training & Technical AssistanceYou need no prior experience to staff The People’s Clinic! 

  • LCCRSF’s Racial Justice Program attorneys provide a 1h MCLE training. 
  • The People’s Clinic handbook provides guidance for each step and includes substantive research into the common legal arguments that have proven successful in settling these cases. 
  • We have a robust drive including templates and our team is also available to provide technical assistance on case questions that may come up. 
  • LCCRSF staff is present to provide support at all clinics. 

Time Commitment: Typically, 2-6 hours of work. 

Contact Information: Lauren Carbajal, Esq., Equal Justice Works Fellow: lcarbajal@lccrsf.org.

In underserved communities, many civil litigants lose their cases, not because they had a bad case but because they never really had a chance to present it properly. They lacked access to legal support, and this lack of access may have cost them their jobs, their homes, or their families. To provide access to legal services for one of these communities LCCRSF manages the Unconditional Legal Clinic at GLIDE in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. The clinic is one of the only free clinics providing general legal services in San Francisco that serves all clients who walk-in with a legal question or issue. 

Pro Bono Training & Technical AssistanceYou need no prior experience to staff the GLIDE Unconditional Legal Clinic! 

  • LCCRSF’s Pro Bono Manager provides a 1h MCLE training. 
  • We have templates, resources and referral lists available to help those staffing the clinic. 
  • LCCRSF staff is present to provide support at all clinics. 

Time Commitment: Typically, 3-4 hours. 

Contact Information: Bréyon Austin, Esq., Pro Bono Manager: baustin@lccrsf.org.

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