Volunteers are important members of the Advancing Justice-LA family. Last year, over 700 individuals graciously donated over 18,000 hours, valued at over $2.8 million, to help our staff fulfill our mission to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to improve the lives of our clients and empower our communities.
We have pro bono opportunities for attorneys and professional interpreters; volunteer opportunities for all community members, and internships for students seeking professional experience. Please check this page often for the latest ways to get involved with Advancing Justice - LA! To be added to Advancing Justice-LA's volunteer database, and to receive periodic emails regarding volunteer opportunities, please complete this form.
Advancing Justice-LA offers internships and law clerkships for undergraduate, graduate, and law students seeking occupational and work experience. More information available here.
Attorneys: We have opportunities on an ongoing basis for law firms and attorneys to take pro bono cases and matters arising from our direct services programs, policy and advocacy efforts, and in impact litigation. We also work with private attorneys who generously provide advice on nonprofit governance, corporate compliance, and employment issues.
We are also building our list of experienced attorneys for pro bono or “low bono” case referrals on behalf of community members who seek legal advice in areas such as immigration, family law, employment, and housing.
To offer professional legal services, please contact Pro Bono Director Christina Yang, Esq.
Pro Bono Advisory Council: This Council is the first of its kind at Advancing Justice-LA, and is complementary to the existing Board of Directors and Executive Advisory Council. Advancing Justice-LA relies on the Pro Bono Advisory Council for guidance in the development of its pro bono programs, and members maintain ongoing relationships with the organization. Advancing Justice-LA turns to Council members first as a resource in assisting with pro bono matters and issues. The Pro Bono Advisory Council also helps raise vital funds and resources needed to support and expand Advancing Justice-LA’s pro bono programs. Members include attorneys from major national and international law firms, as well as in-house counsel at Fortune 100 companies.
For a full list of the members of the Pro Bono Advisory Council, please click here.
Pro Bono Spotlights: The Pro Bono Spotlight is a regular feature honoring Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles’ dedicated volunteers and the important work they do to help us fulfill our mission.
Most recently, Advancing Justice-LA’s Pro Bono Spotlight featured Eric Fanchiang, a UC Irvine School of Law 3L who volunteered remotely with our Survivor and Family Empowerment (SAFE) Project.
Past Pro Bono Spotlights have featured:
- Eileen Ma, volunteer attorney with our impact litigation unit.
- Ashuka Xue, volunteer with the Advancing Justice-LA Health Access Project
- Ayano Wolff, longtime volunteer turned temporary staff attorney with the Advancing Justice-LA Survivor and Family Empowerment (SAFE) Project
- Elaine Hang, Arroyo High School graduate and Dickinson College incoming freshman
- USC’s Shelley Siying Wang
- Holland & Knight LLP’s Cheryl Kang
- Duane Morris LLP’s Cyndie M. Chang
- Bird Marella’s Nilay Vora
- Gibson Dunn LLP’s Todd Truitt
Interpreters: Advancing Justice-LA provides services to diverse communities, and is committed to helping them overcome language-access barriers to education, legal, healthcare, and other institutions. Help us create access by donating your interpretation and translation skills! We maintain a volunteer interpreter corps that our staff reaches out to on an as-needed basis, and have particular need for Asian and Pacific Islander languages, including but not limited to Bengali, Cantonese, Hmong, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese, as well as Spanish.
Request for Volunteer Bahasa Malaysia/Bahasa Indonesia Interpreter to Assist Victim of Human Trafficking
Description of Work:
Please email [email protected] if interested!
- Assist Advancing Justice-LA lawyers to apply for a T Visa—a special visa for victims of human trafficking—on behalf of an Indonesian survivor of human trafficking. The elderly trafficking victim was previously trafficked as a domestic servant, working 14 to 18 hour days, every day, for nearly a year, with approximately $250/month pay. Eligible for immigration relief, Advancing Justice-LA hopes to stabilize this woman’s immigration status by securing a T Visa.
- The volunteer would work closely with the Advancing Justice-LA attorney to interpret at attorney-client meetings. Written and reading skills is not necessary but strong oral command of the language is required. It is not necessary to know legal terms in Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia.
- Attorney-client meetings may take place by phone, but occasional interpretation must be done at our office in the Downtown Los Angeles area.
