Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Attorneys Recognized for Work With Low-Income Families
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Nonprofit organization Uncommon Good has awarded attorneys Lucia Reyes of the Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center and Anel Flores of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles its Fellowship Award.
Reyes and Flores received the award last Friday at the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association’s 33rd Annual Installation and Awards Dinner in recognition for their work in serving the needs of low income working poor families living and working in the greater Los Angeles area.
Based in Claremont, Uncommon Good works to provide access to quality education, healthcare and legal services to the poor, as well as mentoring and other services to low income children in order to help break the cycle of poverty. The organization typically bestows its Fellowship Award—which includes a $1,000 cash award—on young attorneys working for nonprofit groups or in public service in order to help them pay off debts incurred in becoming an attorney.
Reyes, a 2002 admittee to the State Bar of California who attended college at UCLA and graduated from Loyola Law School, was recognized by the group for her work in stepparent and independent adoption.
She joined Levitt & Quinn in 2004 as a fellow, later becoming a full time employee, and became its director of legal services in 2006. She currently handles all contested adoption litigation for the center and in 2007 helped it to bring approximately 100 families together through stepparent and independent adoption.
Flores, a 2003 admittee to the State Bar of California who also attended both UCLA and Loyola Law School, was recognized for her work helping to protect the rights of low-income workers in sweatshops under wage and occupational safety laws.
Reyes’ supervisor at the center, Executive Director Sharon Hulse, said that the organization was “very proud” that Reyes had received the award, and that she was glad that Reyes was a part of the center.
Uncommon Good Executive Director Nancy Mintie said the two were chosen because they present “two examples of outstanding young attorneys making enourmous financial sacrifices to help people in the lower-income community.”
Pointing out that there are “few lawyers left” able to take lower-paying positions in public service as a result of high educational debts that can often exceed $100,000, Mintie praised the pair’s “sacrifices to provide justice for all.”
“Liberty and justice don’t just happen unless there are lawyers available to make them happen.”
The Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center is a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles that provides legal representation in family law matters to low-income, working-poor families living and working in the greater Los Angeles area. Founded in 1981, it has helped more than 30,000 families in matters involving adoption, child support, custody and visitation, domestic violence, grandparent rights, guardianship, marital dissolution, paternity and spousal support.
The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles similarly provides representation to low-income people in Los Angeles. The successor to the Southern California Legal Aid Clinic Association, which was founded in 1929, the foundation describes its mission as “promoting access to justice, strengthening communities, fighting discrimination, and effecting systemic change through representation, advocacy, and community education.”
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company