Whittier Law and Legal Aid Society of Orange County team up to launch Family Law Night Clinic

The Family Law Night Clinic, hosted by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC), was launched during the spring 2016 semester exclusively for Whittier Law School (WLS) students. LASOC and the Office of Career and Professional Development (CPD) established the clinic to address a large need in the Orange County community to assist individuals with family law matters who otherwise would not have access to legal representation. Meeting on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, the clinic started with a 1-hour family law MCLE. Afterwards, volunteer attorneys and WLS students divided the clients and met with them individually. Six WLS students participated in spring 2016, and together, helped clients with an additional nineteen dissolutions, nine paternity actions, two legal separations, and two requests for orders.

Erik Mills, a rising 2L, said that he was inspired to participate after hearing Scott Barnes, LASOC attorney, speak passionately about the organization and clinic at a Public Interest Law Foundation general meeting. Mills said that although he does not have an interest in family law, he did attend Whittier Law School with the intention of working with indigent clients after graduation and saw this clinic as an opportunity to help the community while gaining valuable hands on experience. He said that the clinic developed his ability to issue-spot and to identify legally significant facts while speaking to clients. Mills will return to the clinic when in the fall, and encourages any interested students to join.

LASOC and the CPD would like to acknowledge and thank the six student participants: Karli Burns, Jessica Linda, Euglogia Mendoza, Erik Mills, Patty Santamaria, and Sahar Maknouni. Thank you for representing Whittier Law School and doing such great work on behalf of the community!

For more information about the clinic, contact Associate Director Susie Dickman in the Office of Career and Professional Development at sdickman@law.whittier.edu.

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