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:
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 Smith, Anton Labrentz or Wil Wenzel.
Barrister/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!
BET 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.
CHRISTIAN 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 email@example.com. 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.
ALLIANCE 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