Legal Aid Clinic Update
Pepperdine students serving in the Pepperdine Legal Aid Clinic (PLAC) have risen to the challenge of Covid-19 with impressive creativity. We remain deeply committed to providing much-needed legal services in the heart of skid row, even as we are navigating a Covid-19 world. Sadly, but not surprisingly, our host agency was greatly affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Initially, it was nearly impossible to make contact with current and prospective clients, as most clients living on skid row were in quarantine, and the case managers who act as our liaisons, were off site as well.
Pivoting to a virtual model, clinic students set out to call every client previously served in the past year to inquire about their potential needs. As a result of this outreach, the clinic was able to assist nearly 30 clients during a relative shutdown over the summer, and assisted 96 clients with 119 matters overall. Thankfully, the outbreak has subsided, and slowly, the communication channels between clients/case managers have been restored.
The clinic is excited to partner with Los Angeles City Attorney's HEART (Homeless Engagement and Response Team) in an effort to virtually connect people experiencing homelessness with critical legal services that can no longer be easily accessed on the ground. Clinic students act as a conduit between homeless individuals seeking housing and job opportunities and the City Attorney's vital program. PLAC enrolled its first clients in HEART in September.
Professor Brittany Stringfellow-Otey has directed the clinic and overseen student work for over 15 years.
For more information, visit: https://law.pepperdine.edu/experiential-learning/clinical-education/clinics/legal-aid-clinic/.