I am a deferred Big Law associate who volunteered in the Youth Justice unit of Oakland's Bay Area Legal Aid. I had a great experience there. I worked with extremely intelligent and compassionate attorneys and staff, and I was given the opportunity to represent my own clients, and, with guidance from the staff attorneys, make decisions about how to best represent their needs. I had the opportunity to attend collaborative court and IEP meetings, which really helped my negotiation and representation skills. For law students or new attorneys looking for a wonderful legal organization to volunteer for and great legal experience, I would definitely recommend Bay Area Legal Aid!
As a rising 1L, I had a great summer experience at Bay Area Legal Aid (San Francisco Ofc.). I never worked for a non-profit before, and didn’t know what to expect. The staff and attorneys were welcoming and easy to get along with. The law clerks that I worked with came to work on time, and treated their (9a-5p) positions as if they were getting paid by the hour. The atmosphere was professional, but comfortable enough where I felt like I could knock on any attorney’s door if I ever had a question or needed help. There were many social gatherings (both in and out of the office), and events that allowed the office to mix. Although I am not a social person, I did appreciate BayLegal’s efforts to bring everyone together.
I worked in the Legal Barriers to Employment Project (LBEP unit) and had two supervisors who were both great people and great teachers. I was expected to work independently, and handled cases from the ground up. Most of the issues that I dealt with involved revoked or suspended driver's licenses. Child support, criminal record expungements, unemployment, and housing issues also arose. I was exposed to a wide array of legal issues in the LBEP unit, which made my job both challenging and rewarding. I had a tremendous amount of client contact, and was able to work with the various courts, agencies, and programs via phone and in person on a daily basis. I also worked on an unemployment case and represented a client before the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. With the help of my supervisor, I was able to obtain a strong writing sample. I went into BayLegal knowing exactly what I wanted, and am thankful that my supervisors were willing to help me achieve my goals. I would recommend BayLegal to anyone who enjoys working hard in a supportive and collaborative working environment.
I am a newly licensed attorney who volunteered in the Family Law Division of San Francisco Bay Area Legal Aid. I had a great experience there. I worked with extremely intelligent and compassionate attorneys and staff, and I was given the opportunity to do a lot of legal writing and attend hearings and client visits. For law students or new attorneys looking for a wonderful legal organization to volunteer for and great legal experience beyond the usual grunt work that most firms give their interns, I would definitely recommend Bay Area Legal Aid!
I am a law student at a local law school and I have interned at multiple non-profits in the Bay Area. However, Bay Area Legal Aid is by far the best place that I haev ever interned. At the San Francisco office interns get their own cubicle or office so we can work productively. The office staff is the nicest and most inclusive group of people ever. They also plan a lot of activities to encourage socializing among the staff and interns.
Most of all, interns meet with clients and handle entire cases on their own. That means you will have have a lot of responsibility but the work is extremely rewarding. It is really nice to learn a lot, enjoy your work environment, and be able to help those who need legal aid.
I worked on three pro bono dissolution cases for legal aid, involving custody, child support and domestic violence. It's heart warming work if you ever starting to feel like an attorney droid, and a way to learn about an area of the law that you might not be familiar with. I was not familiar with family law prior to volunteering, but Genevieve was a great resource and was always quick to answer any of my questions. It feels great to help the clients move on with their lives, and all the clients were very appreciative.
I volunteered at Bay Area Legal Aid after I graduated from law school and was awaiting Bar results. This was one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences I have ever had. I was at the Redwood City office, where the staff was entirely positive, enthusiastic, helpful, and fun to be around. I felt valued as a volunteer, and I was immediately given the opportunity to work directly with clients. I felt adequately trained and prepared to handle all the responsibilities they gave me. My supervisor, Kristin Boscia, was amazing. She taught me so much about Family Law in a short period of time and directed me to many other resources.
After a reasonably successful career in Information Technology, I experienced a mid-life shift in values, went to law school, and in 2003 began a volunteer internship at Bay Area Legal Aid. Working under Genevieve Richardson, I learned to handle basic domestic violence restraining order and dissolution cases for families in poverty. Ms. Richardson’s compassion and mentorship have inspired me to continue working in this field ever since. After law school, I attended the Family Law Training Series sponsored by Bay Area Legal Aid and the Contra Costa Bar Association. This experience, along with Ms. Richardson’s guidance, gave me the confidence start my own practice focused on low-income families. Since 2003, I have found enormous satisfaction and inspiration in working with Bay Area Legal Aid clients as they make difficult changes in their family structures to provide better lives for themselves and their children.
I worked at Bay Area Legal Aid as a volunteer, and it has confirmed for me that I am definitely planning to go to law school. The responsibility I got to take on here coupled with the training was wonderful. I've learned more than I could have hoped, and I got to work under the supervision of a great attorney. I got to have clients, and take on a large majority of their case with a lot of help along the way. The staff here is great too, very friendly and welcoming. It's been an awesome experience.
At Bay Area Legal Aid, I worked in the medical access unit assisting a number of individual clients with legal problems related to medical issues or health insurance coverage. During my fairly short internship, I prevailed on several important cases. I gained a tremendous amount of experience and I would love to work their again sometime soon. Here's some examples of cases I worked on: First, I filed an appeal behalf of a client whose nursing home attempted to discharge him despite his need for on-going intensive care. At his hearing several doctors, nurses, social workers, and physical therapists testified that the client was ready for discharge. Nevertheless, we won the appeal and the client remains in the nursing home. In another case, I helped an uninsured client with Healthy San Francisco get authorization for a complex and badly-needed bone tumor removal surgery. The client recovered well from his surgery. Finally, I assisted several clients grappling with thousands of dollars of medical debt. I researched various hospitals' "charity care" programs and helped clients through the often-complex application process. I got great supervision and support on all of my cases.