Equal justice under the law is more than just a phrase; it is a notion fundamental to our democracy. Without access to courts or legal services, low-income Californians may not have the protection afforded by a civil society. Those who suffer the most are often the most vulnerable among us – victims of domestic violence, immigrants, children, and the homeless.
Since its founding in 1986, Pro Bono Project has been dedicated to representing clients of limited means and improving access to justice. Pro Bono Project utilizes talented and caring attorneys who volunteer their time and energy to work on full and limited scope pro bono cases in family law, domestic violence, and consumer law. “Justice for all” is not a vague concept, but our mission.
What do you call 21 experienced attorneys willing to work for no pay? A good start. At least, that’s what we call it at Pro Bono Project. In 1986, with support from Legal Aid Society and a grant from American Bar Association, a group of leading attorneys in Santa Clara County incorporated Pro Bono Project to bring together attorneys who want to volunteer their services and low-income clients who need legal advice and representation. During our first year, 21 volunteer attorneys provided 361 hours of service to 52 clients. We have grown substantially since then. Now, Pro Bono Project is the largest provider of family law services in Santa Clara County. By 2011, 358 of our volunteer attorneys provided over 13,000 hours of legal services to low-income clients.
In recent years, Pro Bono Project has sought innovative solutions and cross-collaborations with the courts to better leverage resources to help more clients in need. We are constantly looking for creative ways to increase access to justice in our local community.
Pro Bono Project takes referrals in areas of civil law. Volunteer attorneys take cases, represent clients, and staff our office and clinics. Attorneys and law student volunteers coordinate clinics, research, write, and prepare administrative hearings, and help us recruit more volunteers. Our non-attorney volunteers coordinate activities and provide administration, bookkeeping, translation, and reception services.
We are proud of what we have accomplished, and excited about our plans for the future.
“I am very thankful to you for providing an experienced attorney with such expertise, knowledge, and integrity. Please continue to recommend high quality lawyers to others as you have done for me.”
“What really keeps us going is seeing lives change for the better.”
“I was very impressed with the support that was offered, as well as services to clients.”