The Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) is pleased to recognize, Shawn Matloob, a dedicated immigration attorney who volunteers at our Legal Advice and Referral Clinic (LARC), a free community walk-in clinic that takes place twice a month on Saturdays. Matloob has been practicing as an immigration attorney since 1999 and became a certified immigration and nationality law specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization in August of 2015.
At LARC, Matloob provides brief legal advice to our low-income community members. He initially heard of LARC in 2006 and decided to assist those who otherwise would not have access to free legal assistance. Matloob was also motivated to volunteer in an effort to help those who are in situations similar to where he once was. At the age of 14, Matloob escaped Iran, as a Jewish refugee, and came to the U.S. when he was just 15 years old. As a refugee and immigrant himself, it is important to Matloob that he continues to help vulnerable immigrant and refugee community members. LARC gives him the chance to do just that.
Matloob has found LARC to be a rewarding experience, however it can also be challenging. LARC clients are often experiencing very high levels of stress and at times mental health issues while coping with legal issues that are often complicated and multi-layered. Fortunately with the help of fellow LARC volunteers, attorneys are able to give clients holistic legal assistance. For example, Matloob assisted a client living in a household where he was witnessing abuse. The client asked about the potential ramifications to his undocumented family members if he reported the abuse. After consulting with the LARC family law expert and the LARC social worker, Matloob provided the client with information about his immigration issue as well as next steps for ensuring the safety of his family members.
He notes that volunteering for LARC increases his ability to help a greater number of immigrants while also providing assistance to his existing clients and others that reach out to him. He often refers people with non-immigration related legal questions to LARC where they will receive brief advice concerning those issues. Outside of his practice and volunteer work as an immigration attorney, Matloob enjoys biking, dancing, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Learn more about JDC volunteer opportunities at www.sfbar.org/probono-volunteering