Bob Ross Law Clerk Fellowship
The Bob Ross Foundation is the chief supporter of the ALRP Law Clerk program. We sincerely appreciate their generosity.
The Bob Ross Foundation, named after the Bay Area Reporter‘s publisher and founder, has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to a diverse range of HIV-related, LGBT, cultural, and other nonprofit organizations since Ross’s death in 2003.
The Bob A. Ross Foundation has provided funding for ALRP law clerks since 2006. Our Bob Ross law clerks are crucial to our ability to serve the growing number of clients who need our help. In the last decade more than 50 law students have benefited from these fellowships. The Bob Ross Foundation has allowed our clerks to get hands-on, real world experience in the impact of legal problems on vulnerable clients and they have helped ALRP serve thousands of people with HIV.
ALRP depends upon the hard work of a small staff, many volunteer attorneys—and a handful of law clerks who provide critical program support while also learning first-hand about the legal needs and rights of people with HIV. Each Bob Ross law clerk works at least 10 hours a week for 12 weeks. The law clerks conduct intake interviews with clients, assist some clients directly through a short-term service such as answering a question or writing a letter to a creditor, complete research and writing projects, and refer complex cases out to one of ALRP’s volunteer attorneys—all under the watchful supervision of ALRP staff.
ALRP’s law clerks are drawn from the pool of students who have completed at least one year at any one of several local law schools including Golden Gate University, UC Hastings, University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University, Stanford, and UC Berkeley.
In addition to providing ALRP’s programs with vital support, the Bob Ross Fellowship encourage students to embrace a public interest career and help shape the next generation of public interest attorneys. Many former clerks have subsequently volunteered for ALRP once they have passed the Bar, and more than one has served on the ALRP Board of Directors. Former clerks have also gone on to work for other public interest firms or for government programs such as the Public Defender’s office, and five former ALRP law clerks are now full-time members of ALRP’s current staff.
Here is a small sampling of the cases our law clerks have worked on this year:
- Housing Subsidy Restored. A client had his federal housing subsidy terminated by the Alameda County Housing Authority for various allegations of non-compliance with the program. An ALRP law clerk helped the client to appeal the decision and was denied at the first level. The law clerk then helped to file an appeal at the second level with the Alameda County Housing Authority based on numerous procedural requirements that were not followed by the County when terminating a person from the program. The Alameda County Housing Authority granted our appeal, paid the client retroactively, and reinstated the client in the program.
- Licensing Complaint Upheld. A client at a residential care facility had several habitability issues (window did not shut, moldy carpet) that the management of the facility refused to address, despite written requests from ALRP and a prior agreement to address issues. An ALRP law clerk assisted the client with filing a complaint with the Department of Social Services, which investigated and cited the facility for violations.
- Rent Board Petition. A current law clerk helped a client file a petition with the rent board and referred him to a panel attorney for another matter. Here is what the client said: “Thank you Nicki. You were there for me through the hardest parts of this whole learning experience. Thank you for your good work and for the moral support I needed so much. Keep up the good work!”
Current Bob Ross Law Clerks:
Past Bob Ross Law Clerks:
Enrique Biasotti New College School of Law
Alex Berkun University of Florida Levin School of Law
Nathan Bewley University of San Francisco School of Law
Anthony Blackburn Santa Clara University School of Law
Brian Brophy UC Hastings College of Law
Rachel Criscitiello University of Maine School of Law
Michael Donofrio UC Hastings College of Law
Jeff Dulgar Golden Gate University School of Law
John Fasesky New College School of Law
Ted Garey UC Hastings College of Law
Catherine Gillespie UC Hastings College of Law
Shannon Gordhamer JFK Law School
Nicki Griffin University of San Francisco School of Law
Lisa Heck Golden Gate University School of Law
Dustin Helmer Golden Gate University School of Law
Brandon Lawrence University of San Francisco School of Law
Sasha Martinez University of San Francisco School of Law
Erin O’Neill University of the District of Columbia School of Law
Amy Orgain University of Washington School of Law
Yolanda Peneda University of San Francisco School of Law
Dmitri Pikman UC Hastings College of Law
Chloe Quail Golden Gate University School of Law
Rachel Reyes University of San Francisco School of Law
Christy Siojo University of San Francisco School of Law
Kim Shindel Fordham University School of Law
Owen Stephens Golden Gate University School of Law
Suzie Tagliere University of San Francisco School of Law
Diana Tarnopolskaya Golden Gate University School of Law
Holly Trief Golden Gate University School of Law
Julieanna Vinogradsky UC Hastings College of Law