Disability Rights Legal Center *

  • Location:
    1541 Wilshire Blvd.
    Suite 400
    Los Angeles, CA 90071
  • Phone: (213) 736-1031
  • Fax: (213) 736-1428
  • Website: http://www.thedrlc.org/

Organization Description:

Since 1975, DRLC has been committed to justice and the rule of law for persons with disabilities, and to promoting their full and equal participation in society. DRLC works to improve the availability of accessible housing, secure fully accommodated access to state and local institutions, restore dignity to people with disabilities who are investigated and incarcerated and protect the rights of people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and California's Fair Employment and Housing Act. DRLC advocates on behalf of disadvantaged families who need special education, protects the civil rights of people with disabilities, and educates people diagnosed with cancer. Lawyers, paralegals, law students and other people who want to help can volunteer during the week and weekends.

Project Descriptions:

The Disability Rights Legal Center gives attorneys who are interested in disability civil rights law, special education law, cancer advocacy and other related areas of the law, opportunities to hone their advocacy skills and to make a difference in the community through the following programs:

Cancer Legal Resource Center:

The Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) is a national, program of the Disability Rights Legal Center. The CLRC provides confidential and free information and resources on cancer-related legal issues to cancer survivors, caregivers, health care professionals, employers, and others coping with cancer. You have the opportunity to assist people with cancer as they face converging legal and medical problems. We need volunteer attorneys with insurance, medical, housing, employment, guardianship, estate planning, and other expertise. For more information and to apply to be a member of the Professional Panel: https://thedrlc.org/cancer/about/clrc-professional-panel/


The Civil Rights Litigation Program:

The Civil Rights Litigation Program provides representation for low-income individuals with disabilities facing discrimination. We concentrate on cases that will establish important legal principles or benefit large groups of people with disabilities. Our cases challenge discriminatory practices by government agencies, businesses, and educational institutions. Examples include inaccessible newly constructed or altered buildings, refusal to provide sign language interpreters or alternative format materials, exclusionary housing, businesses, and government programs, discriminatory insurance and health care systems, inaccessible transportation services, and policies that exclude people with disabilities and their service animals. Transform people’s lives by removing barriers that deny equal access to people with disabilities. We need attorneys to co-counsel with us and to take referrals of large and small disability civil rights cases.

Education Advocacy Program:

An important part of DRLC’s Civil Rights Litigation focuses on the foundational ability to learn and achieve on a level educational playing field. From pre-K through high school, schools must identify, assess, and provide special education and related services to children with disabilities that impede their ability to learn.  Higher education institutions must reasonably accommodate students with disabilities to allow them an equal opportunity to achieve their goals.  Low-income, minority, and non-English-speaking parents are often at a greater disadvantage due to language and financial barriers. DRLC represents students in special education proceedings, including Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings, mediations, and administrative due process hearings. DRLC also pursues litigation and large impact cases to bring institutions, school districts, and other government entities into compliance with the law. Help a student in need of special education achieve their potential; help litigation efforts to effect systemic change.  We need volunteer attorneys at all stages of the process and provide training and guidance to ensure effective results.


Community Advocacy Program:

The Community Advocacy Program (CAP) is the initial portal for anyone seeking assistance and representation from DRLC. CAP interns conduct initial and/or follow-up phone interviews with people in need of help and information and make initial recommendations of how we can help.  With guidance from DRLC staff, many callers are provided essential information, resources, and legal referrals.  CAP volunteers often conduct follow up interviews for cases that may be appropriate for Civil Rights Litigation.  CAP also provides referrals to attorneys qualified to handle cases via the following panels: Education Law; Labor and Employment; Access to Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities; Administrative Law; and Estate Planning.


For more information on volunteering in any of these programs contact:

Anabel Prudencio


  • County(s) of Volunteer Opportunity: Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura
  • Area of law: Civil Rights, Disability, Special Education and Cancer Advocacy
  • Populations Served: Children, Low Income, Persons with Disabilities
  • Opportunities For: Law Students, Lawyers, Paralegals
  • Need for non-English services: Spanish
  • Hours for Pro Bono Opportunities: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, Weekends
  • Malpractice insurance is provided for volunteers: Yes
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Training Required: No
  • CLE credit for trainings: Yes
  • Training / Supervision Comments: The DRCLC provides CLE credit for their special education advocacy training, elimination of bias and cancer advocacy training.
  • CLE credit for pro bono: No
  • Mentoring or supervision offered: No
  • Volunteer lawyers need to meet a caseload or hours requirement: No
  • Long Distance Opportunities: Conduct Research, Draft or Translate Legal Documents, Mentor Volunteer Lawyers
  • Other Long Distance Opportunities: (on occasion)
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: Yes
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