Pamela J. Ross, Jr., is the founder and CEO of the All for the Family Legal Clinic, a public benefit corporation dedicated to providing low cost legal assistance to the San Francisco Bay Area. She primarily handles family law cases, but also works in the areas of estate planning and landlord-tenant law. Pamela has taken a leadership role in the ACBA, serving on the Family Law Section’s Executive Committee since 2012, and as its Chair since 2014. She has also been a mentor to new attorneys by participating in the ACBA Barristers Mentorship Program.
Pamela is being recognized as a 2014 VLSC Volunteer of the Year for her dedication to ensuring all clients have access to the legal system, regardless of their ability to pay. Since October of 2013, Pamela has provided over 100 hours of pro bono legal assistance via VLSC clinics the Family Law Day of Court program. We appreciate that Pamela has not only dedicated her practice to providing affordable legal assistance to the community, but also takes the time to consistently volunteer with our pro bono programs.
Why do you volunteer with VLSC?
I have always been passionate about giving back to the community, which is why in 2012 I opened All for the Family Legal Clinic, Inc., a sliding scale nonprofit. However there are some people who still cannot afford even our low cost assistance and are on waiting lists for free services. VLSC’s clinics allow me to assist those who would not otherwise have access to legal assistance. The Day of Court program lets me give back to the Courts and to the people by making certain that they have a written enforceable order after their hearing.
Do you have a particularly memorable VLSC client or pro bono case?
A young lady with a history of PTSD, depression, and mood disorders came in to the clinic looking for assistance with her Alameda County Case. She had been stable for 2 years, but was still having trouble regaining custody. She was about to sign a stipulation to vacate the review hearing and a FOAH from Opposing Counsel that said her visitation was to stay the same and was to remain supervised by a family member. She showed me the most recent mediation report, which didn’t mention supervision. I asked her what she thought had happened at court and she was not sure. I explained the process of disputing the FOAH (Findings and Orders After Hearing), advised her to bring up various issues at the upcoming hearing, and advised her not to sign the stipulation to vacate the review hearing. She went to court and was successful at increasing her timeshare and confirming that the visitation was unsupervised. It was great to see how the free consultations can make such a huge difference.
What other community activities are you involved in?
I am on the Board of All for the Family Legal Clinic, Inc. I am also currently the Chair of the ACBA Family Law Executive Committee. With a three year old at home, I don’t have time for much else outside of work.
What are you listening to on your iPod now?
Honestly, I don’t listen to music very much. I walk to work and most of my hearings are in Hayward (4.5 miles from the office), so I put very few miles on my car, where is where I most often listen to music. Around the house, my daughter is obsessed with Lindsey Stirling, The Piano Guys, and various toddler songs.
What is one thing that you wished people knew about VLSC?
You don’t have to do it every month! If we convinced even half of the local attorneys to donate 4 hours a year of their time to VLSC, we would have a surplus of volunteers.
Keep an eye out for profiles on our other 2014 award recipients, Casey Williams and Presiding Judge Winifred Smith!
Please join us as we celebrate Pamela’s good work at the 10th Annual Justice for All: Celebrating Pro Bono event on May 21, 2015 at Scott’s Seafood Restaurant in Jack London Square. Buy your tickets today!