JusticeCorps: Los Angeles Region

JusticeCorps Los Angeles

There are 9.8 million people living in Los Angeles, many of whom cannot afford legal representation and need assistance navigating through complicated court proceedings. In Los Angeles:

  • 54% of residents speak a language other than English
  • 36% of residents are foreign born
  • The poverty rate and number of single parent households exceeds the statewide average

In 2004, The Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles launched the JusticeCorps program. JusticeCorps began with 100 minimum-time members serving in Los Angeles’ court based self-help centers, providing legal information to self-represented litigants. Now, upwards of 160 members—both minimum-time and full-time—serve annually, and more than 1,500 alumni have graduated from the program. Members are recruited from local universities and placed in legal self-help centers located throughout the county.

Every year thousands of Los Angeles County residents are denied access to the courts because they cannot afford attorney representation or because language barriers prevent them from understanding how to navigate the judicial system. JusticeCorps was created to provide self-represented litigants with well trained volunteers who could help these community members represent themselves properly. When you join LA JusticeCorps, you will work one-on-one with litigants in Self-Help programs throughout the Los Angeles region to ensure people receive the proper tools they need to effectively initiate and conclude their court cases. Our corps members receive training in a variety of areas to support and enhance service to the public as well as training that will support the member’s individual development.

The Los Angeles Region offers three separate programs: The Graduate Fellowship Program, College Student Program, and Summer Program.

JusticeCorps Graduate Fellowship (Full-Time Member/1700-Hour) Program

The Los Angeles JusticeCorps Fellowship provides a rare opportunity for recent graduates (applicants must have earned a bachelor degree by August 14, 2017) to receive an in depth look into the world of Access to Justice during this 12 month commitment. The program will begin on August 14, 2017 and hours must be completed by August 10, 2018.

The Los Angeles Fellowship cohort is comprised of 28 full-time members. This small number of corps members are assigned to one of 10 locations with the purpose of leading workshops to walk litigants through the steps of specific case types (family law and housing law), taking on more complex cases than our undergraduate members, answering procedural questions for other members, and providing general support where needed. This fellowship provides a rich opportunity to develop a wide range of professional skills, to get a behind the scenes look at how the court responds to community need, and to gain legal knowledge.

While the exact duties of each JusticeCorps Fellow will vary depending upon placement in service sites, the following provides a general description of the primary fellow member duties:

  • With guidance from qualified service site staff, provide self-represented litigants with information about procedures, options, scheduling and referrals to appropriate services within or outside the courts;
  • With guidance from self-help attorneys and Court Paralegals, assist in the review of self-represented litigants’ files, documents, and electronic case summaries and indexes to prepare for workshops, clinics, and other assistance as assigned by supervisors;
  • With guidance from qualified service site staff, assist self-represented litigants in the completion of legal forms and documents;
  • Assist in self-help workshops guided by self-help attorneys, Court Paralegals, and other qualified site staff;
  • Assist in creation or revision of informational and educational materials for JusticeCorps service sites with guidance of qualified service site staff;
  • Assist in enhancing the volunteer recruitment and training for the JusticeCorps service sites;
  • Full-time fellow members may be assigned by their supervisors to act as team leads to support and mentor less experienced, JusticeCorps minimum time members and other volunteers.

The priority deadline has passed, however applications for the Los Angeles JusticeCorps Graduate Fellowship are still being accepted. For questions regarding the graduate fellowship contact Jennifer Kalish.

Apply for the JusticeCorps Graduate Fellowship Program


JusticeCorps College Student (Minimum-Time Member/300-Hour) Program

This program is open to students enrolled in one of our participating campuses

JusticeCorps college student members provide 300 hours of service within an academic year (typically September – May/June). Members are required to serve a minimum of 6-8 hours per week at their assigned service location.

The 2017-2018 program start date for College Student Members is September 9, 2017. All 300 hours of service must be completed by August 10, 2018.

The application deadline for this program varies by campus:

  • March 6, 2017 Application deadline for CSU partner campuses
  • March 27, 2017 Application deadine for USC
  • April 10, 2017 Application deadline for UCLA, Occidental College, and La Verne.

Applications received by the deadline will receive priority consideration. However, the LA region will continue to accept applications until all positions are filled. If the deadline has passed, contact Jennifer Kalish to inquire if applications are still being accepted from a specific campus.

Apply for the JusticeCorps College Student Program


JusticeCorps Summer (Minimum-Time Member/300-Hour) Program

The LA Region Summer Program is open to all currently enrolled undergraduates or recent graduates. Applicants are not required to be enrolled in a LA Region partner campus. All majors are welcome to apply.

This program offers an intensive 10-week, full-time immersion program from students interested in assisting self-represented litigants. Participants provide 300 hours of service from June 3- August 11, 2017. This position requires a minimum service commitment of 35 hours per week.

The priority deadline has passed, however applications are still being accepted.  For any questions regarding the summer program contact Lester Murillo.

Apply for the JusticeCorps Summer Member Program

Los Angeles JusticeCorps recruits its members for its Student College Member program from students enrolled at JusticeCorps partner campuses. Students can meet JusticeCorps program staff at campus job fairs, and can also learn about the program through their campus service-learning or career centers:

Each partner also has a campus-based university representative who works on outreach and recruitment and supports members throughout their service year. The Current university contacts are:

California State University at Dominguez Hills

  • Cheryl McKnight
    Director, Center for Service Learning, Internships, & Civic Engagement

California State University at Long Beach

California State University at Northridge

  • Dr .Joyce Burstein
    Faculty Director for Community Engagement at the Center for Innovative & Engaged Learning Opportunities at CSUN

University of California at Los Angeles 

University of Southern California

Occidental College

University of La Verne

Program Director: Jennifer Kalish, 213-633-0692
Jennifer Kalish oversees the Los Angeles JusticeCorps program on a daily basis. Ms. Kalish designs and coordinates partner and member trainings, directs program staff, and oversees the collection of data for performance measurements that show the impact of the program.  Ms. Kalish has been with the Los Angeles JusticeCorps program since it began in 2004. She holds a Bachelors in history from Cal Poly San Louis Obispo as well as a Masters and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in history from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). As a graduate student at UCLA Ms. Kalish worked at the Center for Community Learning where she discovered her passion for working with students engaged in community service. Working with the JusticeCorps members and watching them grow through their experiences in the program is Ms. Kalish’s favorite part of her job.

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