4/30/14 Sights and Sounds from the Courtroom

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In connection with the L.A. Law Library's Annual Law Week, the BHBA Barristers Committee for the Arts are honored to co-host this free reception, celebrating the rule of law, on April 30, 2014 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the L.A. Law Library. Please join us for an enchanting evening featuring the artwork of courtroom sketch artist, Bill Robles and the music of Gary Green Esq. and his Big Band of Barristers. 

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Free Legal Clinic at La Cienega Park, Sat, April 5, 2014

The first Saturday of each month the Beverly Hills Bar Association Barristers host their Monthly Free Legal Clinic at La Cienega Park from 10am-Noon. Our volunteer and visitor numbers continue to climb as news of our program continues to grow!

Join us this Saturday, April 5th, from 10am-Noon for another opportunity to help our community!untitled

If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions please feel free to contact co-chairs Brian Smith (bsmith493@sbcglobal.net), Anton Labrentz (anton@MrDuiLa.com) or Wil Wenzel (wsw@wswlegal.com).

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you Saturday!

The Barristers Monthly Free Legal Clinic is a community service program of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, 9420 Wilshire Blvd, 2nd Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

March Pro Bono Newsletter

Dear Barristers,

The Barristers Pro Bono Committee created this monthly newsletter to connect you with local legal aid organizations, and to encourage you to commit to performing pro bono work, which ultimately results in assistance to the thousands of Los Angeles residents who desperately need access to legal services. Moreover, we recognize that participation in pro bono activities is a great way for young and emerging lawyers to gain the professional experience they require to launch or further their careers.

We are excited to provide you with the March installment of our newsletter and hope that you will take advantage of one or more of the many opportunities listed below!

BHBA BARRISTERS

trainingBarristers/Bet Tzedek Co-Hosted Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic Training

TONIGHT! March 31, at 6 p.m. at the BHBA offices, the Barristers will co-host a FREE MCLE providing the training necessary to volunteer at Bet Tzedek's Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic. This training will provide attendees with an overview of the Limited Conservatorship process, including a basic overview of the substantive law and procedure related to conservatorship practice in Los Angeles County.  The MCLE is offered complimentary to attorneys who commit to volunteering with the Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic.  For more information, and to sign up for the program, please click here!

Barristers/Bet Tzedek Co-Hosted Wage and Hour Training Session

On April 29, at 6 p.m. at the BHBA offices, the Barristers will co-host a FREE MCLE providing the training to participate in Bet Tzedek's Employment Rights Project, which advocates on behalf of various workers, including garment workers, day laborers, and janitors, to rectify labor law abuse. This training will prepare attorney volunteers to represent clients on a wage and hour matter, which requires drafting a trial brief and arguing the case at an administrative hearing where the rules of evidence do not apply. The MCLE is offered complimentary to attorneys who commit to taking on a pro bono wage and hour matter through the Employment Rights Project.  For more information and to sign up for the program please click here!

Barristers Monthly Free Legal Clinic

Volunteer the first Saturday of each month at our very own BHBA Monthly Free Legal Clinic at La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills, where volunteer attorneys answer legal questions presented by the public! Join us Saturday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  If you are interested in volunteering or want more information please feel free to contact co-chairs Brian SmithAnton Labrentz or Wil Wenzel

HARRIET BUHAI CENTER FOR FAMILY LAW

The Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law provides free family law assistance and legal education to the poor. The Center’s mission is to empower individuals and families living in poverty, improve access to the courts, and stop domestic violence. Volunteers may expect to address family problems including: divorce, custody and visitation, support, restraining orders, paternity, and division of property. For more information on volunteering, please contact the Center’s Volunteer Coordinator, Elizabeth Beaty.

April 2014 New Volunteer Training

The Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law is hosting a New Volunteer Training on Saturday, April 26th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Loyola Law School. The deadline for registration is April 23rd (space is limited; there will be no onsite registration). The all-day training for 5.5 MCLE credits provides participants with an introduction to California family law practice and procedure. Attendees will also receive the Center’s “Family Law Basics” manual, which provides detailed information about family law pleadings. To participate in the training, individuals must commit to volunteer with the Center by either completing 50 hours of pro per assistance within a year of the training or by accepting a pro bono case within a year of the training. The cost of this program is $100 for attorneys and $25 for law students.  Click here to view a flyer with details on the program.

