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Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. *

Organization Description:

MHAS provides legal services to low- income individuals with mental and developmental disabilities in the greater Los Angeles County area. MHAS is engaged in advocacy on government benefits, access to mental health services, fair housing, and special education. MHAS has special expertise in mental health law and disability rights law. Client issues are resolved through negotiation, counseling, administrative procedures and legal remedies. MHAS has volunteer opportunities for law students, attorneys and college students.

Pro Bono Project Description:

Special Education Outreach Project: MHAS trains parents and professionals on special education law and procedures. For families needing additional assistance, MHAS offers direct representation, including representation at individualized education plan (IEP) meetings, mediations and administrative proceedings. Pro bono opportunities include representation at IEP meetings, due process and compliance complaints and periodic clinics.  For more information, contact Pam Marx,, 213-389-2077.

Fair Housing Advocacy Project:

Through direct legal representation, fair housing training and legislative advocacy, MHAS fights housing discrimination. MHAS provides representation in pre-eviction housing matters, including landlord-tenant disputes and Section 8 voucher issues. Pro bono opportunities can include providing fair housing trainings to consumers and housing providers and drafting consumer-friendly housing tips in addition to volunteer opportunities for law students and attorneys on individual cases.  For more information, contact Pam Marx,, 213-389-2077.

Government Benefits/Access to Mental Health Services/Other Legal Advocacy Project:

MHAS provides client consultation and advocacy on issues related to SSI/SSDI and Medi-Cal benefits and access to appropriate mental health services. MHAS also provides consultation and direct legal services on matters related to credit and consumer contract problems, patients' rights and mental health law. MHAS has pro bono opportunities representing individual clients in SSI/SSDI appeals.  For more information, contact Pam Marx,, 213-389-2077.

Systems Litigation Project

MHAS engages in systems litigation focused on eliminating systemic barriers to mental health services for MHAS clients. For more information, contact Pam Marx,, 213-389-2077.

  • County(s) of Volunteer Opportunity: Los Angeles
  • Area of law: Civil Rights, Consumer, Disability, Education, Family & Juvenile, Health, Homeless, Housing, Public Benefits, special education, fair housing, government benefits
  • Populations Served: Children, Communities of Color, General Public, Low Income, Military/Veterans, Persons with Disabilities
  • Opportunities For: Law Students, Lawyers, Nonlitigation Projects, Senior Lawyers
  • Need for non-English services: Spanish
  • Hours for Pro Bono Opportunities: Flexible, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
  • 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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Volunteer Profile

Kate Powers is an associate in the litigation department at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. She holds a J.D. from Cornell Law School where she served as a Notes Editor of the Cornell International Law Journal. She currently volunteers with Her Justice in New York. Read More

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