JusticeCorps

JusticeCorps LogoJusticeCorps is an innovative national service program that minimizes the justice gap in California communities by training college students to provide information and assistance to people who come to court to resolve family, housing and financial matters but can’t afford an attorney.

Applications

The JusticeCorps program will post applications for AmeriCorps member positions for the next program year in January 2014.

Learn more about being a JusticeCorps member in each of the program’s three regions:


Impacts

The JusticeCorps program assists California courts in meeting the needs of self-represented litigants (people who come to court without lawyers) by recruiting and training over 250 college students and recent graduates annually to help litigants in California’s court-based self-help centers. JusticeCorps members make a commitment to national service by :

  • Assisting court staff with legal workshops
  • Helping self-represented litigants complete legal forms
  • Providing information and referrals
  • Offering language assistance to customers when necessary

JusticeCorps members work under the supervision of court attorneys. Since the program began in 2004, 1,700 members have successfully completed the program and have had the following impact:

  • Provided 490,000 instances of assistance in up to 24 different languages
  • Filed 330,000 legal documents
  • Completed more than 500,000 hours of national service

For more information:

Background

The ability of individuals facing family, housing, financial and personal safety crises to access the legal system and understand and safeguard their rights is vital to achieving economic self-sufficiency and promoting community stability. To help improve access to justice and ensure fair outcomes for all, California has committed to doing more to help people who need to resolve important civil legal issues but don’t have professional representation. California Rule of Court 10.960 provides that court-based self help centers are a core function. Self-help centers serve as a single point of access for court users navigating the court system on their own. The JusticeCorps members serving in these centers provide legal information, not advice-- they help people help themselves. Funded by the California Judicial Branch and an AmeriCorps grant,, JusticeCorps was first launched as a pilot program in Los Angeles County in 2004, expanded to the Bay Area in fall 2006, and then to San Diego in fall 2007.Currently, over 250 members serve in the program annually. Minimum-time members commit to 300 hours during an academic year in self-help centers. In return, they receive approximately 30 hours of training as well as a education award when they complete the program. The program also offers full-time service opportunities in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and San Diego. Full-time members serve 1,700 hours and receive a $20,000 living allowance throughout their one-year term of service.

Partners

Map of JusticeCorps partner locations JusticeCorps is a collaborative project of the California Administrative Office of the Courts; the Superior Courts of California, Counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara; 8 University of California, California State University campuses, and private colleges; and many community-based service providers. JusticeCorps members receive intensive training throughout the year so they can provide in-depth and individualized legal assistance to self-represented litigants, often in their own languages, under the supervision of an attorney.

News & Events

Bilingual Member Training
JusticeCorps training breakout session

On Saturday, Oct 19, more than sixty Bay Area JusticeCorps members gathered in San Francisco for a training on how to best assist litigants in self-help centers who don't speak English as their first language. The training, supported by funds from the State Justice Institute, will also be delivered to JusticeCorps members in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Contact Info

Statewide Program Staff

Administrative Office of the Courts
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, California
94102-3688

Nicole Claro-Quinn 
415-865-4504

Martha Wright 
415-865-7649

For questions about applying to be a JusticeCorps member, please see local contact information for Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and San Diego.

Video


Former Chief Justice Ronald M. George, JusticeCorps members, and program partners talk about JusticeCorps.
1:46
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