Worker’s Rights Clinic Opens in San Diego in Time for Labor Day!

Legal Aid at Work staff DeCarol Davis working with a client

We’re thrilled to announce that our collaboration with University of San Diego School of Law moved into high gear this week with the launch of a new Workers’ Rights Clinic — just in time for Labor Day!

The new clinic expands access to free legal advice about employment for low-income workers. LAS-ELC now offers those services by phone and in seven locations statewide. In celebration of our 100th anniversary, we have launched a fundraising campaign to continue this expansion and increase our use of technology in providing free legal services.

“The University of San Diego School of Law is a perfect partner for our newest clinic location. Given the large and diverse community of low-wage workers in the San Diego area, we are grateful that those workers will now have access to free, high-quality legal help through the law school’s vibrant clinical program,” said Mike Gaitley, a senior staff attorney with LAS-ELC and statewide director of our Workers’ Rights Clinic.

USD Associate Dean Margaret A. Dalton said students there have been asking for more opportunities to join clinics addressing the critical need for employment-related legal services. “We are excited to meet that need,” she said. USD announced the partnershipearlier this week.

Managing the clinic will be Maria Tapia-Hernandez, LAS-ELC’s new Worker’s Rights Fellow. Most recently, Maria worked at Bay Area Legal Aid, where she assisted domestic violence survivors with issues such as protective orders, custody, and visitation.

The clinic also builds on a partnership with local nonprofit organizations that will provide referrals and assist in outreach.

Before joining BALA, Maria worked as a clerk with Legal Aid of Napa Valley and the Immigration Center for Women and Children. While in law school, she worked as a student clinic counselor at LAS-ELC, and a student representative at the Civil Justice Clinic at UC Hastings. She received her B.A. in Sociology from UC Berkeley in 2009 and her J.D. from Hastings in 2014.

Learn more about our 100th anniversary here.

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