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How do I find a criminal appeals lawyer that does pro bono work in Los Angeles, California?

Los Angeles, CA |

My friend was convicted of murder in California. He is innocent of committing this criminal offense. The court prosecutor had no witnesses, for one, and for two, after my friend was convicted and sentenced to prison for a murder criminal offense, the Private Investigator found DNA to prove he is actually innocent.

We are looking for a criminal appeals lawyer that will take this case PRO BONO. My friend is now in prison currently serving his term for this criminal murder case. We have proof that he is innocent. What are our options for a pro bono attorney representation in CA?

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Attorney answers 4


Hello there,

If you friend is incarcerated and has no property or means to obtain funds he will qualify for a court appointed attorney to handle his appeal. That attorney will be appointed by the court and will also be paid by the court.

For this he needs to file a paupers oath with the court showing his indigence and also request a hearing on the motion. He will need to possibly testify to his inability to raise money so an attorney can be appointed to him. He also needs to make sure he does not miss his appellate timeline dates for filing a notice of appeal.


Erick Platten



The organization which represents inmates pro bono (via court appointment) is the California Appellate Project. Their website is:

Your friend should contact the California Appellate Project for pro bono representation. They will tell him how to proceed.


To find a qualified defense lawyer for your friend’s criminal case, you should check out the Innocence Projects in CA - listed below.

Also, many large law firms have a pro bono department which takes on innocence cases where a defendant is wrongly convicted of a crime. If you do an internet search, you should be able to pull up some well known law firms and info on their pro bono work in California .

California and Hawaii Innocence Project
California Western School of Law
225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Main number for school - 619-239-0391
Google to find website - changed recently. Justin Brooks is the Director

Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053-0422
Phone: (408) 554-1945
Fax: (408) 554-5440

University of California - Irvine
(not a project, but a resource)
William Thompson
Department of Criminology, Law & Society
University of California
Irvine, CA 92697-7080


You have received very good advice. I don't think that I can add anything. Good Luck!