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FEBRUARY 2011 NEWSLETTER - Domestic Violence Project
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WLALA Joins LACBA's Domestic Violence Project in Celebrating 25 Years of Service

On March 3, 2011, the Los Angeles County Bar Association will host a gala event and fundraiser to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of LACBA’s Domestic Violence Project (the “Project”).  The mission of the Project is to provide direct legal services to the vulnerable population of domestic violence victims.  The Project primarily provides assistance with the preparation and filing of temporary restraining orders.  In addition, the Project helps to prepare victims for their hearings, assists them with interaction with local law enforcement, and provides them with contacts to local shelters for safety.  The Project also provides training for local law enforcement and a CLE domestic violence training session two times per year. 
The Project was first established in 1986, at the Los Angeles Superior Court in downtown Los Angeles.  In 1992, the Project expanded to the Superior Court located in Pasadena.  The Project operates out of dedicated domestic violence courtrooms, and in the last 25 years, the Project has helped thousands of victims, with approximately 9,000 assisted in 2010.
How can you help?  As a WLALA member, you may purchase tickets and attend the event, help promote the event amongst your colleagues and network, or you may make an individual donation.  Although the Project operates out of the Los Angeles Superior Courts, it receives no government funding, and relies heavily on attorney volunteer services and donations to provide much needed supplies.  For example, a donation of $50 provides 35 Kleenex tissue boxes to be placed in victim interview cubicles, and a donation of $250 will fund the purchase of a digital camera to take photos of victims’ injuries to include in their petitions for a temporary restraining order.  As a volunteer with the Project for approximately 12 months, I used the camera more than once to capture the disturbing images of physical abuse.  I also made good use of the Kleenex.
Since domestic violence disproportionately affects women (approximately 80% of the Project’s clients are female), as women lawyers we are in a unique position to provide our skills and resources to the victims of this senseless crime.  Please join us in promoting the LACBA Domestic Violence Project and its 25th Anniversary event.
The next domestic violence training seminar and CLE will be held at LACBA on March 29, 2011, with guest speaker the Honorable Marjorie Steinberg.  Your participation in the LACBA training session will satisfy the training requirements for WLALA’s Domestic Violence clinic.  Please contact one of the co-chairs if you have any questions.  We are always looking for volunteers, so take this opportunity to join us!   For more information on the training, please see the LACBA website, and if you would like to volunteer at WLALA’s DV Clinic, please contact co-chairs Melanie Natasha Henry at and Elena Min at
Melanie Natasha Henry is the co-chair of the Domestic Violence Project.  Ms. Henry is an associate at Crowell & Moring LLP.