How to Volunteer for CCLS - Even if You Have Limited Time

A lawyer’s life is very busy. No matter what type of practice you have, it can feel overwhelming to contemplate adding a pro bono commitment to your plate. We at Central California Legal Services (CCLS) understand those pressures. That’s why we have opportunities that allow you to add a small serving of pro bono to your plate. Our clinics are prime examples of how you can volunteer to serve CCLS’ clients – even if you have just a few hours.

We have a variety of clinics planned for 2024. Some will be in person, and some will be virtual. For all of them, you will have the opportunity to receive training and to shadow or partner with experienced staff or volunteers if the clinic is not in an area of your usual practice. You could volunteer for one event – or a series – whatever works for you.

Our 2024 clinic offerings will include the following opportunities.

Senior Citizens Estate Planning

Join our senior program to provide basic estate planning services. At clinics held in senior citizen housing facilities, pro bono attorneys meet with seniors to assess their personal estate planning needs and draft simple wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and related documents. Providing these services brings peace of mind to clients who know that their affairs are now in order.

Criminal Record Expungement

In this virtual clinic, pro bono attorneys interview participants seeking to have their criminal records expunged. Prior to the clinic, the participant’s eligibility for expungement has been determined. During the virtual clinic, pro bono attorneys gather facts about the participant’s life since conviction that demonstrate why the court should grant expungement. They then draft a declaration that will be submitted in support of the request for expungement. Pro bono attorney volunteer Tiffany A. Pack, Fitzgerald, Alvarez & Ciummo, participates regularly in the expungement clinic. When asked why, she explained “As a defense attorney, I see many people who make a one-time bad decision that ends up ruining their lives. I participate in the clinic to help people who learned and grew from their mistakes get their lives back on track.”

Medical Debt and Access to Health Benefits

Pro bono attorneys with our health team assist health consumers who face unmanageable medical debt at clinics designed to assess whether and how they might gain relief. In addition, the clinics serve people who need assistance navigating the daunting world of eligibility for health benefits, particularly people who have dual eligibility for Medicare and Medi-Cal. At these clinics, held in a variety of community locations, volunteers advise clients on their opinions, and recommend additional services or representation as warranted. Medical debt can be a crushing burden on families, and pro bono attorneys may lighten that load.

Unlawful Detainer

Both landlords and tenants can benefit from our housing team’s unlawful detainer clinics. Clinics are held separately for each group at the CCLS offices. But both clinics provide opportunities for pro bono attorneys to provide answers to common questions regarding evictions, court processes, legal rights for both tenants and landlords, and what forms to complete to file a case or to respond to a case that has been filed.


Our family law team assists people seeking guardianship of a minor child. Pro bono attorneys explain the court documents required and prepare the participants for what will happen in their court appearance. Most of the participants at this clinic, which is held both virtually and in- person at the CCLS office, are grandparents or other family members seeking guardianship of children they are already raising. Having this process completed formally is critical for the well-being of these families.

If any of these opportunities are of interest to you, please give me a call at (559) 570-1274 or drop me an email at so that we can find the best way for you to be involved.

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