Praise for Winter Trip 2013

By Kevin Guzik, 1L

The legal aid alternative winter break trip in Santa Cruz was a great learning experience. We worked for two days at the Watsonville Law Center helping mainly low income individuals get former convictions off of their record. They came to us with the hopes of applying for better jobs, and demonstrating that they are on a new path to better themselves and their community. Our primary work revolved around record clearance, and we provided the clinic with intake, document drafting and research. It was really interesting working alongside supervising attorneys, and actually knowing that we are directly making a difference in these peoples lives. Not only did we do legal work, but we heard presentations from former convicts about how this type of legal work truly makes a difference, and they tried to impart on us a need for better social and community justice to keep people off of the streets and in schools. I truly enjoyed our work at the clinic, exploring Santa Cruz, and am excited for the next trip that LAAB has to offer.

 

By Will Brotherson, 1L

USC Law’s Legal Aid Alternative Breaks Project (LAAB) donated over 200 hours of time this Winter to help low-income members of a migrant, central-coast farming community expunge their burdensome criminal histories during LAAB’s Winter Alternative Break Trip.  LAAB took 14 students in total to Watsonville, CA to volunteer with the Watsonville Law Center in a special 2-day long Record Clearance Clinic.  Students went through an intensive orientation on the first day that served as their introduction to the many facets of the Watsonville Law Center, the distinct legal issues that challenge low-income migrant farm communities like Watsonville, and the relief the Center’s Record Clearance Project can provide to people struggling to overcome their criminal histories.  The team got right to work after the orientation and begun preparing expungement packets for clients with multiple criminal convictions on their record.  Students met with the clients whose files they had been working with the next day and gave them an overview of what the next steps in the process would be before having them read through and sign the paperwork.
As a former Watsonville Law Center intern, I was amazed to see the huge impact the group was able to have in such a short amount of time.  Some of the clients the group helped had been on the waiting list since before I started my internship in March of 2013.  While the Center is an impressive efficient non-profit legal machine, 200 free hours of work in a two-day period is an invaluable blessing for any non-profit.  It was truly rewarding to have the opportunity to give back to an organization that had given me such a great internship experience.  There is nothing quite like helping provide an opportunity for my fellow law students to learn invaluable skills while benefiting a community that I am forever connected to.  After having this great of a time with LAAB in Watsonville, I can only imagine how much fun volunteering in New Orleans will be.

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Winter Trip 2013

LAAB is happy to report back from another successful Legal Aid Alternative Breaks trip. LAAB took 15 students to work at the Watsonville Law Center in Watsonville, CA, over Winter Break. Students took on criminal records expungement clients and helped them prepare both mandatory and discretionary expungement packets. When we weren’t working hard, we enjoyed the delicious food and fun that Santa Cruz has to offer. All around a great trip! Group3 Orientation Poster

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Poker Night Fundraiser A Huge Success

LAAB hosted a poker night at USC Law in order to raise funds for our Winter and Spring trips. We had a great time, and are grateful to everyone who came and had a blast!

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Winter Trip 2013!

For our 2013 Winter Trip, LAAB will be traveling to Santa Cruz, CA to work with the Watsonville Law Center in their Criminal Record Clearance Project.  LAAB will help clients with criminal expungements and license reinstatements. The Watsonville Law Center serves primarily the local low-income migrant community, as well as other low-income members of the community.

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LAAB Takes NYC

Greetings all!

The Board is happy to report that LAAB’s first trip to New York was a success! Many of our members spent the week providing legal aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy with New York Legal Assistance Group, South Brooklyn Legal Services, and New York City Bar Association-City Bar Justice Center. Still more of our members spent the week working with New York Cares to tear down and remove mold from homes affected by Sandy. All in all it was a worthwhile and fantastic experience (snow and all)!

 

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General Meeting Friday 9/14 at Lunch

Welcome back, everyone! Hope everybody had a nice, long, relaxing summer. We will be having our first meeting of the year this Friday, September 14 at lunch in room 101. Come on out, meet the new board, eat some free food, and hear about the great events and trips planned for this year.

 

See you all there!

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