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San Diego County Bar Association
SDCBA Community Outreach

The SDCBA encourages every member to volunteer their time either in pro bono legal services or general community volunteer opportunities. Join the many SDCBA members who volunteer their time and efforts for a variety of community oriented events and activities.


SDCBA Volunteer Opportunities   Partner Volunteer Opportunities

Children at Risk Committee

Rolling Readers Program
San Diego County High School Mock Trial Competition

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Program


Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program
Family Justice Center Alliance
Home Owners Mobile Education Clinics
Juvenile Court Book Club
Professional Alliance for Children
Restorative Justice Mediation Program
Law Library
Teen Court
Voices for Children - Child Advocate

SDCBA Volunteer Opportunities

Children At Risk Committee

The SDCBA's Children At Risk Committee (CAR) offers attorneys, paralegals, judges and law students opportunities to work with "at risk" children. CAR partners with Porter Elementary School and Clairemont High School and coordinates programs and special events to assist students all year long. CAR's programs at our partnership schools include literacy days, Porter Readers (year round reading), conflict resolution skills and Peace Patrol training, mock trials, mentorships, mock job interviews and Senior Exhibition judging. To get involved with CAR, contact bar@sdcba.org. Presently, the following are CAR volunteer opportunities:

  • Clairemont High School Academy of Business and Technology

    Clairemont High School's Academy of Business and Technology is looking for guest speakers to assist with their 12th grade end-of-semester group project.  In January 2012, the students become "realtors" and launch a journey to find their "clients" a home, qualify them for a mortgage, calculate a monthly budget, research the neighborhood, and pitch a marketing presentation to real estate industry volunteers. Guest speakers are needed to help students experience an element of authenticity as they complete their project. 

    Guest speakers are needed on the following topics:

    • What is a realtor?
    • How has our current economy been affected by the housing market?
    • How do credit scores affect buying a home?
    • What is the process for getting approved for a mortgage?
    • How can buying and selling real estate function as a business?
    • What factors should be considered when deciding on a home?
    • How to Give a Powerful Marketing Presentation

    Guest speakers are needed through January 17, 2012.  If you are interested, please contact Anna Romanskaya at aromanskaya@starkllp.com.
  • Conflict Resolution Training

    Volunteers are needed for SDCBA's Children at Risk Conflict Resolution Training, wherein we teach peaceful ways to prevent and resolve conflicts. We are looking for judges, attorneys, law students and other legal professionals to lead this very innovative and effective program (only minimal preparation required- practice once with the DVD and east to read course materials), and also serve as group leaders (no preparation required). If you are interested in leading the program and it is your first time, you may ask to be paired up with a leader who has prior experience. A fun and a rewarding experience is promised for all volunteers!

    For more information on upcoming volunteer dates, or to sign up, please contact Lori Mendez at Lori@Mendezplc.com.
  • Mock Trial Video Presentation

    The Children at Risk Committee is scheduling Mock Trial Video presentations for the current school year. Volunteers are needed to present a mock criminal trial video to elementary-aged students throughout San Diego. The Mock Trial Video presentation is used as an effort to teach students about the legal system and to help prevent at risk behavior.

    Program volunteers present a video showing the hypothetical criminal trial which includes judges, courtroom staff, lawyers and witnesses. All of the roles in the recording are acted out by children. During the video, the facilitators and the students pause to discuss the legal meaning of what is taking place in the trial they are watching. Afterward, students further explore the legal system by breaking up into groups and deciding the outcome as jurors.

    The presentations are generally one-and-a-half to two hours long and require modest preparation.

    For more information and for upcoming presentation dates, please contact Christopher Todd at ctodd@wingertlaw.com.
  •  Porter Elementary School

    • Porter Peace Patrol

      The Children At Risk Committee is seeking volunteers familiar with Conflict Resolutions/ Peace Patrol to observe and assist the Peace Patrol on the playground over the next few weeks, until they get the mediation process down. Recess is held on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10:55 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

      If you are familiar with these programs and would like to volunteer, please contact Lori Mendez at lori@mendezplc.com.  

    • Porter Readers

      The Children at Risk Committee is looking for volunteers to form, or join teams of 5-7 readers to adopt a classroom and read monthly at Porter Elementary.

      At the end of the year, each Porter Reader team will select and present each student in their classroom with a gently used book from the San Diego Book Project.

      If you are interested in being a Porter Reader, please contact Richard Pray: Richardpray@sbcglobal.net.


Rolling Readers Program

Volunteers from the legal community are needed to adopt a classroom through Rolling Readers, and read weekly throughout the year to "at risk" students. Rolling Readers is seeking volunteer readers to read at the following elementary schools once per week for the remainder of the school year:

  • Anza Elementary School – 4 volunteers needed
  • Chase Avenue Elementary School – 2 volunteers needed
  • Ibarra Elementary School – 3 volunteers needed
  • Porter Elementary School – 4 volunteers needed
  • Ericson Elementary School – 4 volunteers needed
  • Harriet Tubman Elementary School – 4 volunteers needed
  • Dewey Elementary School – 1 volunteer needed
  • Fay Elementary School – 6 volunteers needed

Volunteers interested in participating in this program should contact Lori Mendez at Lori@MendezPLC.com.

San Diego County High School Mock Trial Competition

Mock Trial Scorers Needed: February 7th, 9th & 11th, 2012.

Attorney volunteers are needed to score this year's Mock Trial Competition. Scorers are given a set of criteria for rating the teams numerically. The criteria includes the quality of the students' presentations, their grasp of the law and court procedures, and their understanding of the case itself. The time commitment is approximately two hours per trial, and you may score as many trials as you choose. Please note, this year students will be arguing a criminal case. To volunteer, please contact Michelle Chavez at mchavez@sdcba.org or via telephone at 619-321-4150.

Dates of competition:
First Round:  Tuesday, February 7, 2012, 5:30 p.m.
Second Round:  Thursday, February 9, 2012, 5:30 p.m.
Final Round:  Saturday, February 11, 2012, 9:00 a.m.
Championship Round:  Saturday, February 11, 2012, 1:00 p.m.


Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Program

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) training sessions are offered to all SDCBA volunteers who want to participate in providing limited pro bono assistance for active military members with pending civil and family law matters. Volunteer attorneys can help to confirm active duty status of a servicemember, and to provide volunteer attorney assistance to secure a stay of the proceedings under the SCRA. The SDCBA is maintaining a list of volunteer attorneys interested in participating in the SCRA program.

For additional information, please contact Michelle Chavez at (619) 321-4150 or mchavez@sdcba.org.

To visit the Partner Volunteer Opportunities Page, click here.