December 2011 • Vol. 31 No. 11 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association

Where Do I Sign Up?

It is apparent that Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane were onto something in the 1960s when they sang, "Come on now we're marching to the sea, Got a revolution Got to revolution, Who will take it from you, We will and who are we, We are volunteers of America," on their "Volunteers" album.

Although they were promoting revolution, their idea of changing the status quo resonates today. Instead of changing government, this article is about changing the lives of those less fortunate. It’s an idea that comes to fruition when people surrender their free time to help others in need. It’s something LACBA members do each year.

If you are interested in volunteering but aren’t sure where to look for opportunities, visit LACBA’s Volunteer Opportunities page on the Web site to see what organizations could use your help.

The first ones you’ll see are often referred to as “LACBA’s projects.” They are the Domestic Violence Project, the AIDS Legal Services Project, and the Immigration Legal Assistance Project.

The Domestic Violence Project, located in the Stanley Mosk and Pasadena courthouses, requires that volunteers commit to two three-hour sessions per month for six months. No prior experience is necessary; new volunteers attend a training workshop prior to beginning their assignments. Volunteers assist clients with filling out the paperwork necessary to seek restraining orders against their abusers. No ongoing representation is provided. Bring with you your compassion and your willingness to make a difference in someone's life.

The AIDS Legal Services Project directs its resources to assisting low-income people living with HIV and AIDS who have an HIV/AIDS-related legal problem. The scope of services includes immigration, guardianships, discrimination, public and private benefits, debtor relief and bankruptcy, simple estate planning, and housing issues.

The Immigration Legal Assistance Project works directly with clients who come to the project on a walk-in basis. The project uses its resources to provide immigration legal advice for U.S. citizens, immigrants, and aliens; prepares immigration and naturalization forms; translates, certifies, notarizes, and copies documents; ties in lawyer referral service and all appropriate social service agencies; and trains law students, attorneys, and volunteers in all aspects of immigration law and procedures.

There are plenty of other places to volunteer your time. For example, the Center for Civic Mediation helps individuals, families, and communities resolve conflicts through mediation, facilitation, and other problem-solving methods. 

If you have an interest in family law, working with children, or securing housing for low-income families, you'll find opportunities as well. So, if you have the time, take a look at LACBA’s Volunteer Opportunities page and consider where you can help those in need.

What are your thoughts? What would you like to see on Send feedback to or call David Dain at (213) 896-6401.


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