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.