PUBLIC COUNSEL

As many of you know, the BHBA was a founder of Public Counsel, which is the nation’s largest pro bono law firm in the nation and helps more than 30,000 people every year through the power of law. Public Counsel's activities are far-ranging, and impact a wide array of people who live at or below the poverty level. Volunteer lawyers, law students, and legal professionals have the opportunity to work on a variety of different projects.

Volunteer Farsi Translator

Public Counsel is representing an Iranian asylum-seeker, and has five documents that need written translation from Farsi into English.  The volunteer need not be a court certified translator, but simply competent in both languages to do the translations.  Public Counsel needs the documents ideally by April 4, but if not, then by April 10.  For more information, please contact Kristen Jackson, Senior Staff Attorney in the Immigrants' Rights Project.

Bankruptcy Self-Help Desk and Clinic

Public Counsel seeks volunteer attorneys who wish to help individuals through the bankruptcy process, either by counseling individuals one-on-one at the self-help desk, or by presenting to a group in a workshop-style clinic. Volunteers will gain valuable client-counseling skills and increase the breadth of their bankruptcy knowledge due to the plethora of bankruptcy and bankruptcy-related issues that arise at the Bankruptcy Self-help Desk and Clinic. The Self-help Desk, located at the Federal Building, is open to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Clinics are held every other Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Public Counsel office.  Please contact Maggie Bordeaux for more information.

Bankruptcy Reaffirmation Hearings

Public Counsel is also seeking attorneys who want to gain valuable client-counseling skills by advising debtors regarding the consequences of reaffirming a particular debt prior to their reaffirmation hearing. Reaffirmation Hearings take place at the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Court and the Woodland Hills Bankruptcy Court.  Please contact Maggie Bordeaux for more information.

ChildrenALLIANCE FOR CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

The Alliance for Children's Rights protects the rights of impoverished, abused and neglected children and youth. By providing free legal services and advocacy, the Alliance ensures that children have safe, stable homes, and access to the healthcare and education they need to thrive.  For more information on available opportunities, or if you are interested in volunteering or attending upcoming trainings listed below, please contact the Alliance's Pro bono Director, Laurel Adcock

Foster Care Benefits Advocacy MCLE

The Alliance is offering two FREE MCLE trainings on Foster Care Benefits Advocacy. The trainings are scheduled for April 30, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and May 8, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m at 333 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 550. The MCLEs will train to represent caregivers on a pro bono basis, advocating for funding and services for children in need. After completing the training, attorneys will be eligible to work with the Alliance on foster care benefits cases.  Click here for more information.

BetBET TZEDEK LEGAL SERVICES

Bet Tzedek provides assistance to all eligible needy residents throughout Los Angeles County, regardless of racial, religious, or ethnic background. Bet Tzedek's pioneering projects combine direct legal representation with outreach, education, and legislative advocacy, resulting in equal access to justice for over 15,000 low-income Angelenos last year alone.  For more information, or to volunteer for one of the listed opportunities, please contact Bet Tzedek's Pro bono Director, Diego Cartagena.

Small Claims Spanish Clinic

Bet Tzedek is seeking the assistance of Spanish-speaking attorneys to volunteer at the Spanish-language session of its Small Claims Clinic. The clinic is held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at Southwestern Law School. The next clinic is scheduled for April 17 (please note: for April, the clinic is on the third Thursday of the month).  Click here to find information regarding the clinic!

Advance Planning Clinic for Low-Income Seniors

Bet Tzedek is seeking the assistance of individuals to help low-income seniors draft Advance Health Care Directives and Statutory Wills by volunteering at an Advance Planning Clinic to be held at the Glendale Senior Center on April 11, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  On April 8, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Bet Tzedek will be providing a FREE MCLE at the Bet Tzedek Legal Services Offices to provide training  on how to meet with, and prepare Advance Health Care Directives and Statutory Wills for, low-income seniors. This training and opportunity is open to attorneys and non-attorneys.

Conservatorship Case for Representation

Bet Tzedek is seeking an attorney to serve as pro bono counsel in a conservatorship case, which involves returning a developmentally disabled young man back to his home where he is supported by his father and can return to his school and support programs. You can view a memo on the issue by clicking here.

CHRISTIANCHRISTIAN LEGAL AID OF LOS ANGELES

Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles (CLA-LA) believes that pursuing "justice for all" is the best way to offer a hand-up to the most vulnerable in society. CLA-LA is a non-profit corporation, which assists clients regardless of their religion, race, color, creed, national original, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or age. CLA-LA offers free legal services to the poor throughout Los Angeles County and provides volunteers with training, fellowship, and FREE MCLE opportunities. For more information on CLA-LA and their offerings, please contact their Legal Fellow, Sarah McKendricks.

