Whittier Law School

Whittier Law School
[On a Teach-Out Plan]
3333 Harbor Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Deborah Forman
Professor & Director of Center for Children's Rights
P: (714) 444-4141 ext. 238

William Patton
Assoc. Dean & Director of Clinic
P: (714) 444-4141

Bonnie Saito
Director of Career Services
P: (714) 444.4141

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by a Referral System with Coordinator(s)

Description of Programs

The Whittier Law School Public Interest Law Foundation Board is intimately involved in planning all student pro bono activities, as is the community service committee of the Center for Children's Rights. Opportunities are promoted through brochures and other promotional materials.

The Law School uses a number of tools, most commonly supervisor review forms.

Location of Programs

Whittier Law School is in the process of reorganizing its pro bono programs into a single administrative structure. Currently, some programs are contained within the school's clinical programming, some in career services, and some with individual student groups.

Administrators and faculty assist students in organizing pro bono involvement in both the legal and non legal communities.

The office of Career Services organizes annual programs and panel discussions providing information on public interest careers and immediate volunteer opportunities. The office assists public interest groups in organizing On Common Ground, the annual auction, food/clothing.

The clinic offers volunteer opportunities to all students, not just those enrolled in clinical courses.

The Center for Children's Rights invites schoolwide participation in informations and involvement programs.


Pro Bono efforts are part of the job description for the Associate Dean and Clinic Director position, but no specific additional compensation is provided for this work.


Pro bono activities are funded through existing law school funds and from funds donated to our clinical programs.

Administrative support for pro bono group projects is provided through the Office of Career Services or through the clinical program.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

Center for Children's Rights – A volunteer effort among CCR fellows to collect books for low income children, prom dresses for girls in shelters, other. Visit and provide entertainment at shelters and children's home.

WPILF – Numerous community involvement opportunities including Wet Weather Shelter, Homeless Shelter Project, Thanksgiving Dinner Project, Halloween for Abused, Neglected and Abandoned children, food bank food drive, other

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

No formal faculty pro bono policy.

Most legally-related pro bono service work is supervised by clinical faculty.


Annual PILF luncheon on the lawn, funded by the Law School, to recognize pro-bono involvement, fundraising, and grand recipients.

Dean's merit citations given to students who have exemplary service to both the law school and local communities.

PILF members are recognized in the graduation ceremony program. Dean's Merit award recipients are also recognized in the program.

Community Service

Orange County Food Drive in conjuction with the Orange County Bar Association

Los Padrinos Juvenile Advocacy Clinic

Wet Weather Shelter in conjunction with the Public Law Center

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Bonnie Saito
Director of Career Services
P: (714) 444.4141

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

The Law School sponsors a Center for Children's Rights certificate program that provides students the opportunity to train as child advocates. Program fellows participate in a variety of public interest programs to achieve their certificate, including community externship placements.

Public Interest Centers

Center for Children's Rights

Center for International and Comparative Law

Many regular CICL colloquia focus on international human rights issues.

Public Interest Clinics

Family Violence Advocacy Clinic – Direct client service, court appearances, advocacy.

General Children's Advocacy Clinic – Direct client service, court appearances, advocacy

Legal Policy Clinic – Policy advocacy

Special Education Advocacy Clinic – Direct client service. Mediation and advocacy.


The Law School sponsors between 50 to 75 students in public interest externship placements each term. Students may earn as many as six units of credit for their service in non-profit legal service organizations, pro bono groups, and other public interest placements, including government offices and the judiciary. During the Summer semester, a limited number of students are permitted to extern outside the local area of the Law School. Externship Progam website is at

Classes with a Public Service Component

Public Interest Lawyering – The School's Public Interest Lawyering course combines traditional academic learning with field service. Students complete their field service at local homeless shelters or juvenile halls.

Street Law Program – The School's Street Law Program requires students to provide legal education to local youths in area high schools, shelters, and service agencies.

Public Interest Journals

Whittier Journal of Child and Family Advocacy.

Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy.

PI Career Support Center

The Career Services Office offers extensive career services support to students pursuing public interest careers, including inviting the Public Defender and District Attorney offices to interview on campus. Contact Bonnie Saito, 714/444-4141 x291, or E-mail.

Whittier plays a leading role in the Southern California Public Interest Career Day. Also participates in the Government Careers Information Day, sponsored by the Law School Career Advisors of Southern California.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

For a description, see

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

Whittier Public Interest Law Foundation Scholarship Program - already demonstrated commitment to WPILF activities and a public interest career

Center for Children's Rights - acceptance and enrollment in Center for Children's Rights Program

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

Whittier Law School offers approximately 30 lawschool funded stipends each summer to Fellows of its Center for Children's Rights. All of these placements are public interest-oriented.

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

The Law School's Public Interest Law Foundation supports approximately ten additional placements each summer.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

First Monday – Celebrates equal access to justice on the Monday that the US Supreme Court convenes.

On Common Ground – A week-long series of programs focused on diversity and related issues.

Black History Month – Sponsored by BALSA. Programs and artwork focused on struggles of African-Americans in American society.

Symposium on Children's Rights – Annual conference addressing a specific topic related to advocacy for children's rights.

Sexual Orientation Symposium – In conjunction with a related course, a one-day conference on issues facing the gay/lesbian/bi-sexual/transgender community.

CICL Symposium – Annual conference that usually addresses an international law public interest topic.

Student Public Interest Groups

Center for Children's Rights fellows


August 7, 2018