There are over 4 million people living in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara—the counties served by the Bay Area JusticeCorps program. Many of these people cannot afford legal representation and need assistance when trying to navigate through complicated court proceedings. By providing information, referrals, and assistance with forms completion, Bay Area JusticeCorps members help mitigate this situation.

 

Since the program's beginning in 2006, the Bay Area JusticeCorps program has served more than 120,000 self-represented litigants, and graduated 400 JusticeCorps alumni. JusticeCorps is an AmeriCorps program which has both a fellowship for recent college graduates or current seniors, and a student member program for students who will be enrolled in one of nine partner universities: University of California-Berkeley, San Francisco State University, California State University-East Bay, Stanford University, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College. Every year, we recruit 7 fellows and 70+ university students, who serve self-represented litigants in San Mateo, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, San Francisco, and Alameda Counties. Our members assist litigants who cannot afford an attorney to help themselves resolve their legal matters in family and civil law.

 

Community Service

JusticeCorps Members serve their community through community projects.

Social Justice

JusticeCorps Members help community members attain legal services and assistance. 

Professional Development

JusticeCorps Members work in a professional setting and learn life long professional skills.

Now entering its 12th year, the award-winning California JusticeCorps program recruits, trains and places over 270 undergraduates and recent graduates in court-based self centers. The ability of individuals facing family, housing, financial and personal safety crises to access the legal system and understand and safeguard their rights is vital to achieving economic self-sufficiency and promoting community stability. To help improve access to justice and ensure fair outcomes for all, California has committed to doing more to help people who need to resolve important civil legal issues but don’t have professional representation.

 

California Rule of Court 10.960 provides that court-based self help centers are a core function. Self-help centers serve as a single point of access for court users navigating the court system on their own. The JusticeCorps members serving in these centers provide legal information, not advice-- they help people help themselves. Funded by the California Judicial Branch and an AmeriCorps grant, JusticeCorps was first launched as a pilot program in Los Angeles County in 2004, expanded to the Bay Area in fall 2006, and then to San Diego in fall 2007.

 

Minimum-time members commit to 300 hours during an academic year in self-help centers. In return, they receive approximately 30 hours of training as well as a education award when they complete the program. The program also offers full-time service opportunities in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and San Diego. Full-time members serve 1,700 hours and receive a $20,000 living allowance throughout their one-year term of service.

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