Legal URGENT Care Clinic & Training on Traffic & Expungement Issues

On April 5, starting at 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., CLA-LA will be hosting a Legal URGENT Care Clinic and FREE MCLE covering Traffic & Expungement Issues. The event will take place at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.

Legal URGENT Care Office Hours

Each week, CLA-LA also hosts legal URGENT Care “office hours” throughout Los Angeles County. This month, office hours will be held at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 16 at the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, and on April 25 at the LA Law Library.

We hope you find this newsletter valuable and look forward to the Barristers taking active roles in these incredible opportunities!

Very truly yours,

Rachel Balchum, Pro bono Committee Co-Chair, and

Autumn Ronda, Pro bono Committee Co-Chair and Barristers President

Be a Master Chef at BHBA Barristers SaMoShel, Saturay, March 8th, 3-5pm

No plans yet for this Saturday afternoon? Help the BHBA Barristers prepare an early dinner for the 60 or so residents living at Santa Monica Homeless Shelter. 1These kind and appreciative souls have experienced difficulties that caused them to lose everything. The Santa Monica Shelter provides food, a bed, work-life skills and helps people find jobs and housing to get them back on their feet. We'll be cooking a dinner for our friends at Santa Monica Shelter, tomorrow, Saturday, March 8th from 3-5pm. Come join the Barristers at 505 Olympic Blvd in SM and make a real difference! I promise you'll be glad you did!

For questions or more information, you can e-mail co-chairs Jeanine Percival-Wright (jeanine@virb.com), Anton Labrentz (anton@mrduila.com) or Roshni Gandhi (roshnigandhi305@gmail.com), or feel free to leave a comment below.

The Barristers Monthly Samoshel Homeless Project is a community service program of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, 9420 Wilshire Blvd, 2nd Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Who Needs a Mentor? | by Autumn Ronda, Barristers President

Autumn-Ronda-2013Everyone! The importance of mentorship cannot be understated. Oftentimes it can mean the difference between a budding professional’s determination to succeed, and their tangible success. Though a mentor relationship can exist in many forms, it always guides the mentee to the most clear and advantageous path to attaining their goals and the mentor will find the experience equally enriching.

I am fortunate to have maintained mentorship relationships with both attorneys and non-legal professionals alike. Though I am glad to have mentors within my firm, having mentors outside of one’s organization is imperative. It is often these individuals who can provide the most impartial view of a problem or obstacle. Sometimes I ask my mentors to comment on the strategy I’ve selected for a particular client, edit something I’ve drafted, or simply brainstorm with me. Other times, I’m looking for advice on the “big picture.” Regardless of the scale of my request, their experienced opinions and helpful reassurances help me to achieve my short and long-term goals.

This all seems very one-sided, right? It seems impossible for one to reciprocate the generosity of someone who is willing to invest so much of themselves in other individuals, but the answer is simple; you can’t repay them, so you must pay it forward instead. Personally, I have mentored at least ten individuals in a meaningful way, so I know the feeling of gratification and accomplishment, which a mentor feels when their mentee succeeds, is immeasurable.

How can you find yourself in a mentor relationship like the ones I described above, you ask? To facilitate meaningful mentoring relationships among BHBA members, my Co-Chair, Zev Shechtman and I have formed the new Barristers Mentorship Committee. Participants will submit detailed applications and the program administrators will make appropriate and thoughtful matches. Student members will be matched with Barristers as mentors. Barristers will be matched with more experienced members as Mentors. Mentor/Mentee matches will design their own guidelines for their relationship and a social event will be held in the spring to “kick-off” the Mentorship Program.

Please go to www.bhba.org/mentorship to complete an application to become a mentor and/or mentee today. I promise, regardless of which end of the relationship you fall on, it will be one of the most beneficial things you do as a member of the BHBA!


Autumn Ronda is a Tax and Estate Planning attorney at Valensi Rose, PLC in Century City. You may contact her at ar@vrmlaw.com or 310 277 8011.

Beverly Hills Barristers Free Legal Clinic at La Cienega Park! March 1st, 10am-12noon

Join us this Saturday, March 1st, from 10 am to Noon for another fun and rewarding free Barristers Monthly Legal Aid Clinic at La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills.
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If you are new to the clinic, we will happily pair you up with an experienced volunteer attorney to observe us in action. We meet in the community center next to the children's playground. Look for the signs! There is free parking in the city structure across the street under the tennis courts on the west side of La Cienega Blvd just below Gregory Way.

