UCI Law and Inland Counties Legal Services Announce Joint Pro Bono Initiative


IRVINE, Calif., October 17, 2014 — The University of California, Irvine School of Law announces Coachella Saturday Justice, an innovative collaboration with Inland Counties Legal Services (ICLS), to provide a free bimonthly family law clinic for low-income residents in the Coachella Valley.

Coachella Saturday Justice will hold its first clinic on Oct. 25, 2014, at ICLS’ Indio office located at 82632C U.S. Highway 111, Indio, CA 92201, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. ICLS and volunteer attorneys will supervise the UC Irvine School of Law student volunteers in this pro bono partnership. Additional clinics will be offered on the following dates in 2015: Jan. 24, March 21, May 16, July 18 and Sept. 26.

“An opportunity to team up with the ICLS in the Coachella Valley to provide much needed legal services to the underrepresented and to increase experiential learning opportunities for UCI Law students is a tremendous win-win,” said Anna Davis, UCI Law Director of Public Interest Programs.

UC Irvine School of Law students in the first-year Lawyering Skills class will perform intake interviews and receive feedback from the attorney supervisors as part of the class for the January and March clinics. Local law firms will be invited to help provide pro bono services during the July clinic.

The Coachella Saturday Justice clinic is the most recent effort by UCI Law to assist residents of the Coachella Valley in need of legal assistance. The Community and Economic Development Clinic at UCI Law has been involved in ongoing representation on behalf of mobile-home park residents in the Coachella Valley, helping the residents with a variety of problems. Through this work, the Community and Economic Development Clinic has become one of the primary resources in Southern California for pro bono legal services to mobile-home park residents. Students and UCI Law faculty travel to these sites to meet with clients, to testify at public hearings and to appear in court.

The Coachella Valley has a strong need for pro bono legal assistance. San Bernardino, which is covered by ICLS, is the second poorest Congressional District. The unemployment rate in Indio is above 10 percent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Inland Empire is No. 1 in poverty among the nation’s 25 largest metropolitan areas, with 1 in 4 children living in poverty.

”The opportunity to expose law students and volunteer attorneys to the legal needs of rural legal aid clients through this joint pro bono initiative will provide us with additional resources to provide legal services to individuals and families in our client community. We are thrilled by the chance to work with local attorneys and the UC Irvine School of Law in this endeavor,” said Ugochi Anaebere-Nicholson, Managing Attorney with ICLS’ Indio Branch Office, where these clinics will be held.

Coachella Valley residents may contact Inland Counties Legal Services, which are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., at either 760-342-1591 or 951-774-4416 to conduct an eligibility screening for an appointment.

Attorney volunteers are also needed to help staff the clinics. To sign up to volunteer, please contact Ugochi Anaebere-Nicholson at 951-774-4411 or uanaebere@icls.org.

About UC Irvine School of Law
UCI Law, which received full accreditation from the ABA effective June 6, 2014, is an innovative law school focused on educating talented and passionate lawyers driven by professional excellence, intellectual rigor and a commitment to enrich our communities through public service. UCI Law is a collegial environment, and our faculty is comprised of accomplished, nationally-ranked thought leaders from around the country with a broad range of expertise. More about the Law School is available at law.uci.edu.
Contact: Colleen Taricani, Assistant Dean for Communications, (949) 824-3063, ctaricani@law.uci.edu

About Inland Counties Legal Services
Inland Counties Legal Services (ICLS) provides free quality legal services to low income individuals in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Since 1958, ICLS has promoted “Equal Access to Justice” through advocacy, legal counseling, innovative self-help services, community education and in-depth legal representation. ICLS operates five branch offices in Riverside, Indio, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga and Victorville as well as a Housing Hotline. ICLS attorneys and paralegals use legal skills to solve problems in health care, public benefits, housing, family, consumer, education and employment law.
Contact: Ugochi Anaebere-Nicholson, (951) 774-4411, uanaebere@icls.org