Honorees included Jones Day, the Orange County Bar Association and LASOC-CLS Staff
LASOC-CLS hosted its annual awards dinner and fundraising event, “Come Fly With Us: Celebrating 60 Years of Justice For All” on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at the Lyon Air Museum in Santa Ana, Calif.
Attended by more than 265 guests, “Come Fly With Us: Celebrating 60 Years of Justice For All” raised nearly $185,000 aimed at providing civil legal services to seniors and low-income individuals and to promote equal access to the justice system.
Co-chaired by LASOC-CLS board members Mei Tsang (partner at Umberg/Zipser) and Lei Lei Wang Ekvall (partner at Smiley Wang-Ekvall), the event celebrated the non-profit’s 60th anniversary with a hosted reception, live and silent auctions, dinner and live entertainment by Danny Freyer’s Jazz Band & Big Band.
“As we celebrate our 60-year history, it’s important to acknowledge our community, staff, legal partners and event sponsors. The work that has been accomplished over the last six decades would not be possible without their collaboration and dedication,” said Kate Marr, executive director of LASOC-CLS.
The event honored law firm Jones Day for providing significant pro-bono work to LASOC-CLS’ client community, the Orange County Bar Association for founding and supporting LASOC-CLS, and LASOC-CLS Staff for carrying out the non-profit’s mission daily. Each honoree was featured in a video series presenting the audience with an inside look at the clients served by LASOC-CLS every day.
As LASOC-CLS celebrates its 60th anniversary, current OCBA President Nikki Miliband comments, “LASOC is a fundamental part of the Orange County legal community providing free legal services to those most in need – low-income families, individuals and senior citizens, which complements the mission of the OCBA – to enhance the system of justice, to support the lawyers who serve it, and to assist the community served by it. The OCBA, through its Pro Bono Committee, chaired by Larisa Dinsmoor and Daniel Robinson, look forward to working with LASOC towards our common goals of assisting the most vulnerable and at risk in the Orange County community with much needed legal services.”
The OCBA was founded in 1901 when ten lawyers met in the newly completed Orange County Courthouse to establish an association to provide mutual support among attorneys, foster professional development, and contribute to the community. By the 1950s it became apparent to its members that there was an ongoing need for legal services for those who were unable to afford them.
LASOC-CLS was established and incorporated on May 9, 1958 by the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) after members of the OCBA recognized Orange County residents had a tremendous need for civil legal services but did not have the means to retain legal counsel. The first office was located at 108 E. 8th Street in Santa Ana, and Patricia Herzog was hired as LASOC’s first staff attorney.
Today, LASOC-CLS offers assistance in areas of law including families and children, protection from abuse, consumer, housing, health, taxes, issues affecting senior citizens, public benefits, work, and immigration. The organization refers thousands of hotline callers to local attorneys annually. With help from pro bono attorneys and law students, there are regularly scheduled clinics and workshops led by attorneys to address issues including domestic violence, worker’s rights, civil harassment, family law, bankruptcy, landlord-tenant law, and SSI. All services are provided free of charge and are available in more than 200 languages.
These services are available thanks to the outstanding commitment of various legal partners, including international law firm Jones Day, also honored at the dinner. Jones Day provides pro bono matters the same high level of attention and professional dedication that it provides its private clients, resulting in an impressive history of pro bono work, public service and community involvement. Jones Day is involved with LASOC-CLS’ programs in the areas of immigration law, safe and affordable housing matters and tax abatement cases.
“The relationship between Jones Day and LASOC-CLS on these and other cases exemplifies how Legal Aid and pro bono attorneys can effectively work together, combining our experience and skills sets, for the good of individual clients and the Orange County community,” said Richard Grabowski, Partner-In-Charge of Jones Day’s Irvine office.
“Come Fly With Us: Celebrating 60 Years of Justice For All” was made possible by the event’s generous sponsors and underwriters. Flight Path Sponsors included Douglas and Barbara Davidson; Hueston Hennigan LLP; Jones Day; Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP; O'Melveny & Myers LLP; and Umberg/Zipser LLP.
About Legal Aid Society of Orange County
The Legal Aid Society of Orange County–Community Legal Services of Southeast Los Angeles County helps our neighbors fight injustice by providing compassionate, high-quality legal aid, and advocating for stronger communities. Headquartered in Santa Ana with regional offices in Anaheim, Compton and Norwalk, LASOC-CLS currently provides services to more than 30,000 community members annually.
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