Join the National Association of Women Judges In Supporting The Informed Voters Project

Informed Voters ProjectThis election season, the BHBA and the Barristers proudly join the National Association of Women Judges in supporting the Informed Voters Project . The IVP is a non-partisan civic education initiative that increases citizen awareness about the process of voting for judges in an election. The IVP does not endorse any particular candidate; the goal is to educate citizens about why they should care about an informed vote for any judge.

The problem: in the last election approximately 50% of Californians voted. Of that 50%, only about 12% voted for judges. That means not only that a small minority of people determine who sits or stays on the  California bench, but also that special interests have a disproportionately strong voice in who wins a judicial election.

What you can do: As a member of BHBA, you have access to prepared presentation materials, op-eds and letters to the editor, and social media & blog posts with links to articles and videos. Here’s how you can get involved (from least to most intensive):

1. Incorporate IVP materials on your website/blog/linkedin/facebook/twitter: IVP has prepared a short video featuring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor discussing the importance of voting for judges. They also prepared materials ready to be posted immediately. Leverage your connections to immediately spark people’s interest.

2. Submit an Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor: IVP has templates for both; the templates are ready-to-use. This is a fantastic way to get the message out with your name attached as a concerned citizen.

3. Make community presentations: Attend a short, 45-minute webinar instruction session and take an IVP-prepared power point presentation out to wherever the community gathers. A few suggestions:

  • PTA Meetings;
  • Homeowners’ association meetings;
  • Rotary meetings;
  • Kiwanis meetings;
  • Provisors meetings;
  • Law firm meetings;
  • Chambers of commerce meetings;
  • Wherever groups of people meet!

Not only will you be doing a service to this state, but you will also be holding yourself out to your community as a person who is actively involved in addressing serious community issues. Rarely are we afforded such an opportunity to engage directly and leverage such support to get a message out!

If you are interested: Please contact Brian Smith bsmith493@sbcglobal.net with your level of interest, and we will respond with the appropriate instructions and materials. Once you have participated, please get back to us and let us know how it went so you may be credited with the work you’ve done.

Together, we can use this opportunity to make a real, lasting difference in our community.

Click Here To Email Brian Smith

SaMoShelling Out the Good Stuff

At the September installment of SaMoShel, the Barristers rang in the start of football season with wings and nachos!

The Barristers always meet on the second Tuesday of the month at OPCC SaMoShel (Santa Monica Shelter) to cook and serve a meal to as many as 60 of Santa Monica’s homeless population.  Join us at our next meeting on Oct. 11, from 3-5 p.m.

Supercharged SaMoShel

We had a great turnout at our last SaMoShel event, and everyone was chopping, grilling, scooping SOMETHING to perfection.  The menu was Carribean themed, and everyone we served was so greatful we even got some applause!  Check out pictures from the event below, and remember: the next SaMoShel will be this weekend on August 9!

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BHBA Barristers Free Legal Clinic! Sat, June 7th, 10am-Noon!

The Barristers are hosting their Monthly Free Legal Clinic this Saturday, June 7th, 2014 at La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills. This is a fun opportunity to serve the community and meet your BHBA colleagues!
 
Barrister Leroy Williams will be leading our clinic. Let's get a good number of volunteers there to help Leroy help our community!
 
As always, we operate as a question and answer clinic. People come with a variety of questions and our volunteer attorneys do their best to provide basic answers.
 
The clinic begins at 10 am and finishes at about 12 noon, depending on the number of people who attend. If you are a new volunteer, come and check us out! We don't require a commitment to attend any particular number of sessions and we will pair you with an experienced volunteer attorney who will show you the ropes.
 
Also, remember that next month on Saturday, July 12, the clinic will again return to Roxbury Park in Beverly Hills! We changed the date due to the 4th of July holiday but are moving back to our previous and now, newly remodeled location!
 
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).
 
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.

Check Out Pictures from This Month’s SaMoShel Visit!

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Join us next month at SaMoShel on June 14!

Bring Your Questions to our BHBA Barristers Free Legal Clinic! Sat, May 3rd, 10am-Noon

Clinic PicBHBA Barristers are hosting their Free Monthly Legal Clinic at La Cienega Park again this Saturday, May 3rd, at 10 am. This is always a good opportunity to serve the community and meet other members of the BHBA!

If you are a new volunteer, just show up a little early and stop by our welcome table! La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills (Olympic & La Cienega Blvds.) from 10 am – Noon! See you there!

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).

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.

A Match Made in Bar Heaven | by Autumn Ronda, Barristers President

Autumn-Ronda-2013Matching members of our community who are in need of free legal services with the abundance of young lawyers who are in need of practical legal experience is a simple solution to a pervasive problem.

Law School Transparency recently released data on employment rates for 2012 graduates of the 200 ABA-approved law schools. Only 56.2% of 2012 graduates were employed in full-time, long-term jobs as lawyers. For the 5 ABA-approved schools in L.A. County, this number is 54.1%, which is even more disturbing than the national average.

For me, the problem is as follows: where large firms traditionally hired and trained new lawyers, they are currently not, at least not like they used to. Moreover, small to medium firms lack the resources and/or desire to train those without actual experience. One must be an “experienced new lawyer” — it is seemingly an oxymoron!

So how does a new lawyer gain the requisite skills necessary to secure a stable job? Volunteering for a pro bono legal services organization provides a phenomenal opportunity for a young lawyer to learn how to be a working lawyer. There are an astounding amount of individuals whose financial situations hinder their access to legal services. These individuals must be paired with lawyers willing to provide them with free legal representation. The Barristers provide several services and programs to facilitate said pairing.

For many years now, the Barristers have hosted a monthly Free Legal Clinic, which is open to the public, and provides a venue for any lawyer looking to volunteer. Last year, I created a Pro Bono Committee to promote pro bono work among Barristers, and instituted a monthly newsletter highlighting opportunities at legal aid organizations, including upcoming clinics, as well as details on individual cases that require a pro bono lawyer.

Furthermore, we have strengthened our relationships with local legal aid organizations by assigning Barrister liaisons to interface with the organizations, facilitate joint programming, and assist Barristers in their involvement with the organizations. Specifically, we have enhanced our relationship with Bet Tzedek by hosting free training sessions at our offices, which prepare volunteers to serve both at their clinics, and on individual cases, involving conservatorships, guardianships, and wage and hour issues.

All pro bono programs offer volunteers the mentorship of, and training by, senior lawyers. Thus, inexperienced lawyers need not worry that they will be without guidance. I urge all new lawyers in transition to volunteer for pro bono work. Not only will you gain practical experience, but you will be providing a service that is essential to facilitating equality in our justice system.


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.

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.

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.

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!