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FOUNDATION- Public Interest Grant
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Public Interest Grant

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:

   - Preparation of a resource guide for parents and presentation regarding special education services available to children with cancer;

   - Creation of a pamphlet and presentation to help families resolve student truancy citations and to provide resources regarding truancy-related issues; to view this pamphlet, please CLICK HERE. For Spanish, CLICK HERE.

   - Preparation of a resource guide and presentation regarding California’s Right to Know End-of-Life Options Act and available, legal end-of-life options; to view this guide, please CLICK HERE.

   - Creation of a video to guide victims of domestic violence through the process of obtaining a restraining order pro se.  To view the video in English, please CLICK HERE.  To view the video in Spanish, please CLICK HERE.

   - A coloring book for children waiting in Children's Court that explains to them who lawyers are, why they have one, and eases the often lengthy wait to be called for their appearance;

   - Compilation of a resource guide for adult children caring for elderly parents in the Los Angeles area;

   - 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 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" brochures 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";

   - Development of a brochure for parents describing the dependency court process;

   - Development of documentary evidence packets for pro per Guatemalan and Salvadoran immigrants to use to prove "extreme hardship" in applying for resident status under VAWA and NACARA; and

   - 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;

   - Production of a "know your rights” handbook for employment discrimination issues faced by gay, lesbian and transgender individuals; 

   - Creation of a comprehensive guide to legal, mental health and community resources for homeless and runaway youth with mental health concerns.

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.

All right, title, and interest in and to the final work product developed as a result of the WLALA Foundation’s Fran Kandel Public Interest Grant program will be held by WLALA, subject to limited rights of the law students who develop the work product.

To obtain a hard copy of the application, please CLICK HERE.  Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2015. 

Questions about the WLALA Fran Kandel Public Interest Grant should be directed to the Co-Chairs of WLALA’s Grant Committee:

Ruth Pinkel                     
Phone: (213) 894-6077    

Meehan Rasch                   
Phone: (213) 830-7317

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