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LAW STUDENTS - Public Interest Grant
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The WLALA Foundation is a non-profit charitable corporation established by the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles ("WLALA") to increase the utility of the law as an instrument of social justice.  The Foundation awards the WLALA Fran Kandel Public Interest Grant (formerly known as the WLALA Foundation Public Action Grant) to law students for projects that make governmental and social institutions and agencies more accessible and responsive to members of society whose interests are not otherwise adequately recognized or asserted.  Since its incorporation in 1985, the Foundation has funded projects with a strong emphasis on public service.  Through its activities, the Foundation seeks to achieve three specific goals:
          1.  Provide help to the disadvantaged by funding project that will directly benefit 
               the under-represented in the greater Los Angeles area:

          2.  Educate and expose law students to legal concerns affecting the 
               disadvantaged in areas outside of traditional legal practices; and

          3.  Encourage the legal community's involvement in public interest law by 
               funding students who show the capability of and commitment to assisting 
               those in need.
Recent representative grant projects have included:
  • Compilation of a resource guide for adult children caring for elderly parents in the Los Angeles area;
  • Production of a "know your rights" handbook for employment discrimination issues faced by gay, lesbian and transgender individuals;
  • Creation of an educational coloring book to teach children in the dependency court who lawyers are and why they have one;
  • Creation of a flyer informing expecting parents about a 2003 California law permitting parents to surrender babies within three days of birth without any negative legal ramifications to the parents;
  • Production of a manual informing parents of children with medically induced  learning disabilities of their rights to special educational benefits under California law;
  • Creation of a pamphlet entitled: "Straight Talk to Teens in Foster Care About Mental Health Options in Los Angeles County"'
  • Development of a resource a manual for child victims of sexual abuse;
  • Preparation of materials informing AIDS-afflicted workers of their rights in the workplace;
  • Production of materials to help homeless families receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children  benefits to provide temporary shelter and permanent housing;
  • Development of a concise Spanish-language booklet to educate Central American refugee women about their legal rights and available resources;
  • Production of "know your rights" brochure in English, Spanish, and Chinese addressing the needs of, and community resources available to, immigrant and refugee battered women;
  • Production of a resource guide for domestic violence survivors;
  • Production of an educational brochure on the rights of disabled children and the special education resources of the California public school system;
  • Development of a "Breast Cancer Patient's and Survivors' Guide to Employment and Debtor Rights."
  • Creation of a comprehensive guide to legal, mental health and community resources for homeless and runaway youth with mental health concerns.
  •  Production and distribution of an easy to understand "roadmap" to assist self-represented litigants with their divorce and child custody cases in the Los Angeles Superior Court;
The WLALA Fran Kandel Public Interest Grant program enables law students to devote time to public interest projects and exposes them to legal and social concerns of disadvantaged citizens that are not ordinarily experienced in traditional law practices.  The Grant program is designed not to support a summer public interest job, as worthy as one is, but rather to fund a particular project with a tangible outcome.
Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m., Friday, March 13, 2009.
Questions about the 2008 WLALA Fran Kandel Public Interest Grant should be directed to the Co-Chair of WLALA’s Grant Committee:
Lorna De Bono
Law Offices of Catherine Haight
6080 Center Dr, 6FL
Los Angeles, CA 90045-1574
(310) 242-5566
Jennifer W. Leland
Peitzman, Weg & Kampinsky LLP
10100 Santa Monica Blvd., Ste. 1450
Los Angeles, CA 90067
(310) 712-0057

Please click here for a printable version of the application.

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