Media Contacts: Leslie Hatamiya Executive Director (415) 856-0780 ext. 303 firstname.lastname@example.org Joilene Grove Program Director (415) 856-0780 ext. 302 email@example.com
Projects Increasing Access to Justice and Diversity in the Legal Profession Receive $258,000 from the California Bar Foundation
San Francisco – January 20, 2009 – Focusing on projects that champion access to justice in rural areas of the state, increase access to legal services for individuals with limited English proficiency, and promote diversity in the legal profession, the California Bar Foundation recently awarded 37 grants totaling $258,000 to organizations providing legal services and education across the state. The grant awards reflect the immense need throughout the state to ensure that the justice system serves California’s increasingly diverse population, especially in today’s challenging economic environment.
“By investing in an array of impressive and innovative projects that increase access to justice and better educate Californians about their legal rights and responsibilities, the Foundation acts as a catalyst for building a better justice system for all Californians,” said Mario Camara, president of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “With many Californians struggling financially, the need for legal services to help individuals facing a home foreclosure, in need of public benefits, and having difficulty accessing health care is greater than ever. The Foundation is acutely aware of these challenges and has prioritized its grant-making to support projects in areas – such as rural outreach and language access programs – that are in particular need of assistance.”
Increasing Access to Justice in Rural California Furthering its commitment to addressing the increasingly large “justice gap” outside California’s major metropolitan areas, where legal services are particularly scarce and community members are often geographically isolated, the Foundation is funding 17 projects totaling $120,000 that serve rural communities in such counties as Fresno, Nevada, Placer, and Tulare. For example, the Foundation’s grant to the Family Resource Center of Truckee will bring a bilingual lawyer into the Community Legal Center of Truckee-Tahoe, which was previously staffed by a law student, providing much need legal assistance to low-income residents.
Supporting Limited English-Speakers With many legal services organizations facing tremendous difficulty in serving California’s increasingly diverse population, the Foundation is funding 11 grants totaling $65,000 to support language access projects that improve accessibility to legal services or legal education for limited English-proficiency clients. One innovative project run by Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence will increase the number of languages served from 35 to up to 45, allowing a diverse array of clients to access legal help on domestic violence issues.
Promoting Diversity in the Bar In addition to launching a new Diversity Scholarship for incoming first-year law students from communities historically underrepresented in the legal profession, the Foundation has made increasing the number of minority lawyers a priority in its grant-making. In particular, the Foundation is funding seven “diversity pipeline” programs with grants totaling $35,500. These grants will support efforts at various points along the pipeline and provide meaningful legal education and mentoring that will improve diversity in the legal profession, including For People of Color’s Law School Admissions Project, which provides resources for minority students navigating the law school admissions process and law students of color who are preparing to take the bar exam.
For the first time, the Foundation is awarding multi-year grants for three projects: Casa Cornelia Legal Services’ Detained Unaccompanied Minors Program, the Center for Community Solutions’ East County Solutions for Safety Project, and the Public Interest Clearinghouse’s Rural Education and Access to the Law Program. By awarding two years of funding to these projects, the Foundation seeks to recognize particularly effective programs within the Foundation’s grant-making priority areas while also easing the administrative burden of sustaining a program on these financially stretched nonprofit organizations.
Since the Foundation began its grants program in 1991, it has distributed more than $5 million in grants for law-related access to justice, education, and outreach projects to community organizations, legal aid agencies, courts, bar associations, and the State Bar of California.
