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Winter Newsletter 2022

Choose to change people's lives by giving to the Pro Bono Project.

Donate Here

If you would like to sign up to be a friend of Pro Bono Project, please contact Sandra Madrigal, Executive Director, at

Pro Bono Project gives back

The Pro Bono Project Silicon Valley gave holiday cheer to California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) clients! Over $15,000 in gift cards were handed out during a two-day event! Solicitation by the Executive Director, Sandra Madrigal, and donation from CalOES!

Executive Director, Sandra Madrigal, greets a family who received a gift card from Pro Bono Project's December gift-card drive.

Many members of PBP were able to participate.

(from left to right) Ana Blanco, Lisa Cope Duflock, Andrew Messersmith, Nishtha Jolly, Phoenix Forbes, Elizabeth Esparza, and Sandra Madrigal.

New collaboration

PBP collaborates with Goodwill on a record clearance project.

Click here for staff attorney Lisa Cope Duflock's update.

New audiences

PBP's YouTube Channel now has 180 subscribers and over 16,000 views.

New connections

Lawyers in the Library at the Martin Luther King Library shall be in-person on Mondays from 5:30pm to 7:30pm beginning on January 9, 2022. Virtual sessions on Wednesdays and first and third Saturdays shall continue.

The Lawyers in the Library Program at Santa Clara City Library is staffed by volunteer or staff attorneys. The clinic is on Wednesdays from 3 to 5 pm, and up to six participants are served each session.

The Wills, Trusts, Probate and More Clinic is staffed by a volunteer estate planning attorney. It is held every second Friday from 10 am to 12 pm.

The Immigration Clinic for Domestic Violence Survivors is staffed by a volunteer immigration attorney. It is held every fourth Wednesday from 10 am to 12 pm.

The Small Claims Clinic is staffed by volunteer attorneys. It is held every first Wednesday and third Friday from 10 am to 12 pm.

The Shia Association of the Bay Area has partnered with Pro Bono Project to host a monthly clinic for walk-in participants only. Legal issues covered include family law, immigration, estate planning, contracts, landlord tenant matters, and civil litigation. For information, please contact Asma at or 510-228-0786.



Volunteer Spotlight

Sadiya Ahmed

Volunteer attorney

Sadiya is a legal research attorney/independent contractor LegalEase Solutions LLC, and she volunteers at the Pro Bono Project of Silicon Valley’s Lawyers in the Library Program (LIL). For Sadiya, volunteering at LIL provides an invaluable opportunity to serve vulnerable communities and to supply individuals with necessary

resources and tools to make informed legal decisions.

In her role as an LIL volunteer, Sadiya counsels participants on various legal issues including family law and landlord/tenant law, explains legal paperwork, and outlines next steps. It is most important to Sadiya to show compassion and understanding throughout.

Sadiya writes, "A huge shoutout to Volunteer Program Manager, Phoenix Forbes, for streamlining the clinic scheduling process, and for making us feel supported and appreciated as volunteers. I am eternally grateful."

When not volunteering at the Pro Bono Project, Sadiya provides legal research support for law firms, solo practitioners, and corporations in various areas of law including criminal, tort, and contracts.

Staff Spotlight

Nancy Williamson

Staff attorney

Nancy joined the Pro Bono Project in September 2019. Nancy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from San Francisco State University, a master’s degree in Public Administration from San Jose

State University, and a law degree from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Nancy is the founder of Four Seasons Estate Planning, an estate planning and administration law office, and author of Wrapping Up Loose Ends – 8 Simple Action Steps to Organize Your Life Details, Protect Your Family, and Leave a Positive Legacy. Nancy is the past president of the Santa Clara County Estate Planning Council, and the current president of the Silicon Valley Society of Financial Service Professionals. She was recently selected to serve on the California Lawyers Association Programs Committee.

Outside of the office, Nancy enjoys sailing, gardening, and crafting.

Articles from our team

5th District Court of Appeal expands possibilities for those seeking record clearance

Lisa Cope Duflock,

Staff Attorney

Click here to read

SB 1106: Some unpaid restitution fees and orders are eliminated as a bar to expungement

Lisa Cope Duflock,

Staff Attorney

Click here to read

SB 731: Expanded record clearance for over one million Californians

Andrew Messersmith,

Supervising Attorney | Reentry Program

Click here to read

PBP staff members celebrate an amazing year.

(from left to right) Kenneth Grant, Ana Blanco, Elizabeth Esparza, Sandra Madrigal, Andrew Messersmith, Lisa Cope Duflock, Nancy Williamson, Phoenix Forbes, and Catherine Connor.

Thank you to Phoenix Forbes, Volunteer Program Manager, for curating the content for this season's newsletter, as well as to Catherine Connor, Staff Attorney, for designing, editing, and publishing the newsletter and articles on our website.


Pro Bono Project Silicon Valley

For the Good of the People