Why CCLS

For over 50 years, Central California Legal Services (CCLS) has been providing free civil legal services to low-income individuals in Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Merced, Mariposa and Tuolumne Counties—a region where intense poverty exists side by side with unparalleled wealth and abundance. We work to improve the wellbeing of the San Joaquin Valley’s most vulnerable residents through systems-changing advocacy, client education, and legal work that meets individual clients’ immediate needs. We also work closely with agencies and community organizations that share our commitment to support our clients in being their own agents of change.

The mission of the CCLS Pro Bono Program is to improve the quality of life of low-income residents of our six-county service area by ensuring ready access to a panel of skilled volunteer attorneys to resolve serious legal problems.

Join the Cause. Open Opportunities.

Learn How to Express Interest

Experienced Co-counsel for State Court Housing Rights Case

Lawyers | Litigation | Children & Families | Housing

CCLS is seeking an experienced trial attorney to co-counsel an affirmative litigation case involving housing rights, to be filed in Fresno County Superior Court. The right volunteer will have civil litigation and jury trial experience. Housing law experience is a plus.

Limited Scope – Habitability and Reasonable Accommodations Claims

Lawyers | Litigation | Children & Families | Housing

Help tenants prosecute claims under the implied warranty of habitability, and request reasonable accommodations for their disabilities. These cases are limited scope representation and usually require interviewing a client/tenant, preparing/sending a demand letter to the landlord, and advising the client regarding the landlord’s response. Some cases may become full service if the client and volunteer attorney agree. CCLS provides training and support, including letter templates. Law students may assist with attorney supervision.

Research for Affirmative/Impact Litigation

Policy, Advocacy, & Research | Children & Families | Housing

Volunteer attorneys, law students, and law graduates are needed to research legal issues and potential claims for discrimination arising from court practices. These issues may include language access and disability discrimination arising from court practices regarding remote and in-person hearings, as well as other issues. A good fit would be a volunteer with strong research skills. CCLS may provide access to necessary research tools and resources.

Mentor a CCLS Staff Attorney

Training & Education | Children & Families | Housing | Immigration

CCLS’ staff attorneys practice in many areas of substantive law including housing, health, family, immigration, public benefits, consumers, and seniors. Good mentorship is hard to find. Experienced volunteer attorneys are needed to mentor CCLS’ staff attorneys. Volunteer attorneys will assist with case review and case strategy, review and advise on pleadings and motions, and support the attorneys in discovery, negotiation, and trial preparation.

Liaison to Substantive Teams

Policy, Advocacy, & Research | Children & Families | Housing | Immigration

The CCLS Substantive Teams (Housing, Health, Family/Immigration/Benefits, and Consumers/Seniors) are looking for volunteer attorney liaisons to attend team meetings, advise on case strategy, and assist otherwise as needed. Substantive litigation experience is preferred. This opportunity can be performed remotely.

Direct Representation of Tenants Facing Eviction

Litigation | Children & Families | Housing

Your help is needed to provide full representation to tenants facing eviction. These cases may be outside CCLS’ guidelines or beyond CCLS’ capacity to serve. Volunteer attorneys will provide all necessary legal services to zealously advocate for the client, including drafting/filing/serving responsive pleadings, possible discovery, negotiation, and appearance at trial if necessary. Training and supervision is available. CCLS will screen cases in an effort to assign appropriate cases to volunteer attorneys.

Virtual Clinic – Eviction Defense

Fixed Time Commitment | Children & Families | Housing | Immigration

Help CCLS stem the tidal wave of evictions expected in the wake of COVID-19. Our virtual eviction defense clinic needs volunteer attorneys to meet 1-on-1 with tenants and provide information, advice & counsel, and brief services such as preparing an answer. The clinic will operate remotely via Zoom, so you can help from anywhere you have a reliable internet connection. Housing experience is not required. Advance training and in-clinic supervision will be provided.

Virtual Clinic – Criminal Record Expungement

Fixed Time Commitment | Formerly Incarcerated | Criminal Records & Defense

Volunteer attorneys are needed to help prepare pro per applications and petitions for criminal record expungement. Cases are assigned and processed on the volunteer attorneys’ own schedules, with case management support from law students and substantive law support from local expungement experts. Training is provided.

Project First Step – Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

Litigation | Children & Families | Domestic & Sexual Violence Survivors

Project First Step has been an institution at CCLS for over 15 years. Volunteer attorneys assist victims of domestic violence obtain restraining orders against their abusers. This is a limited scope service. Clients typically have an existing EPO or TRO. Volunteer attorneys will interview the client, prepare and file supplemental pleadings if necessary, and prepare for and attend the hearing on the request for DVRO. Training is provided.

Interested?

To express interest click the button

under the pro bono opportunity

and complete the form

on Paladin

How to Express Interest

To express interest in one of our pro bono opportunities at Central California Legal Services, you will need to click the button below the opportunity you are interested in. When you do, you will be taken to the opportunity on Paladin. When you arrive, you can express interest without needing to create your own account. If you already have an account, log in with your credentials. Either way you can submit your contact information by clicking the “Express Interest” button in a teal color on the right side of the screen. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask them here.

Checklist

  1. Decide which opportunity you are interested in.
  2. Click the “Express Interest” button below the opportunity above.
  3. Click the “Express Interest” button on the right side of the Paladin webpage.
  4. Submit form as guest or log into your existing account.