The Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) and the Northern District Court of California recently recognized volunteers of the Federal Pro Bono Project, who provided pro bono representation to pro se litigants in federal court. The project offers a wide range of legal services to litigants, provided by JDC staff attorneys and pro bono attorneys.
In February, the court and JDC held a reception to honor the attorneys and law firms who worked with the Federal Pro Bono Project last year.
Thanks to the volunteers’ enthusiasm and dedication, the project placed 33 cases with pro bono counsel in 2015, and had 64 active cases during the year. Volunteers lent their expertise in a diverse range of legal issues, from civil rights, employment discrimination, copyright infringement and insurance. Also in 2015, JDC staff attorneys held 880 appointments and assisted 350 litigants at the project’s offices in the San Francisco and Oakland federal courthouses.
During the reception, Chief District Judge Phyllis Hamilton gave introductory remarks thanking volunteer attorneys for their pro bono service, and highlighted the success achieved for many of the project’s litigants. She described two precedent-setting civil rights cases in which pro bono attorneys represented transgender women incarcerated in California prisons. Herman Hoying of Ad Astra Law Group shared his personal experience volunteering on behalf of these clients.
JDC’s Executive Director Yolanda Jackson was also present to welcome reception guests and thank volunteers for their work. District Judge Edward Chen described the partnership between the Northern District and JDC, the benefits of the project and the various pro bono opportunities it offers. Project Staff Attorney Kelly Corcoran gave closing remarks and updated attendees on the pace of pro bono case placements in 2016 so far.
For more information about the Federal Pro Bono Project, visit www.sfbar.org/probono.