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California Pro Bono

Swords to Plowshares - A Veterans' Rights Organization

Our Mission
War causes wounds and suffering that last beyond the battlefield. Swords to Plowshares’ mission is to heal the wounds, to restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need, and to prevent and end homelessness and poverty among veterans. 

Our Vision
All veterans will have access to the care and services they need to rebuild their lives.
Swords to Plowshares is a community-based, not-for-profit veteran service organization that provides wrap-around care to more than 2,000 veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area each year. We are committed to helping veterans break through the cultural, educational, psychological and economic barriers they often face in their transition to the civilian world. Swords to Plowshares is a national model for veteran services and advocacy. With nearly 40 years of experience, we have established the most respected and comprehensive model of care for veterans in the country. Our core services include health and social services, supportive housing, employment and training, and legal assistance.  With a long track record of success helping veterans to lead stable and healthy lives, we are nationally recognized for our expert leadership and continued dedication to improving the systems upon which our veterans rely. We advocate for reform at the state, local and national level to increase access to care, and improve services for all veterans and their families. We are a registered not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
Swords to Plowshares is one of the few organizations in the country that provides free attorney representation in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and military discharge upgrade cases. Swords’ Legal Team is unique in that it provides attorney representation and consultation to veterans of any era and discharge status. We help veterans access the benefits they have earned, avoid or escape homelessness, increase financial stability, and focus on long-term health and well-being.

Swords to Plowshares assists clients with two areas of law: VA disability compensation and pension claims (including Character of Discharge Determinations) and Military Discharge Upgrades and Reviews. Veterans are not automatically awarded benefits for disabilities related to their time in service. Through our Pro Bono Program you can help a veteran gather the necessary evidence and substantiate a successful claim for disability benefits. In addition, many veterans are discharged from service with a less than fully honorable discharge; this distinction can prevent the veteran from securing various benefits. By assisting a veteran overcome an unfavorable discharge you will help a veteran gain access to much needed benefits.

To learn more about or get involved with our Pro Bono Program, please contact our Pro Bono team at

  • State of Volunteer Opportunity: California
  • Area of law: Veterans
  • Populations Served: Communities of Color, Elderly, General Public, Individuals with criminal histories, Individuals with physical/mental disabilities, Low Income, Working poor and unemployed
  • Opportunities For: Law school clinic, Law Students, Lawyers, Senior Lawyers
  • Hours for Pro Bono Opportunities: Evenings, Flexible, Weekends
  • Malpractice insurance is provided for volunteers: Yes
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Training Required: Yes
  • CLE credit for trainings: No
  • CLE credit for pro bono: No
  • Mentoring or supervision offered: Yes
  • Volunteer lawyers need to meet a caseload or hours requirement: No
  • Types of projects in need of Pro Bono help: Client counseling (e.g., brief advice), Draft legal documents (e.g., briefs), Litigation: Trial/Direct Representation, Legal Research
  • Long distance opportunities: Conduct Research, Draft or Translate Legal Documents
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: Yes
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