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Loeb & Loeb Celebrates National Pro Bono Week with Two Legal Aid Clinics, Plus More

Loeb & Loeb is pleased to announce that the firm hosted two pro bono legal clinics in honor of the American Bar Association’s 2023 National Celebration of Pro Bono, an annual event held during the last week of October to encourage communities to organize events offering pro bono legal services. The firm's two clinics focused on offering essential legal assistance to refugees and individuals within the LGBTQ+ community.

Adjustment of Status Clinic for Ukrainian and Salvadoran Refugees

Five Loeb lawyers collaborated with 16 volunteers from Paramount Global on October 24 to launch a virtual Adjustment of Status pro bono clinic. An Adjustment of Status is the process used to apply for lawful permanent resident status (also known as applying for a Green Card). The ongoing clinic will assist seven refugees—four individuals from Ukraine (including a family of three) and three from El Salvador (including a sibling pair)—who are clients of HIAS. Founded in 1881, HIAS is an international Jewish humanitarian organization providing critical support to refugees, asylum seekers and other forcibly displaced people around the world.

The virtual clinic kicked off with a CLE training led by HIAS about applying for Adjustment of Status, followed by initial team meetings. A total of five pro bono teams are moving forward, and each team is expected to spend 10-15 hours over a few months to prepare the Adjustment of Status applications for the seven clients. 

The Loeb pro bono team includes partners Safia Hussain and Alex Weniger-Araujo and associates Todd Densen, Evan Saunders and Daniela Spencer

Advance Health Care Directives Clinic for LGBTQ+ Community

In addition, a team of five Loeb Trusts & Estates lawyers partnered with seven volunteers from TransUnion on October 25 to provide an in-person Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) pro bono legal clinic in the Los Angeles office. This legal aid was extended to five LGBTQIA+ individuals residing in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, all clients of Inland Counties Legal Services (ICLS). ICLS, established in 1958, is a nonprofit legal aid organization dedicated to narrowing the justice gap for individuals with limited incomes, disabilities or those over the age of 60.

During the clinic, the Loeb and TransUnion lawyers offered invaluable counsel regarding AHCDs, which are formally documented instructions specifying how an individual wishes medical decisions to be handled in the event they are unable to make them themselves. The guidance extended to emphasizing the significance of AHCDs in relation to gender identity. Additionally, the lawyers provided advice to the five clients on the selection of an agent for their AHCDs and assisted in preparing the necessary documentation. 

The Loeb pro bono team includes Danielle Miller, deputy chair of the Trusts & Estates practice; partner Leah Bishop; senior counsels Sasha Bass and Annette Meyerson; and associate Kelly Cooksey.

Other Pro Bono Initiatives

Apart from the celebratory national pro bono week, Loeb organized two additional pro bono initiatives in October. First, on October 19 in Los Angeles, the firm collaborated with legal aid organization Bet Tzedek for a presentation about the nonprofit’s Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic, a limited-scope conservatorship project addressing the responsibilities incumbent upon individuals appointed as conservators over their loved ones. The initiative aims to ensure that conservators effectively carry out their duties on behalf of the conservatee, who is typically a family member needing additional support. 

Bet Tzedek lawyers Bertha Hayden and Cathy Millstein presented to Loeb lawyers and paralegals on how they can assist with the project. Active participation involves providing pro bono legal guidance to assist families appointed as limited-scope conservators for a developmentally disabled family member, aiding them in meeting their post-appointment responsibilities.

Furthermore, on October 13, Loeb lawyers attended a training session with the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA) regarding the organization’s Voting Rights Clearinghouse Database Project. This endeavor, led by the University of Michigan, aims to compile a comprehensive database encompassing all legal cases pertaining to voting rights, spanning both state and federal jurisdictions, for the benefit of the general public. The purpose is to facilitate easy access to such information, particularly in the lead-up to election years, to explore relevant case precedents. 

In order to achieve this, dedicated volunteers will meticulously review identified cases pertaining to voting rights, craft concise case summaries and maintain the database. Nine Loeb lawyers have stepped up to volunteer for this important project, and they will have the flexibility to manage their contributions based on their availability, allowing them to address tasks and responsibilities as they arise.

The firm will carry on with its pro bono initiatives throughout the remainder of 2023. The next clinic is scheduled for November 9, in collaboration with Amazon, to assist clients from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.