Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law Volunteers Aid Poorest Families in LA

According to a year end 2013 report, volunteers for the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law get credit for helping some of the poorest families in Los Angeles. Living on a monthly average income of $965, a mother or father and child at the Center are subsisting on 30% less cash than the U.S. Poverty rate sets for a household of this size. Unable to make ends-meet, clients at the Center cannot afford basic necessities like rent and medical care, much less consider payment for a lawyer to help address critical family problems such as stopping domestic violence and securing economic support. That’s where the Center’s 315 volunteers, primarily lawyers and law students, stepped in providing almost 15,000 hours of donated legal service during the past year. Over 900 indigent individuals all received legal advice, some for initial consultation and referral, others for continuing in-depth assistance and in some cases, representation. For those clients with active cases, volunteers and staff provided an average of 43 hours of legal assistance per case. Volunteers at the Center’s office handled 1,000 pro per appointments and lawyers aided 116 clients on the pro bono panel for representation and specialized assistance. In addition, volunteers joined the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law staff at three neighborhood outreach sites and two community colleges throughout all of calendar year 2013, making the legal services more accessible to poor individuals.


Pictured left: Volunteer Attorney Karen Rosin; Staff Attorney Holly Leonard; Volunteer Attorney Nora Kavner; and Volunteer Attorney Mercy Fresno.