The Olender Pro Bono Project

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Olender has maintained a pro bono project for more than a decade. We are actively seeking pro bono cases.

Olender's pro bono service is a point of pride.  We are seeking to expand our service by working with law school interns and creating relationships with other pro bono service providers.

We try to work with our law school interns to provide a fun and educational experience that has included jail visits to incarcerated clients, working in person with asylees, victims of domestic violence, parents of children with disabilities.  Our interns have spoken on a local Spanish radio station, and appear in Immigration Court for the pro bono calendar.

Get to know our current and past law school interns, their experiences in the Olender Pro Bono Project, and their academic accomplishments by clicking on the menu at right.

Some of our pro bono successes include:

  • Winning asylum for a Christian woman facing persecution by the Muslim government of Egypt (this March 2012 representation was a low fee case and not completely pro bono)
  • Winning asylum for a Sudenese woman facing female genital mutilation
  • Winning asylum for a gay Mexican citizen who suffered persecution as a result of his sexual orientation
  • Winning withholding of removal for a gay Mexican citizen who suffered persecution as a result of his sexual orientation and who was ineligible for asylum due to a conviction for possession for sale of narcotics
  • Winning cancellation of removal and permanent residence for a Mexican citizen single mother with a son diagnosed with cerebral palsy
  • Winning a VAWA cancellation of removal and permanent residence for a Mexican citizen single mother of three who suffered spousal abuse from a US resident husband who was deported before she applied for relief
  • Winning cancellation of removal and permanent residence for another Mexican single mother with a son diagnosed with cerebral palsy.  This recent individual hearing and resulting order issued by Judge Phan-Quang Tue occurred on January 5, 2011.

Help us provide pro bono services to desperately deserving human beings who will otherwise be deprived of representation and meaningful redress in the courts.  If you are a licensed attorney practicing immigration law, we are happy to partner with you on pro bono cases.  If you are an associate, or partner at a firm that engages in pro bono immigration representation, but this is not one of the firm's customary practice areas, we can provide free consultation and mentoring throughout your case.

If you are a law student, we can work with you and your school to ensure we comply with the requirements for you to earn academic credit while interning to work on these important cases.

Obviously we do not take every case pro bono.  We evaluate potential pro bono clients based on six factors: (1) likelihood of prevailing on the merits, (2) severity of the likely outcome absent representation, (3) financial hardship, (4) firm resources available for pro bono representation at the time of the request, (5) the availability of other free legal service providers willing to formally commit to representation, and (6) whether the case presents an important or novel legal question.

For more information about the Olender pro bono project, please e-mail Marisol Cervantes using our contact form.  We have pro bono volunteer opportunities in San Jose and San Francisco.

Related Subjects: 

Pro Bono Law Clerks

Scott Idiart
Summer 2012

Attorneys and Staff

Sean Olender
Debora Wu        
Project Manager

Karina Esquivel



Call us at 408.797.0000

Call us at 408.797.0000

Call us for a consultation at 408.797.0000. We offer expert services and proven experience with complex issues that others can overlook.

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The Olender Pro Bono Project

We represent some clients who have compelling cases and little money at no charge. Sean received the Benito Juarez human rights award in 2008 and the ALRP Volunteer Award in 2012 for taking more than 10 pro bono cases in 12 months. We need volunteers. E-mail Debbie to volunteer.


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