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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Legal Aid Clinic at Union Rescue Mission

COVID-19 Pandemic Updates

In order to protect the health of our clients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, Pepperdine Legal Aid and Low Income Taxpayer Clinics have closed their office to the public until further notice. Click here for information on how to seek services from the Clinics through phone appointments. 

Note to Students for Fall 2020: All client-facing work will be conducted virtually rather than at the Union Rescue Mission. 

Our Work

In the Legal Aid Clinic, students seek justice on behalf of those whose voices are not easily heard. Through partnerships with Union Rescue Mission and Covenant House of California, the Legal Aid Clinic provides direct legal assistance to teens and adults who are overcoming homelessness and poverty in Hollywood and Los Angeles' Skid Row.

From day one, clinic students are face to face with those in need, building rapport, interviewing and fact finding, and guiding vulnerable clients as they navigate the judicial system or government bureaucracy. Students assist clients with pressing legal issues that threaten their stability, including 

  • re-entry legal services, including seeking the dismissal of criminal convictions;
  • family law issues relating to child support, child custody and visitation;
  • human trafficking and victim advocacy;
  • resolution of warrants;
  • assistance with government benefits;
  • consumer and debt issues.

Student Experience

In the Clinic seminar, students explore social, historical, and political complexities contributing to poverty. With intensive classroom instruction and guidance, students perform live client interviewing and counseling, legal research, motion preparation, and client representation in court. In addition, the clinic presents legal education programs to various social service organizations and community groups.

Students develop their lawyering skills, grow in cross-cultural competencies, and discover their responsibility for future pro bono work. Clinic alums pursue a wide variety of career choices in both the public and private sector, but regularly cite participation in the Legal Aid Clinic as a highly transferable, rewarding, and formative law school experience.

Professor Brittany Stringfellow-Otey has directed the clinic and overseen student work for over 15 years. For further information about the Clinic, please contact Professor Stringfellow-Otey at 213.673.4831 or brittany.stringfellow@pepperdine.edu.