Alliance for Children's Rights *

It is the mission of The Alliance for Children's Rights' to protect the rights of abused, neglected or impoverished children.

Organization Description:

The Alliance for Children’s Rights is a nonprofit legal services organization that protects the rights of impoverished, abused and neglected children in Los Angeles County.  We advocate for health care,education and financial support for families created by adoption, foster care and guardianship. We also address the needs of foster youth leaving care without a permanent family.

The Alliance for Children’s Rights depends on generous volunteer lawyers to help our clients,

including children in foster care, runaway and emancipating youth, relative and non-relative

caregivers and children with educational, physical and emotional disabilities.  Through our pro bono attorneys, we have assisted more than 100,000 families to achieve safe, stable homes, healthcare and education.  Help us to continue this important work.

Pro Bono Project Descriptions:

The Alliance offers opportunities to clerk in our office or take cases on a pro bono basis.  All pro bono cases are extensively screened by Alliance staff, with support and supervision provided by Alliance Staff Attorneys. Training, manuals and sample documents are available.
Probate Legal Guardianship
Over 300,000 children in Los Angeles County live with non-parent caregivers. Guardianship gives caregivers legal authority over a child’s educational and medical welfare. It also allows guardians access to financial support, while providing vital emotional and physical security to children who have experienced trauma.  Pro bono attorneys prepare the petition and represent caregivers at hearing in unopposed cases.  Typical time commitment is 15 to 20 hours over 2-4 months.
Education Advocacy
Due to abuse and neglect, children in foster care are more likely to have learning disabilities, emotional problems and developmental delays. Frequent changes in home and school placements make it nearly impossible to obtain accurate records, current assessments and adequate educational programs, without proper advocacy. Pro bono attorneys negotiate with School Districts and Regional Centers to obtain Individualized Education Programs (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP).  Mediation is occasionally required.  Typical time commitment is 30-50 hours over 3-6 months.
NextStep for Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care
More than 1,500 youth “age out” of the Los Angeles foster care system each year without any parental mentoring or family to support them in the transition. Of the many obstacles these youth face, untangling legal barriers to housing, education and employment is a vital first step. Pro bono attorneys mentor and/or assist youth with identity theft, accessing public benefits, taxes, contracts, sealing juvenile records and clearing tickets and warrants.  They also develop and deliver life skills workshops to youth in related areas. 
Foster Care Benefits and Supplemental Security Income
Financial benefits are routinely denied to children and youth in out-of-home care, largely because of improper or inadequate assessments. Without legal advocacy, these children and youth may never receive the appropriate level of support for their most basic needs. Pro bono attorneys prepare briefs, question experts and present evidence at administrative hearings.  Typical time commitment is 40-60 hours over 4-6 months.
Impact Litigation, Research and Policy Work
Defects, ambiguities and deficiencies in laws and regulations repeatedly deprive our clients of the services and stability they need.  Researching, drafting and implementing changes in law and policy can dramatically impact the lives of families created by adoption, foster care and guardianship. Pro bono attorneys litigate, research and/or develop policies related to systemic problems in the dependency system.

  • County(s) of Volunteer Opportunity: Los Angeles
  • Area of law: Education, Family & Juvenile, Health, Public Benefits, Foster Care Adoptions, Guardianship, Transitioning Youth
  • Populations Served: Children, Low Income, Persons with Disabilities
  • Opportunities For: Law Students, Lawyers, Mentors, Nonlitigation Projects, Paralegals, Senior Lawyers
  • Need for non-English services: English, Spanish
  • Hours for Pro Bono Opportunities: Evenings, Flexible, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, Weekends
  • Malpractice insurance is provided for volunteers: Yes
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Training Required: No
  • CLE credit for trainings: Yes
  • CLE credit for pro bono: No
  • Mentoring or supervision offered: Yes
  • Volunteer lawyers need to meet a caseload or hours requirement: No
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: No
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