UC Irvine School of Law teams with agencies to open Employment Law Clinic in Orange County


The Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, the Legal Aid Society of Orange County and UC Irvine School of Law Team Up to Provide Free Legal Services in Orange County


• Michael Gaitley, The Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, 415-864 8848; mgaitley@las-elc.org

• Robert Cohen, The Legal Aid Society of Orange County, 714-571-5233; bcohen@legal-aid.com

• Anna Davis, UC Irvine School of Law, 949-824-2026; adavis@law.uci.edu

SANTA ANA, Calif. (Oct. 3, 2012)—The Workers’ Rights Clinic, devoted to the employment issues of low-wage workers, has opened its doors at 2101 North Tustin Ave in Santa Ana. It runs from 6:00p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every other Tuesday during the fall and spring semesters. People in need of assistance may make an appointment by calling714-571-5200.

Founded by the Legal Aid Society –Employment Law Center (LAS-ELC) and hosted by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC), the Clinic is the first of its kind in Orange County and it provides free legal assistance to low wage workers who are subjected to illegal practices on the job. UC Irvine School of Law students conduct intake interviews and provide assistance under the supervision of Employment Law attorneys.

The Clinic provides a full range of employment law information to workers who face problems, ranging from minimum wage and overtime violations to difficulties securing unemployment insurance benefits. The Clinic also provides counsel to clients regarding workplace discrimination based upon race, national origin, gender, pregnancy, disability, language proficiency and immigration status.

The institutions that have joined to make this new Clinic possible are all committed to providing access to justice to those who are least able to secure it. LAS-ELC operates the Workers’ Rights Clinic in locations throughout California, relying on law students and volunteer supervising attorneys who practice in the field of employment law to deliver expert guidance and advice to clients. LASOC provides civil legal services to low-income individuals and promotes equal access to the justice system through advocacy, legal counseling, innovative self-help services, in-depth legal representation, economic development and community education. Through its Pro Bono Program, UC Irvine School of Law provides law students with training and opportunities to work with underserved communities. This is the first time the collaborative model used for LAS-ELC’s Clinic will be employed in Orange County.

Mike Gaitley, a Senior Staff Attorney at LAS-ELC, stated: “We are so grateful to collaborate with the Legal Aid Society of Orange County and UCI School of Law to provide basic employment law assistance to workers in Orange County. Working together with two such reputable organizations, we expect to be three-times as effective at helping workers who need it the most.”

About the Legal Aid Society -Employment Law Center: The Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center was founded in 1916 and is committed to protecting employment rights and promoting economic self-sufficiency for low-income and disadvantaged workers and their families. Legal Aid provides free legal services, educational materials and direct legal representation addressing racial equality; gender equity; immigration and national origin, and disability rights. For more information, please visit www.las-elc.org.

About the Legal Aid Society of Orange County: The Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been bridging the justice gap for over 50years. LASOC was founded by a group of local attorneys (with volunteer assistance from a group that was then known as Lawyers’ Wives) in 1958 to respond to the needs of the County's poor and elderly. LASOC serves low-income individuals and seniors who reside in all the cities and unincorporated areas in Orange County. For more information, please visit www.legal-aid.com.

About UC Irvine School of Law: UC Irvine School of Law seeks to create the ideal law school for the 21st century by doing the best job of training lawyers for the practice of law at the highest levels of the profession. Recruited from prestigious schools, the faculty ranked seventh in the country in scholarly impact in a recent study. The student body has overall admissions statistics comparable to those of student bodies at top 20 law schools. The school's innovative curriculum stresses hands-on learning, interdisciplinary study and public service. For more information, please visit www.law.uci.edu.