- Although there is a strong preference to conduct the volunteer interpretation during regular business hours, Advancing Justice-LA attorney and the client may be available evenings and/or weekends to accommodate the volunteer interpreter’s schedule.
- In total, the interpreter will likely expend anywhere between 12 to 18 hours. Advancing Justice-LA is amenable to working with multiple interpreters at different stages in the application process, if a single volunteer interpreter is unable to commit to the case in its entirety.
Clinics, Workshops, and Other Projects:
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles seeks volunteer and pro bono assistance in various program areas. Interested volunteers and pro bono attorneys must sign up as indicated below. Please note that Advancing Justice receives a large volume of email from volunteers, and therefore you will not receive an individualized email response upon signing up. You will receive a final email confirmation regarding volunteering approximately 24-48 hours before a specific clinic/workshop/event, as clients typically sign up during that time, and Advancing Justice can then confirm volunteer needs. Thank you for your understanding! Please contact Pro Bono Director Christina Yang, Esq. with any questions.
Citizenship/Naturalization Workshops and Clinics
What: Citizenship Workshop volunteers help individuals complete the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400), assess eligibility for various waivers, and provide in-language resources on the naturalization process. Advancing Justice will provide training in advance, and supervision. General volunteers will assist clients with preparation of the applications, while attorney volunteers will assist with legal review as the applications are completed.
Please note that you must be trained prior to volunteering at an upcoming citizenship workshop. Attendance at in-person training is highly preferred, but please contact Pro Bono Director Christina Yang, Esq. to discuss alternate arrangements if you cannot attend the regularly scheduled training for the month.
Monthly Training Available for New Citizenship Volunteers:
When: March training date: Wednesday, March 15, from 6-7:30. *Our March training is now full! Please check again soon for the April sign up sheet.
Where: Advancing Justice-LA, 1145 Wilshire Blvd., 2nd Fl., LA
(Please note that you must be trained prior to volunteering at an upcoming citizenship workshop. Attendance at in-person training is highly preferred, but please contact Christina Yang to discuss alternate arrangements for webinar training if you cannot attend the regularly scheduled training for the month.)
In-House Citizenship Clinics in March:
March 14 - 12:30-5 pm (shifts available for assignment after registering to volunteer). Please RSVP here for March.
March 17- 12:30-5 pm (shifts available for assignment after registering to volunteer). Please RSVP here for March.
Where: Advancing Justice-LA, 1145 Wilshire Blvd., 2nd Fl., LA
Language Needs: All Asian languages, preference for Korean and Mandarin, but bilingual language ability not necessarily required to volunteer.
Volunteer Sign-Up Procedures: Because client needs are not apparent until 2-3 days before each clinic, interested volunteers will be asked to indicate their anticipated availability, and volunteers will be contacted approximately 2-3 days in advance if they are needed during a given week. In other words, if you are NOT contacted a few days before a workshop by our staff, please assume you do NOT need to volunteer for that workshop. Thank you!
Training: Training required as noted above.
Community Legal Clinic - Volunteer Attorneys and Korean Interpreters Needed (4/11/17):
Health Access Project (HAP) StoryCorps Translation Project
The Health Access Project (HAP) at Advancing Justice-LA is looking for volunteers to transcribe and translate 40-minute audio recordings of conversations. HAP participated in a project with StoryCorps, a national interview project, to collect health-related stories. We are looking for volunteers with oral and written language capacity in Arabic, Bangla, Khmer, Korean, Spanish, and English. The project will take 4-6 hours to transcribe the audio recordings verbatim and 10-15 hours to translate the transcription. This project will begin in January 2017, with a deadline for completion on Friday, February 3rd.
Languages and Number of Volunteers Needed:
Please email Lana El-Farra at [email protected] if you are interested in volunteering. Please mention in your email any transcription and written translation projects you have completed before
Immigration Relief Workshops
What: Advancing Justice-LA seeks immigration practitioners, regardless of bilingual language ability, to volunteer periodically at larger-scale immigration workshops. Assist with screening individuals for any general immigration relief. If you are an immigration practitioner or BIA accredited representative, contact Pro Bono Director Christina Yang if you would like to be added to our volunteer database to be notified when these opportunities arise.