ACC San Diego Community Service Committee
The Association of Corporate Counsel –San Diego Community Service Committee is committed to providing pro bono opportunities and to encourage diversity in the law through its outreach activities.
Scott Laughlin - Plaza Home Mortgage firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact Scott if you are interested in joining the committee or for any other questions or concerns related to pro bono and/or diversity.
The Importance of Outreach
The California Business and Professions Code Section 6068(h) establishes that it is the duty of an attorney "Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself or herself, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed." The State Bar of California recommends that each attorney contribute fifty (50) hours of pro bono legal services annually. In-house counsel, like all attorneys, desire to fulfill this professional responsibility. However, in-house law departments oftentimes do not have the necessary infrastructure to provide pro bono opportunities to its attorneys.
The mission of the ACC San Diego Community Service Committee is to encourage its members to participate in pro bono and diversity opportunities by identifying, creating and facilitating outreach activities to its members-at-large.
The ACC San Diego Community Service Committee is available to assist in the formation of an in-house pro bono program. Please contact the Chair as directed above. Ideas/Events/General Comments.
The ACC San Diego Community Service Committee supports the following local activities:
* Community Service Day
* Casa Cornelia
* Networking with local pro-bono legal services providers.
Ongoing Community Service Opportunities
Pro Bono Opportunities Available Through Our Law Firm Sponsors and Community Partners
Casa Cornelia Law Center (CCLC) serves indigent victims of human and civil rights violations that require attorneys to represent clients on a pro bono basis. Volunteer attorneys are trained and mentored for this work by CCLC and have the opportunity to partner with law firm attorneys from Fragomen and Sheppard Mullin depending on availability and commitments associated with the type of case (Asylum, U Visas, T Visas, VAWA, etc.) or legal clinics. CCLC provides malpractice insurance for volunteer attorneys. CA licensure is not required for most work, although all volunteer attorneys must be licensed to practice and be in good standing in at least 1 US jurisdiction. Please contact Katherine Paculba, Esq., Pro Bono Program Director at CCLC, at email@example.com or 619-231-7788 x304.
ACC member Michael Sedio, Vice President of Operations & General Counsel at the Better Business Bureau serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties, won the pro bono Children's Asylum case he took as a Volunteer Attorney through Casa Cornelia Law Center. His client was a boy from a small Central American country which had suffered decades of civil war, including oppression and violence against those of indigenous, and particularly Mayan, ethnicity. Clients like his suffer unconscionable forms of abuse, ranging from beatings, torture, oppression, imprisonment or death because of their ethnicity, religion or even political opinion. The temporary safety they find in the United States can only be made permanent through the work of lawyers willing to take on their cases. Access to law and justice for people without the means to pay for them on their own is made all the more vital in cases where the client's life or freedom are sometimes literally on the line. Michael urges all attorneys to consider becoming a volunteer or joining the Attorneys Who Care Campaign: "I was intimidated at the idea of taking on a volunteer case at first because I knew nothing about immigration law, but Casa Cornelia provided training, support, sample materials, and was with me every step of the way. Of all the reasons I became a lawyer the chance to do work like this is the most meaningful."
Voices for Children, a San Diego nonprofit organization designated by the Juvenile Dependency Court to provide volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs). Our CASA volunteers advocate for foster children to ensure that the individual needs of each child are met in the courtroom, classroom, and in other aspects of their lives (learn more here).
Pro Bono Practice Program - ACC San Diego Chapter supports the California State Bar's Pro Bono Practice Program by working with participants to help increase access to justice throughout the state.
If you're retired from active practice or on a temporary or extended leave and would like to provide pro bono legal services to our organization, you can be a part of the program. Program participants can have their annual State Bar dues waived and qualify for free or discounted MCLE programs offered by the State Bar, Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), and the Practising Law Institute (PLI). Additionally, legal services organizations participating in the program can generally provide malpractice coverage for work done by program participants.
As Clifford Anderson, Jr., who was admitted to the bar in 1953 and who has been a program participant since 1995, has said, "I enjoy helping people, I enjoy being around people, and pro bono helps keep my mind active and sharp."
If giving back through pro bono, waived State Bar membership fee, and keeping your mind in tip-top shape sound appealing, please see the State Bar's Pro Bono Practice Program page for more information and application instructions.