PBLA Clinics

Children's Clinic
Location(s): Various school sites in San Diego County. The children's clinic is run in partnership with the Lawyers' Committee and is actually organized by another student organization, Advocates for Children and Education (ACE).  

Schedule: The clinic is hosted approximately one day per semester, from roughly 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Typical cases: The clinic is split into two sections. One is for children aged 10-13 and one for youth aged 13-18. Each addresses legal issues faced by children and youth of each age group. Some of our previous topics included bullying and school discipline.

Volunteer assignments: Volunteers help refresh our presentations each semester and help put on the actual clinics.

Visit The Lawyers' Committee website for general information about the organization that is not specific to the Children's Clinic.

To get involved, email the Children's Clinic Chair!


Domestic Violence Clinic
Location(s): Located at the South Bay courthouse, room 155. The Domestic Violence Clinic is operated by the Legal Aid Society of San Diego.

Schedule: Students are required to volunteer one day per week either in the morning or afternoon for 3-4 hours.

Typical cases: Students help victims of domestic violence obtain a temporary restraining order. 

Volunteer assignments: This involves explaining the process, the law of domestic violence, the options available to the client, and helping the client to complete the temporary restraining order petition to the court, which consists of a written declaration and corresponding Judicial Council forms.

To see more information about this clinic, check out the San Diego Superior Court website.

If you're ready to get involved, email the Domestic Violence Clinic Chair!


Unlawful Detainer Clinic
Location: Clinics are held at the courthouses in South Bay, Downtown, and El Cajon. The Unlawful Detainer Clinic operates with the Legal Aid Society of San Diego.

Schedule: Students are required to volunteer one day per week either in the morning or afternoon.

Typical cases: This is an excellent opportunity to get exposure to landlord-tenant law. In San Diego there are over 6,000 unlawful detainer lawsuits filed annually. Most parties do not have an attorney to represent them at court; without legal assistance, many are at risk of becoming homeless.

Volunteer assignments: Volunteers help tenants prepare and file court documents such as answers and complaints, and educate clients about various legal options. Additionally, students have the opportunity to assist individuals seeking temporary restraining orders.

To see more information about this clinic, check out the San Diego Superior Court website.

If you're ready to get involved, email the Unlawful Detainer Clinic Chair.


HIV/AIDS Clinic
Location: University Christian Church in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego. The HIV/AIDS Clinic is operated with the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program (SDVLP).

Schedule: The clinic meets on Monday nights for approximately 2 hours.

Typical cases: Providing legal services to individuals with HIV/AIDS who meet certain income requirements in areas including, but not limited to, estate planning, landlord/tenant disputes, bankruptcy and other debtor/creditor problems, insurance difficulties, family law questions, employment discrimination, confidentiality concerns and Social Security and benefit problems. SDVLP does not handle criminal matters or fee-generating cases, such as personal injury actions.

Volunteer assignments: Volunteers work under the supervision of an SDVLP staff attorney, and aid local pro bono lawyers in interviewing clients about their legal issues.

These details are also available on the SDVLP website.

If you're interested, send an email to the HIV/AIDS Clinic Chair!


VITA (Tax) Clinic
Location: Various locations including Mission Valley, Linda Vista, and Clairemont. Typically the clinic is hosted in a library or other public place. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is an IRS created program. Social Advocates for Youth (SAY San Diego) is the local community organization that plans the clinic locations, trainings, and coordinates volunteers.

Schedule: Each clinic site operates at different hours, but a typical commitment would be one 3-4 hour shift per week. Online training through the IRS Link-n-Learn website is completed independently, and it is recommended that this is done over the holiday break. Computer training for TaxWise software is hosted by an IRS representative on campus in January, and students have a choice between attending two evening sessions or one full day on the weekend. The clinic runs from January through Tax Day in April.

Typical cases: Preparing accurate federal and California income tax returns for low-income clients. Clients are referred to the clinic through SAY San Diego.

Volunteer assignments: Volunteers assist clients through the entire process of e-filing their tax returns. This entails reviewing tax documents such as W-2's, verifying client information, and completing computerized 1040 forms.

For more about the VITA program, visit the IRS website or the SAY San Diego website.

To sign up, email the VITA Clinic Chair!

Elder Law Clinic
Location: Elder Law & Advocacy, 5151 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite 110, San Diego, CA 92123

Schedule: Flexible, depending on each volunteer's availability

Volunteer assignments: Volunteers at this clinic will be working with attorneys at ELA, working directly with a supervising attorney while handling cases.  Tasks include research, writing demand letters, communicating with clients and other parties as well as document preparation.  Interns also meet with and interview clients.  Attorneys often invite interns to attend hearings as well.

Apply by emailing Narie Oh, the Elder Law Clinic Chair at elder.law.usd.pbla@gmail.com.

Learn more about Elder Law & Advocacy here!

Clean Slate Clinic
Location:
South Metro Career Center, 4389 Imperial Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113

Schedule: Once a month; first Saturday of each month from 9 AM - 2 PM, excluding holidays. Volunteers must arrive promptly at 9 AM to undergo a one hour training session in order to volunteer that day.


Volunteer assignments:
Volunteers will conduct participant intake, prepare forms, conduct interviews, and educate participants on their legal options.


Typical cases:
Guiding participants who were convicted of misdemeanors or felonies that resulted in jail time and/or probation through the criminal record expungement process.


Find out more by e-mailing the chair and by visiting the Clinic's website.
You can sign up for the upcoming clinic dates here!


Consumer Affairs Clinic
Location: San Diego Law Library at the Chula Vista courthouse: 500 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91910. The clinic is operated by the Legal Aid Society of San Diego.

Schedule: 9:30AM to 12:30PM, every Thursday

Typical cases: Volunteers will have opportunities to work with attorneys in consumer protection, specifically in areas such as debt defense, identity theft, FDCPA violations, unfair business practices, and auto fraud, among others. Volunteers will get significant client contact as well as hands-on legal experience preparing various legal documents.

Volunteer assignments: Under the supervision of a Legal Aid attorney, volunteers will perform client intake, drafting of pleadings, drafting discovery documents, factual and legal investigation, motion practice, advocating in court proceedings, community outreach, researching relevant legal issues, and preparing for trial.

2L and above level students preferred, but 1Ls are welcome.
E-mail chair Tracey Plata here with your resume to sign up!

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