My co-chairs, Brian and Wil, are going to be leading our clinic this Saturday. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Brian or Wil. Thanks!

Barristers Monthly Pro Bono Opportunities Newsletter

Dear Barristers, 

We hope your 2014 is off to a great start!

Since the the introduction of this monthly newsletter in October 2013, it has already proven to be an excellent resource for connecting Barristers with local pro bono opportunities through collaboration with various legal services organizations. In December 2013, the Barristers co-sponsored a CLE event with Bet Tzedek in which complimentary training and CLE was offered to a sizeable group of attorneys who each committed to take on a pro bono matter with the Bet Tzedek Guardianship Program. This year, we have more pro bono trainings for CLE credit planned for you! We are also working to team up with new legal aid organizations, so that Barristers can have even greater access to pro bono activities.

We encourage you to make pro bono work one of your 2014 resolutions, and take advantage of the following opportunities to volunteer at legal clinics, attend pro bono trainings, and to take on individual pro bono matters offered by the BHBA Barristers, Bet Tzedek, Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles and the Alliance for Children's Rights:

BHBABHBA BARRISTERS

Barristers Monthly Free Legal Clinic

Volunteer the first Saturday of each month at our very own BHBA Monthly Free Legal Clinic at La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills, where volunteer attorneys answer legal questions presented by the public! Join us next month on Saturday, March 1st from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information please feel free to contact co-chairs Brian SmithAnton Labrentz or Wil Wenzel

trainingBarrister/Bet Tzedek Co-Hosted Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic Training

On March 31st at 6:00 pm at the BHBA offices, the Barristers will co-host a CLE providing the training necessary to volunteer at Bet Tzedek's Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic. This free CLE training will provide attendees with an overview of the Limited Conservatorship process, including a basic overview of the substantive law and procedure related to conservatorship practice in Los Angeles County. The CLE is free for those attorneys who commit to volunteer with the Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic. For more information, and to sign up for the program, please click here!

Barrister/Bet Tzedek Co-Hosted Wage and Hour Training Session

On April 29th at 6:00 pm at the BHBA offices, the Barristers will co-host a CLE providing the training to participate in Bet Tzedek's Employment Rights Project, which advocates on behalf of various such workers, including garment workers, day laborers, and janitors to rectify such abuse. This training will prepare attorney volunteers to represent clients on a wage and hour matter, which requires drafting a trial brief and arguing the case at an administrative hearing where the rules of evidence do not apply. The CLE is free for those attorneys who commit to take on a pro bono wage and hour matter through the Employment Rights Project. For more information and to sign up for the program please click here!

BetBET TZEDEK LEGAL SERVICES

Bet Tzedek provides assistance to all eligible needy residents throughout Los Angeles County, regardless of racial, religious, or ethnic background. Bet Tzedek's pioneering projects combine direct legal representation with outreach, education and legislative advocacy, resulting in equal access to justice for over 15,000 low-income Angelenos last year alone. For more information, or to volunteer for one of the listed opportunities, please contact Bet Tzedek's Pro Bono Director, Diego Cartagena. Bet Tzedek invites volunteer attorneys to participate in the following activities:

Identity Theft Matter Available for Pro Bono Placement

You can help a disabled senior expunge a fraudulent consumer bankruptcy by accepting this case. The matter involves an elderly woman who has been a victim of identity theft, which involves a fraudulently filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. In light of the timeline on the facts in the case, an attorney familiar with Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings is kindly requested to prepare the necessary motions immediately. Please find a full description of the case here.

Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic

Bet Tzedek is seeking the assistance of attorneys interested in volunteering with Bet Tzedek's Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic. Every month, Bet Tzedek holds a clinic workshop for litigants at its office located at 3250 Wilshire Blvd. The upcoming clinics for English-speaking families are scheduled for February 17 and March 17 from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm. The next clinic for Spanish-speaking families will be held on February 24th, from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm.  For those interested in participating in a clinic, a training session can be arranged for the day of the clinic at 12:00 pm, with prior notice.

