|JusticeCorps students met with former Gov. Gray Davis in January at a Diversity Summit at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.|
JusticeCorps is once again recruiting students interested in helping people in need of legal aid. The deadline has been extended until Aug. 31.
Funded through an AmeriCorps grant, JusticeCorps recruits student volunteers to help attorneys at self-help centers throughout Los Angeles County. The centers look to assist individuals who can't afford attorneys and are representing themselves in court.
“The first thing one needs to be really interested in JusticeCorps is a willingness to help people,” said Franz Braun, the university's JusticeCorps recruitment coordinator. “If you have that willingness, this program is a great way to do that.”
Entering its fourth year, the JusticeCorps is part of a five-university consortium that includes UCLA, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Northridge.
This year 20 to 25 students from Cal Poly Pomona will represent JusticeCorps as legal interns. The program is open to students from all majors with little to no volunteer experience.
About 165 students will each commit to serve 300 hours to help the growing number of individuals who have to represent themselves in the court of law. At the end of the internship, students will receive a $1,000 stipend for their contribution.
These centers are run by volunteers essentially. They rely on the volunteers to help the litigants, Braun said. The Pomona center for example sees 3,000 people a month that breaks down to almost 80 to 90 people a day.
After a two-week training session, students are assigned to one of the 10 court-based self-help centers in Los Angeles County, where they will help litigants in understanding court etiquette and the appropriate steps to follow when dealing with their cases.
Although only volunteers give individual legal information at the self-help centers, attorneys supervise and review all legal paperwork before it leaves the building.
For more information about the program, contact Franz Braun at (909) 869-2106 or firstname.lastname@example.org.