Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
FOUNDATION- Public Interest Grant
Share |




Thank you for your interest in applying for the 2017 Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (“WLALA”) Fran Kandel Public Interest Grant (“Kandel Grant”). The WLALA Foundation is a non-profit charitable corporation created to increase the utility of the law as an instrument of social justice. The WLALA Foundation awards summer grants to law students who develop and implement a project in the field of public interest law to benefit people in the greater Los Angeles area, in the spirit of Fran Kandel.

Who is Fran Kandel?[1]

Fran is remembered as animated, generous, loving, honest, indomitable, celebrating of diversity, brilliant, and for her love of “humanity in general and people in particular.” Fran graduated with highest honors from Tufts University in 1954 and earned a Master's Degree from Columbia University. She moved to Los Angeles in 1960 and taught social studies to troubled teenage girls. After raising her children, she attended UCLA School of Law. She served as an attorney for the California Court of Appeals from 1976 to 1988 and the California Appellate Project until 1993. Fran was WLALA's President (1989-1990), a Pro Bono Service Awardee in 1993 and 1994 for work with Salvadoran refugees at El Rescate, the 1999 WLALA Distinguished Service Award recipient, and a founder of the WLALA public interest grant program in 1985. She received the New Volunteer of the Year award from the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law in 1994 and was honored by the Legal Services Trust Fund Commission in 1996. Fran chaired the Prisoners Committee of the State Bar Legal Services Section, where she also served for 20 years, and actively promoted justice as a trustee, governor, or member of various other Bar committees and legal associations. She believed and proved that one person's life can make the world better. 

What is the Fran Kandel Public Interest Grant?

The Kandel Grant enables law students to devote time to summer public interest projects and exposes them to legal and social concerns of disadvantaged citizens that are not ordinarily experienced in traditional law practices. The Kandel Grant program is not designed to support a summer public interest job, as worthy as one is, but rather to fund a particular project with a tangible outcome.  

Each applicant sets a project budget, which includes a stipend and expenses, for a maximum Kandel Grant of $5,000. The Kandel Grant may be received in addition to school-based or other summer public interest funding, but may not be used to duplicate a project that would otherwise already be covered by existing funding. Half of the stipend is paid at the beginning of the summer and half paid upon full completion of the grant project; reimbursement of project costs will be paid up to the maximum of the proposed and approved budget.

The purpose of the Kandel Grant is to:

             Provide help to the disadvantaged by funding original projects that will directly benefit the under-represented in the greater Los Angeles area;

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

             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.

Strong preference is given to applicants who have the support of a sponsoring organization and can demonstrate their ability to timely complete the project. It is advantageous for an applicant to have arranged in advance for an organization or suitable individual to supervise and guide his or her work on a project. The WLALA Foundation will not consider proposals for purely academic research projects, and the Kandel Grant is not intended to fund a summer clerkship or externship.

What are examples of past projects?

Past Kandel Grant projects have included the preparation or creation of the following:     

An educational video and presentation for young women informing them of their rights to equal access to sports under Title IX;

A resource guide for parents and presentation regarding special education services available to children with cancer;

A pamphlet and presentation to help families resolve student truancy citations and to provide truancy-related resources;

A resource guide and presentation regarding California’s Right to Know End-of-Life Options Act and legal end-of-life options;

A video to guide victims of domestic violence through the process of obtaining a restraining order pro se;

A resource guide for adult children caring for elderly parents in the Los Angeles area;

An easy to understand “roadmap” to assist self-represented litigants with their divorce and child custody cases in the Los Angeles Superior Court;

A “know your rights” handbook for employment discrimination issues faced by gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals;

An educational coloring book to teach children in the dependency court who lawyers are and why they have one;

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;

A manual informing parents of children with medically induced learning disabilities of their rights to special educational benefits under California law;

A pamphlet entitled “Straight Talk to Teens in Foster Care About Mental Health Options in Los Angeles County;”

A resource manual for child victims of sexual abuse;

Materials informing AIDS-afflicted workers of their rights in the workplace;


Materials to help homeless families receive “Aid to Families with Dependent Children” benefits to provide temporary shelter and permanent housing;

A Spanish-language booklet to educate Central American refugee women about their legal rights and available resources;

A “know your rights” brochures in English, Spanish, and Chinese addressing the needs of, and community resources available to, immigrant and refugee battered women; and

A resource guide for domestic violence survivors.

Additional information about previous Kandel Grant recipients can be found at

What are the requirements to receive the Kandel Grant?

Completion requires recipients to (1) present the finished project three times to different groups that would most benefit from the information provided; and/or (2) present the finished project one or two times to different relevant groups and prepare an article to be published in the WLALA newsletter and/or other relevant journal, newsletter, or publication describing the completed project.

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.

How do I Apply?

Attached is the Kandel Grant Application.  Your application, essays, a resume, and two letters of recommendation must be received by 5:00 p.m., Friday, March 10, 2017.   A hard copy of the application can be found HERE.

Please return to:         

 Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles

 634 S. Spring Street, Suite 617

Los Angeles, CA 90014



Applications may be submitted by email or mail so long as received before the deadline of March 10, 2017.  Grant applications that do not comply with the requirements detailed herein will not be included in the evaluation process.  Lack of approval should not be considered a reflection on the project's merit.


Contact Co-Chairs of WLALA's Grant Committee:

Nancy Ramirez                                                           Sarah Quist / (213) 351-7534 / (213) 485-0439 ext. 5474

[1] Excerpts from the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law Volunteer Awards Program and Introduction; and

Community Search
Sign In
Sign In securely