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Do you find yourself each day being moved further and further away from the principles and purpose that inspired your pursuit of a career in the legal profession in the first place?

CCLP volunteers pursue the hard work for social change to demonstrate a practicing voice for constitutional and civil rights. CCLP’s priorities and positions are determined by local grass-roots groups and organizations of low-paid workers and not by exterior funding sources. CCLP accepts no government funding.

CCLP volunteer presents Certificate of Appreciation to volunteer attorneys

CCLP volunteer attorney and advocate on Legal Advice SessionCCLP enables legal professionals to promote legal representation as a right rather than a luxury few can afford, through an ethical framework of pro bono assistance to low-income workers. CCLP’s efforts are unique because we unite legal professionals and resources with grassroots organizing drives that deal with everyday problems affecting those workers.

Volunteer attorneys often begin their association with CCLP by agreeing to donate a certain number of hours per day, week or month in non-paying legal work among some of the nation’s most consistently under-represented people.

CCLP volunteer presents Certificate of Appreciation to supportive business ownerHistorically, there have been several roads by which an attorney could engage in public service or public interest law. The first, perhaps the most common to new law school graduates, was the public defenders’ office. But even the most dedicated public defenders find themselves part of a system, overloaded and with insufficient financial resources to provide adequate representation to the massive numbers of mostly poor and minority workers. They find this defunding leads to over 90% of those charged with crimes forced into plea bargaining, giving up their constitutional right to a trial by a jury of their peers. Public defenders also find they are deprived of the ability, as individuals, to address anything but recurring symptoms of the problem which, in the overwhelming majority of cases, is caused by poverty at its root.

Photos of volunteers working at tableOn the civil side, legal services organizations have found themselves more and more limited by funding cuts and regulatory restrictions barring legal services attorneys from representing organizations, bringing class actions, or suits against the government. The underrepresented poor effectively remain without recourse.

In the meantime, the dream of the civil rights movements has faded to a sinecure for the best and brightest. Economic and sociological conditions for minorities have deteriorated. Defunding of government-sponsored legal services, coupled with increasing attacks on both the criminal defense and the civil plaintiff’s bar, have made legal representation much less vigorous. Adequate representation, for all but the wealthy, is today a fiction.

CCLP volunteer presents Certificate of Appreciation to volunteer attorneyIt takes strong organization to make change. Membership is your chance to be part of making it happen.

To sign as a member call our office at (916) 925-7994 and arrange a time to meet.

CCLP volunteer and pastor presents Certificate of Appreciation to volunteer attorney
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