The 2008-2009 grant recipients include:
Organization AIDS Legal Referral Panel Alameda County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer Services Corporation Bar Association of San Francisco's Volunteer Legal Services Program / Central California Legal Services California YMCA Youth & Government CaliforniaALL Casa Cornelia Legal Services, Inc. Center for Community Solutions Child Advocates of Placer County Family Resource Center of Truckee Family Violence Law Center For People of Color, Inc. Housing and Economics Rights Advocates International Institute of the Bay Area KABA Foundation Kids' Turn San Diego Project Immigrant HIV Assistance Project (Bay Area) Language Access Project (Alameda County) Rural-Urban Pro Bono Collaboration (Fresno County) Raise the Bar Project (Central Valley and Central Coast) Bettering the Best: Continuing Best Practices Research (Statewide) Detained Unaccompanied Children Program (San Diego County) East County Solutions for Safety (San Diego County) CASA Capacity Building Project (Placer County) Community Legal Center of Truckee-Tahoe (Nevada and Placer Counties) In Court Attorney Assistance Project (Alameda County) Law School Admissions Diversity Pipeline Project (Statewide) Napa Valley Foreclosure Prevention Project (Napa County) Building Capacity of Legal Internship Program (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties) Monthly Pro Bono Community Legal Clinic (Los Angeles and Orange Counties) Workshops for Court-Ordered Families Engaged in High-Conflict Divorces (San Diego County) Grant Awarded $5,000 $5,000 $15,000 $5,000 $5,000 $20,000* $20,000* $5,000 $10,000 $5,000 $5,000 $10,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Kovno Communications Lassen Family Services Court Appointed Special Advocate Program Learning Rights Law Center Legal Aid of Napa Valley Legal Aid of Sonoma County Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence Public Interest Clearinghouse Public Interest Clearinghouse Public Interest Clearinghouse State Bar of California, California Commission on Access to Justice State Bar of California, Council on Access and Fairness State Bar of California, Office of Bar Relations State Bar of California, Office of Legal Services, Access & Fairness Programs State Bar of California, Office of Legal Services, Access & Fairness Programs Superior Court of California, County of San Diego Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles Superior Court of California, County of Tulare The Other Bar Foundation Ventura County Bar Association / Volunteer Lawyers Pro Bono Program VIP Mentors Yurok Tribe * distributed over two years
Outreach for Cruz Reynoso: A Man for All Seasons Documentary (Statewide) Lassen CASA Capacity-Building Project (Lassen County) The Special Education Practice Guide: A How-ToManual to Successfully Advocate for Special Education Youth (Los Angeles) Equal Access for Immigrants Project (Napa County) REACH (Sonoma County) Transforming Lives Fund (Los Angeles) The Language Bank (Santa Clara County) IRS Form 990 Training for Legal Aids (Statewide) Public Interest Attorney Recruitment & Retention Study (Statewide) Rural Education and Access to the Law Project Expansion (Bakersfield, Fresno, Inland Empire, San Diego, and Los Angeles Counties) Rural Legal Services Policy Paper: Creative Solutions for the Legal Need Facing California's Rural Communities (Statewide) 2009 Diversity Stakeholder Forum (Statewide) 2009 Bar Leaders' Conference (Statewide) Mortgage Foreclosure Project (Statewide) 2009 Lawyer Referral Services Forum (Statewide) San Diego County High School Mock Trial Competition (San Diego) JusticeCorps Site Supervisor Training (Los Angeles) Video/Web Self Help Services to Rural Communities (Tulare County) Expanding Service to the Legal Community (Statewide) Emeritus Attorney Training Program (Ventura County) Attorneys & the Family Connection: A Holistic Approach to Reentry (Statewide) Yurok Bar Association (Del Norte and Humboldt Counties)
$2,500 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $1,000 $4,000 $20,000* $9,500 $10,000 $6,000 $4,000 $10,000 $3,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $3,000 $10,000 $5,000
The California Bar Foundation is committed to building a better justice system for all Californians. We champion full and equal access to the justice system, invest in the next generation of California’s lawyers, educate Californians about their rights and responsibilities under the law, and promote philanthropy throughout the legal community. A nonprofit founded in 1990 and affiliated with the State Bar of California, the Foundation annually awards grants to California organizations conducting innovative law-related projects and scholarships to outstanding California law school students. For more information, please visit our website at www.calbarfoundation.org. # # #