WRC News 2013 - Clinic Developments

LAS-ELC

Putting Justice to Work

 The Workers’ Rights Clinic Newsletter

Mike Gaitley

BY MIKE GAITLEY

Dear Friends,

Good news: we’re expanding! In addition to our long-time locations in San Francisco, Berkeley, and San Jose, we have now added Fresno and Santa Ana (Orange County) to our roster of Workers’ Rights Clinic sites. These new locations have greatly enhanced the Clinic’s ability to provide basic information and referrals to workers throughout the State.

Clinic Expansion

Our new Fresno location was created in large part by the efforts of Ana de Alba, one of my former Clinic students from Boalt who relocated to the Central Valley in 2007 to work for the firm of Lang, Richert & Patch. With her firm’s support and in close collaboration with Central California Legal Services and the Consulate of Mexico in Fresno, we launched our new site in April, 2012 at CCLS’s offices in downtown Fresno.

Advising Central Valley workers has been eye-opening. The diversity of occupations, including many in the agricultural and cannery industries, means that our clients’ workplace issues are quite different than the questions presented at our mostly urban Bay Area locations. Also unlike our other Clinic locations, the Fresno site is staffed entirely by volunteer lawyers from the local bar. The spirit of volunteerism of these lawyers has been incredibly inspiring.

Our newest location, in Santa Ana (Orange County), debuted in August, 2012. Hosted by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County and staffed by law students from UC-Irvine as part of their extensive Pro Bono Program, this newest clinic site has proven so popular with the students that we anticipate having to maintain a waiting list.

Other Developments

The Clinic continues to operate with its normal compliment of students and attorneys at its original locations. We are about to publish the most recent edition of the Employment Law Manual, which will include many updates as a result of a flurry of legislation and cases affecting low-wage workers. Finally, we recently hired a new Clinic Coordinator, Leslie Chaires, who is fluent in Spanish and who will conduct outreach in the Spanish-speaking community in addition to managing the administration of the Clinic.

Thank You

I am so grateful for the contributions many of you have made, both with your time and your resources, to ensure that the Workers’ Rights Clinic thrives regardless of the economic climate. Without question, the safety net afforded by our Clinic exists because of all of you.

My best regards,
Mike Gaitley