In the Right Place, Doing the Right Thing

As a native of Compton who was committed to serving his community, Anthony Filer began working in the neighborhood office of LASOC-CLS in June 1984. “My father was a respected community leader who persevered to follow and fulfill his dream to serve the people of Compton as an attorney.   He lived by the motto, ‘Never ever give up!’   He was my role model and inspired me to pursue law as a way of serving my community. “

“As a paralegal, I first joined my brother’s law practice, which was located a block away from the Compton Superior Courthouse, and then I took a position with LASOC-CLS in Compton where I have been ever since.” Through the years Anthony saw changes and challenges, including when the Compton office was burned to the ground during the 1992 civil unrest after the verdict in the Rodney King case.  As it was happening, his brother, who was passing the office on his way home, called him to let him know the building was on fire.  “The top story of the building burned. The next morning, I snuck under the police tape and splashed through shin-deep water to save what I could – like my coworkers’ diplomas and some files. When I went back the next day the office was gone.”   After the fire, the staff was able to re-create files through the cooperative assistance of The State Bar of California, the court and opposing counsel.  Anthony moved into an office in the Compton courthouse and all other staff was relocated to LASOC-CLS’ Norwalk office until new office space could be located.

Since the 1990s, Anthony has taught more than 2,500 students in the paralegal programs at Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cerritos College.  Close to 300 of them volunteered at LASOC-CLS, with several ultimately becoming employees.  And, some of those paralegal students went on to become attorneys.

For the past three and a half years he has been the directing attorney for both the Compton and Norwalk offices.  “After more than three decades my work is still rewarding.  When I work with clients it hits me all the time that I am in the right place doing the right thing.”  Proud of and fulfilled in the work he does every day serving the community, Anthony is inspired daily by the words of the late Justice Thurgood Marshall,  “None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.  We got here because somebody bent down and helped pick up our boots.”