How Local Lawyers Can Get Involved

Concerned about defending the Constitution, the rule of law, and protecting civil rights under the new administration? We will update the ACBA website with trainings, events, volunteer opportunities, and calls-to-action as they come in.

While we may not all agree politically, we all stand for the power of the law, and the power of the Rule of Law.

Alameda County Bar Association Statement on the Rule of Law

In the face of the political divisiveness and uncertainty that 2017 brings, the ACBA remains committed to our mission of promoting excellence in the legal profession and facilitating equal access to justice. We are a strong group of passionate people with the skills and commitment to protect and serve the most vulnerable in our community.

We believe in the critical role of checks and balances in our democracy, and remain dedicated to protecting the constitutional structure of our government. Upholding and promoting the Rule of Law, one of the defining characteristics of a democratic society, is an inherent part of our mission, and we are committed to continuing that work in the current political climate.  While we may not all agree politically, we all stand for the power of the law, and the power of the Rule of Law.

The ACBA and VLSC serve our community in Alameda County by representing immigrants and other vulnerable communities, ensuring that they have equal access to the justice system, regardless of the language they speak or their ability to pay. Part of our justice mission is to champion the interests of those least able to stand up for, or protect, themselves.  Through the Volunteer Legal Services Corporation, the Lawyer Referral Service, and the Court Appointed Attorney Program, we offer support and assistance to those who face discrimination or unfair treatment, and those who are the victims of brutality, hate crimes, or unconstitutional treatment.

What can you do?

  • Get involved. Volunteer with the Volunteer Legal Services Corporation (VLSC). We hold over 40 monthly clinics and are launching a new Saturday clinic called CLASP: Community Legal Advice Saturday Program – a free drop-in clinic designed to give anyone who walks in a chance to meet with an attorney and receive a 15-20 minute consultation in a wide spectrum of areas of law. Contact Christina Wiellette, VLSC Manager, for more information at christina@acbanet.org.
  • Get educated.  Attend one of our MCLE programs (now free to members!) to learn how you can use your skills to help those grappling with the uncertainty and fear so rampant today. To find out what we have planned, or to suggest an idea of your own, check out our website at www.acbanet.org, or contact Hadassah Hayashi, Membership and Education Manager, at hadassah@acbanet.org.
  • Get connected.  Keep in touch with us. We will keep you posted on issues as they arise, and we will respond, working locally, to challenges to the Rule of Law and to our Constitution. If you want to participate in this work, contact Tiela Chalmers, CEO and General Counsel, at tiela@acbanet.org.

Together we will stand tall with our community. 

ACBA Statement on the Judiciary

February 10, 2017 – Oakland CA: The Alameda County Bar Association is concerned by President Trump’s recent statements questioning the independence and loyalty of the Federal Courts. The Founding Fathers created three independent and equal branches of government – the executive, the legislative and the judicial – specifically in order to achieve the checks and balances that are at the heart of our democratic system. The fact that a judge does or does not agree with the actions of another branch of government does not make the judiciary political – it simply reflects checks and balances at work. We join with others in finding the President’s statements disheartening, and urge the Administration to respect the basic structures that make the United States government so strong and enduring. 
 
The ACBA is a membership association of attorneys who live, work and/or practice in Alameda County. Our mission is to promote excellence in the profession and to facilitate equal access to justice. 

Rule of Law - Lady Justice

I'm a lawyer, how can I get involved?

Articles and events mentioned here do not necessarily represent the view of the ACBA or its Board. If you would like us to post your event, please email the details to Tiela Chlamers at tiela@acbanet.org.

Advocacy Alerts

  • Added 2.21.17 – From One Justice – As of today, we are on standby and are not currently staffing the airports. HOWEVER, we are continuously monitoring the situation and if we determine that there is a need for us to return to SFO, LAX, and other surrounding airports, we will create new volunteer shifts and message you through a link with instructions to let you know that you can sign up for a shift. So we ask that should something develop over the next few days that you please NOT go to either SFO or LAX to volunteer for the legal services component unless you receive a direct invitation from one of the immigration attorneys or on-the-ground providers, or from OneJustice (which is providing statewide administration support for these coalitions).  Sign up to get alerts from One Justice.
  • Added 2.13.17 – From The Impact Fund: HR 985, which might be more accurately described as the Class Action Annihilation Act. The bill is for mark up in committee, without hearing tomorrow! If your organization has yet to sign on, now is the time! Just email twitherington@impactfund.org confirming prior to 9am 2.14.17. Civil Rights Opposition to HR 985 for Sign Ons 
  • Added 2.8.17 – Equal Rights Advocates is launching a Campus Sexual Assault Attorney Network with the Family Violence Law Center to defend students’ right to a safe education, free of sexual violence. Learn more

Trainings

  • Current Changes in the Landscape of Immigration on March 21, 2017. Learn More
  • Introduction to Naturalization (webinar). Learn More
  • UC Hastings Immigration Teach-in on March 1, 2017. Learn More
  • Basic Immigration Law 2017 by PLI on March 2nd. Learn More
  • Habeas Petitions for Detained Immigrants by PLI on March 3, 2017. Learn More

Civic Engagement/Community Events

  • Added 2.13.17 – Organizational meeting to focus on California Central Valley organizing. Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 1:00 PM at IFPTE Local 20 – 810 Clay Street – Oakland. RSVP: fschreiberg@kazanlaw.com or (510) 302-1071 (work) or (510) 333-9907.
  • Added 2.6.17 – The New President, Congress & the Supreme Court on February 22, 2017. A timely discussion of recent and future constitutional events with UC Hastings Learn More
  • Added 2.3.17 – Resisting Mass Deportation: A Community Forum with the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office on February 22, 2017. Learn More

Articles that caught our eye

  • Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students (NY Times) Read the DOJ letter here
  • The Trump administration detailed its new immigration policy, which greatly expands the categories of people subject to deportation (NY Times)
  • Trump names Alexander Acosta as new pick for labor secretary (Washington Post)
  • At Midyear, ABA President Linda A. Klein Urges Lawyers to Uphold Rule of Law (ABA)
  • Trump to inherit more than 100 court vacancies, plans to reshape judiciary (Washington Post)
  • Executive Power Run Amok, by John Yoo (New York Times)