For Andrea, a past decision to ensure her future in law has left her in a
stressed and distressful present. Concerned over how it might affect her job
prospects, she would not allow use of her real name. And there is reason for
concern: She’s been laid off twice since her 2009 law school graduation,
including from a position where she earned $20 an hour at a small firm
practicing as a licensed attorney.
It was humiliating. The young lawyer had put in more than a hundred hours on
the brief. He had a novel interpretation of the appliance safety act that he
was urging his firm to adopt in an important case. One of his memos had caught
the attention of their client’s chief counsel, who suggested a strategy
conference to discuss the young lawyer’s position.
Bringing with her a deep
understanding of disparities within the American justice system, Sonia
Gonzales’ self-imposed goal as the new executive director of the
California Bar Foundation is to listen. Listening, explained the
former acting head of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San
Francisco Bay Area, is key to expanding the universe of those who support the
foundation’s mission to increase access to justice. Gonzales’
official first day with the foundation was January 17.
The State Bar
of California is seeking nominations for the 2012 President’s Pro Bono
Awards and the Loren Miller Legal Services Award. Both recognize extraordinary
efforts to provide high-quality legal services to low-income Californians.
The Lawyers Club of San Diego will mark “40 Years
of Making Dreams a Reality” at its annual dinner, 5pm-8:30pm, Wednesday,
May 16, US Grant Hotel, 326 Broadway, San Diego. The keynote speaker is
scheduled to be California Chief Justice Tani
Cantil-Sakauye. For more information: Vicky 619-595-0650