Student Volunteer Opportunities

Southwestern students have numerous opportunities to donate their time to benefit the community through various programs at the law school. They can become involved in the Public Service Program, which includes many of the opportunities linked below and already boasts hundreds of students volunteering over 20,000 hours of pro bono service a year. Students can learn more by signing up for the “Southwestern Public Service Program” on TWEN, or by stopping by the Legal Clinic office on the 4th floor of the Westmoreland Building. To donate money to the Public Service Program, students can click here and designate the specific program in the “Other” field under Gift Designation.

Students can also connect to the community through specific student groups such as the Immigration Law Students Association, the National Lawyers Guild, the American Constitution Society or the Federalist Society. And they can enroll in externships or participate in Legal Clinics for academic credit. Below are a few examples of opportunities to serve our immediate community.

  • Justice Bus by OneJustice – The Justice Bus Project takes teams of attorney and law student volunteers from urban areas to set up free legal clinics for low-income Californians living in rural and isolated communities. Training is provided to volunteers in advance of the trips. A series of trips has been scheduled already for the Spring semester. Contact Professor Laura Cohen to sign up at publicservice@swlaw.edu. Donate money directly to OneJustice here.

  • Student-group-related volunteer opportunities also abound. Each student group organizes its own activities each semester. Many student groups at Southwestern have community projects including the Public Interest Law Committee, the Homelessness Prevention Law Project, the National Lawyers Guild,Teen Court, and the Tax Law Society, which administers the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that provides free income tax return preparation assistance for the elderly and low-income taxpayers. Contact the individual student groups to volunteer or donate money.

  • Hoover Elementary School- During the school year, volunteers are needed for several projects at our neighborhood partner, including the Mock Trial Program. The Latino Law Students Association (LLSA) also operates an annual Toy Drive that collects and distributes gifts for some 1,000 students during the holiday season. Students can contact the Student Affairs Office at studentaffairs@swlaw.edu for more information on volunteering.

  • Small Claims Court Clinic – The is a collaborative project with Southwestern Law School, the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) and Bet Tzedek Legal Services to help Small Claims litigants from our surrounding community who wouldn’t otherwise have the resources to find their way through the legal system. It also involve pro bono services from the law firms of Greenberg Glusker LLP and Reed Smith LLP.

  • Externships – Southwestern’s Externship Office connects students with organizations like the ACLU of Southern California, the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Disability Rights Legal Center, the LA LGBT Center, and the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Immigration Legal Assistance Project.

  • Legal Clinics – Southwestern’s Clinical Program is a great way for students to help members of the community on critical legal matters while also gaining valuable practical legal experience for academic credit. Clinics include the Immigration Law Clinic and the Appellate Litigation Clinic where students work with professors to litigate pro bono appeals in the Ninth Circuit. We also have a Children’s Rights Clinic, a Street Law Clinic, and a Youth Offender Parole Hearing Clinic.