Sheppard Mullin attorneys in the Del Mar Heights office have a wide range of opportunities to do pro bono work, either in litigation or transactional matters. Sheppard Mullin has close relationships with local organizations that serve the needs of those in the San Diego community who are not able to afford legal representation. The Legal Aid Society of San Diego is a referral source for cases that involve landlord/tenant, domestic abuse, asylum, creditor-debtor relations, and other legal issues that impact individuals who need assistance advocating for their rights. The San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program also provides opportunities for volunteer attorneys to represent indigent clients in matters that address elder law, homelessness, immigration, guardianship, AIDS discrimination, and family law.
Most recently, attorneys in the Del Mar Heights office have represented children in special education advocacy cases referred to the firm through the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program. Attorneys in Del Mar Heights have represented families who could not otherwise afford counsel in adopting children through the Public Counsel Law Center's Child Care Law Project. Del Mar Heights partner Elizabeth Balfour received Sheppard Mullin's Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award in 2005 when she was an associate for her work with the Children at Risk Committee of the San Diego County Bar Association.
Attorneys in Del Mar Heights also provide pro bono legal services by advising charitable and civic organizations in corporate and transactional matters. John Collins, a partner in the Del Mar Heights office, is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Project Concern International, which develops and implements health and poverty solutions and disease control in impoverished countries all over the world, and Del Mar Heights attorneys also provide legal advice to Project Concern. Others in the Del Mar Heights Office are working to advise Genesis International Orphanage Foundation in conjunction with the purchase a parcel of land in Baja California, Mexico to further its support of enrichment and educational programs for orphaned or abandoned children in Baja California.