Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Volunteer With Us

 
 

Volunteers are important members of the Advancing Justice-LA family. Last year, over 700 individuals graciously donated over 25,000 hours, 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; 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.

Internships & Clerkships

Advancing Justice-LA offers internships and law clerkships for undergraduate, graduate, and law students seeking occupational and work experience. More information available here.

Pro Bono

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 Pomona College student Vy Doan.  

Past Pro Bono Spotlights have featured:

  • Shirley Wei, an immigration attorney
  • Shang Liu, a USC doctoral student 
  • Eric Fanchiang, a UC Irvine School of Law 3L who volunteered remotely with our Survivor and Family Empowerment (SAFE) Project. 
  • 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

Volunteer Opportunities

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.

 

NEW Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic Has Launched! 

Program Area: Survivor and Family Empowerment (SAFE)

Project: SAFE is seeking volunteers for its new Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) Clinic, focusing on Asian and Pacific Islander clients!  Both attorney volunteers and non-attorney volunteer interpreters are needed, and there are separate mandatory trainings available.

(a) Pro Bono Attorney Volunteers: Pro bono work associated with the clinic may include DVRO paperwork assistance in the clinic setting; paperwork assistance outside of the clinic setting; and/or court representation -- depending on interest and client needs.  Pro bono attorneys will work closely with and under the supervision of SAFE staff attorneys. No prior experience needed, though training is mandatory. While we do anticipate that many clients will be limited English proficient and will need interpretation, we welcome attorneys who are not bilingual to get involved!

Next new pro bono attorney training at our offices - Monday, March 5, from 12-3 pm at Advancing Justice-LA.

·       Topics to be covered include:

·       Introduction to Domestic Violence, particularly in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities

·       Types of Restraining Orders and applicable law

·       Working with Domestic Violence Survivors

·       Completing required forms and drafting declarations

Lunch and 2.5 hours of general MCLE will be provided.

(b) Volunteer Interpreters Needed!

SAFE is seeking volunteer interpreters to support its DVRO Clinic, focusing on Asian and Pacific Islander clients!  Many clients will be limited English proficient and will need interpretation. 

SAFE will be providing training to volunteer interpreters in partnership with the Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF), a nonprofit organization focused on assisting API survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their families.  Among various services, CPAF operates a domestic violence emergency shelter for API individuals, and also staffs a multilingual 24-hour hotline.

The new volunteer interpreter training will be scheduled for a date in March at Advancing Justice-LA’s offices.  Watch this space for updates!

Interpreter training will cover:

(1)   Working with domestic violence survivors

(2)   Cultural competency issues in interpreting for API survivors

(3)   Interpreting 101.

Thank you to those who signed up for our February clinics!  We are increasing the frequency of clinics to weekly in March, and expect to need more volunteers.  Sign up for the March pro bono attorney training, and sign up for March clinics here.

We request that those who participate in our training, also commit to attending at least 4 clinics during 2018.  We welcome you to complete the training even if you are not available for the March clinic dates, as we will be holding additional clinics (and trainings) throughout the year (additional dates for 2018 are still being finalized).

Volunteer Sign-Up Procedures:  Because client needs are not finalized until 2-3 days before each clinic, interested volunteers will be asked to indicate their anticipated availability, and volunteers will be contacted approximately 2 days in advance to confirm assignments.  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!

Email Christina Yang if you would like to be added to our potential volunteer email list.  We request that those who participate in our training, also commit to attending at least four (4) clinics during 2018.  

 

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.

Next Training Available for New Citizenship Volunteers:

When:    February Training is FULL! Next training is Wednesday, April 18, from 6-7:30.  Please sign up here.

Where: Advancing Justice-LA, 1145 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90017

If you would like to volunteer before April,  please contact Christina Yang for webinar training details in the interim.

In-House Citizenship Clinics in March:

When: Friday, March 2, 9, 16; Saturday, March 24.  Please RSVP here.
Where: Advancing Justice-LA, 1145 Wilshire Blvd., 1st Fl., LA
Language Needs: All Asian languages, but bilingual language ability not necessarily required to volunteer.

Ongoing Hacienda La Puente Adult Education Citizenship Clinics (Wednesday, March 21)

When: Wednesday, February 21, from 9 am - 2 pm (shifts available for assignment after registering to volunteer).  Please RSVP here.
Where: Hacienda La Puente Adult Education, 1600 Pontenova Ave., Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
Language Needs: Cantonese/Mandarin/Spanish preferred but not required.

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 various languages. The project will take 4-6 hours to transcribe the audio recordings verbatim and 10-15 hours to translate the transcription.  A small stipend may be available for Khmer translation.

Languages and Number of Volunteers Needed:

  • Khmer (1)

Please contact Pro Bono Director Christina Yang, Esq. if you are interested in volunteering.  Please mention in your email any transcription and written translation projects you have completed before

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.

To offer interpreter services, please contact Pro Bono Director Christina Yang, Esq. with your language proficiency and availability.

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.

 

For Legal Help

Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356

ត្រូវការជំនួយជាភាសាខ្មែរ:

800.867.3126
도움이 필요하십니까?: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583
Cần sự giúp đỡ: 800.267.7395

 

Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.