National
Lawyers serving the public good.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 Contact:          Kurt Oldenberg
                                                                                                            Public Interest Clearinghouse
                                                                                                            (415) 893-0100, Ext. 300

NEW PRO BONO WEBSITE PROVIDES VOLUNTEER
OPPORTUNITIES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

(LOS ANGELES) June 9, 2009 -- In collaboration with the Public Interest Clearinghouse and Pro Bono Net, Southern California public interest legal services providers have launched SoCal Pro Bono Center, a new website that supports pro bono legal services by linking private attorneys, law students and other advocates with legal services providers throughout Southern California. Coordinators of the new venture include the Southern California Pro Bono Managers and Pro Bono Directors at the Alliance for Children's Rights, the HIV & AIDS Legal Services Alliance, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc., Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, and Public Counsel. The website can also be utilized by other nonprofit legal organizations with active pro bono programs. The website officially launches on June 10, 2009 and is located at www.socalprobono.org.

“The SoCal Pro Bono Center was created to streamline and maximize volunteer requests from individual attorneys, law students and other legal advocates. Whether you are a private practitioner, law student, law firm, law school, public interest law group or other qualified legal professional, the SoCal Pro Bono Center is allows you to quickly identify programs and volunteer opportunities,” explained the SoCal Pro Bono Managers. “We would also like to thank Mannatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP  and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP  for their support of the website’s development and launch.”

Among the many features of the SoCal Pro Bono Center is a Programs Guide that includes descriptions and contact information for more than 50 pro bono programs. In addition to the Programs Guide, the website provides a database of legal clinics, which allows attorneys to identify and connect with local walk-in clinics, and a Pro Bono Calendar that features upcoming events and trainings especially designed for pro bono attorneys and students.

Background
SoCalProBono.org is part of the statewide pro bono opportunities network, www.CaliforniaProBono.org, a website managed by Public Interest Clearinghouse which features a directory of active pro bono programs at over 100 California legal services nonprofit.  In the San Francisco Bay Area, legal services providers and The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Volunteer Legal Services Program manage www.probono.net/bayarea, another regional opportunities network for local volunteers.

All three California-based websites are part of the national Pro Bono Net network. Pro Bono Net (www.probono.net) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice through innovative uses of technology and increased volunteer lawyer participation. More than 50,000 lawyers and other advocates are registered members of Pro Bono Net websites, which have been launched in 30 states and regions, reaching approximately two-thirds of the poverty population and lawyers in the United States. The network of sites provides substantive support to pro bono attorneys and other legal advocates in areas such as human rights, family law and domestic violence, political asylum, government benefits and discrimination.

 

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