CHRISTIANCHRISTIAN LEGAL AID OF LOS ANGELES

Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles (CLA-LA) believes that pursuing "justice for all" is the best way to offer a hand-up to the most vulnerable in society. CLA-LA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, and assists clients regardless of their religion, race, color, creed, national original, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation or age. CLA-LA offers free legal services to the poor throughout Los Angeles County and provides volunteers with training, fellowship, and free MCLE opportunities. For more information on CLA-LA and their offerings, please contact CLA-LA's Legal Fellow, Sarah McKendricks. To sign up to volunteer, or join CLA-LA's email list, please email volunteer@cla-la.org. This month, CLA-LA invites volunteer attorneys, paralegals, legal secretaries, and law students to join them at the upcoming event:

Legal URGENT Care Clinic Office Hours

Each week, CLA-LA also hosts legal URGENT Care clinic "office hours" where clients are able to see an attorney for free regarding their legal matter. Office hours are held every Tuesday afternoon from 12:30 – 3:30 pm at Homeboy Industries near Downtown LA. Every Wednesday from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm office hours are also held at Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood.

ChildrenALLIANCE FOR CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

The Alliance for Children's Rights protects the rights of impoverished, abused and neglected children and youth. By providing free legal services and advocacy, the Alliance ensures that children have safe, stable homes, and access to the healthcare and education they need to thrive.The Alliance depends on generous volunteer lawyers to help clients. For more information on available opportunities, please contact the Alliance's Pro Bono Director, Laurel Adcock. All cases are extensively screened by Alliance staff and carefully supervised. Training manuals and sample documents are available. Two areas of current volunteer need at the Alliance are:

Probate Legal Guardianship

Over 300,000 children in Los Angeles County live with non-parent caregivers. Guardianship gives caregivers legal authority over a child's educational and medical welfare. It also allows guardians access to financial support, while providing vital emotional and physical security to children who have experienced trauma.  Pro bono attorneys prepare the petition and represent caregivers at hearing in unopposed cases. The typical time commitment is 15 to 20 hours over 2-4 months.

Foster Care Benefits

Financial benefits are routinely denied to children in out-of-home care, largely because of improper or inadequate assessments. Without legal advocacy, these children may never receive the appropriate level of support for their most basic needs. Pro bono attorneys prepare briefs, question experts and present evidence at administrative hearings.  The typical time commitment is 40-60 hours over 4-6 months.

We hope this newsletter helps you to help others and make a difference in our community!

All the best,

Rachel Balchum, Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair, and

Autumn Ronda, Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair and Barristers President

Barristers says Let’s Get Southern at SaMoShel, Sat February 8th, 3-5pm!

Barristers,

Want to try your hand as a sous or master chef? Join us inside a working professional kitchen this Saturday, February 8th, 2014, as we prepare another original and authentic dinner for about 60 of the City’s homeless at Santa Monica Shelter (SaMoShel).

Beverly Hills Bar Association Barristers head to SaMoShel Homeless Shelter the 2nd Saturday of every month. Anticipated menu items for this Saturday include Sloppy Joes, Orange Glazed Carrots, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Caesar Salad, Fruit Salad and/or Apple Pie (a la mode)! But we need your help!

If you've never been before, come join us! If you have, you know it's fun, easy and very rewarding!

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What: BHBA Barristers Community Outreach Event – Give back to your community and network with other young like-minded professionals!

When: This Saturday, February 8th, from 3:00-5:00 pm (you still get your Saturday night!). We start preparing at 3:00 pm and start serving dinner at 4:30 pm or so.

Where: SaMoShel Homeless Shelter – 505 Olympic Blvd in Santa Monica, CA 90401.

Why: It's a great opportunity to network, get a little perspective, develop a connection with the community and make a real difference!

Parking: Pull into the lot out front (we squeeze in as many as possible) or take metered parking on the street (but read the signs!).

Please kindly RSVP so we know how many volunteers to expect.

Thanks and look forward to seeing you there!

For questions or more information, you can e-mail co-chairs Jeanine Percival-Wright (jeanine@virb.com), Anton Labrentz (anton@mrduila.com) or Roshni Gandhi (roshnigandhi305@gmail.com), or feel free to leave a comment below.

Continue (or start!) your New Year’s Resolution of Giving Back at Barristers Legal Aid Clinic! Sat, 2/1, 10am-Noon

Dear Barristers,

Join us Saturday, 2/1, from 10 am to Noon for another exciting and helpful free Barristers Monthly Legal Aid Clinic at La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills. This is great way to serve the community as well as meet and network with other attorneys! LCCCsign

Wil is going to be leading our clinic tomorrow morning. I hope that as many of you as possible will attend and support him! If you are new to the clinic, we will happily pair you up with an experienced volunteer attorney to learn the ropes. We meet in the community center next to the children's playground. There is free parking in the city structure across the street under the tennis courts. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or my co-Chairs, Brian and Wil. Thank you!