Pro Bono for the Disabled: Rubicon Programs

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“We find legal solutions that preserve our clients’ basic security and address their most critical needs. This allows them to focus their energy on their health, family and work, instead of wondering where the next dollar for a meal or rent will come from. It’s work that has soul in it.” — Kelly Dunn, General Counsel and Director of Legal Services, Rubicon

Rubicon provides legal services to low-income Contra Costa County residents facing disability, mental illness or the consequences of having a criminal record. People with disabling medical conditions are provided with skilled representation on Social Security disability applications. Our 12-person Legal Services team empowers clients to access health insurance, housing, jobs and financial stability.

Rubicon provides legal services to 800 indigent community members each year in four practice areas:

  • Legal Barriers to Work
  • Mental Health Legal Services Partnership
  • Social Security Disability
  • HIV Legal Services

Ana is just one of those 800 people. Working with Rubicon, Ana accessed healthcare benefits and avoided eviction. More inspiring, she came to understand her rights and advocate for herself.

Ana is a young immigrant who speaks limited English and is unable to work due to debilitating mental illness. When she first came to Rubicon for help, she lived in a garage—her brother helped by paying her rent and providing one meal a day. Ana had no other income.

We discovered Ana had been denied food stamp and healthcare benefits. We successfully appealed the denial of her benefits and referred her to a financial assistance program for disabled immigrants. While Ana and our attorney were working together, her landlady tried to kick her out on a moment’s notice and keep her rent check. By then, Ana had grown more secure after working with our attorney—she understood her rights and advocated for herself.

Rubicon attorneys are motivated by enabling people like Ana to enjoy a better quality of life. They welcome your expertise. Rubicon staff and clients would benefit from volunteer attorneys available to answer questions and provide phone based consultation—particularly in the areas of probate, tax, immigration, housing and family law. Family law is a critical need for volunteer services. We have found that many of our clients have been separated from their children during the course of their struggle. Ready to improve the quality of their lives, our clients seek connection with family.

VOLUNTEER: Provide pro bono consultation to Rubicon attorneys or clients in the areas of probate, tax, immigration, housing and family law.

DONATE: For every dollar you donate, 95 percent goes directly to programs that guide people to jobs, housing and health services.

CY PRES: Nominate Rubicon’s legal services for a cy pres award.

For more information or to get involved, contact Rachel Lee Holstein at or (510) 231-3965, or visit the website at

Filed Under: FeaturedPro Bono


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