September 2012 - Serving the Community
by Dimetria A. Jackson
Every year members of the OCBA make a positive impact on the Orange County community by participating in community service activities, including beach cleanups, volunteering at Orangewood Children and Family Center, harvesting vegetables to benefit Orange County families in need, and providing financial grants to law-related non-profit organizations through the OCBA Charitable Fund. Perhaps you have participated in a community outreach activity, attended or sponsored the Kenneth Lae Golf Tournament, or donated to the Charitable Fund this year. If not, there is still time to make a donation to the Charitable Fund, participate in an upcoming community service activity, and sponsor and attend the Charitable Fund’s Fall Fundraiser on November 2nd.
OCBA Charitable Fund
Since 1995, the OCBA Charitable Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization and the philanthropic arm of the OCBA, has been dedicated to improving our community and the legal profession by making monetary contributions to certain Orange County law-related community service organizations. Beneficiaries have included the Public Law Center, VIP Mentors, the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County, and the UCI Pre-Law Outreach Program, among others. This year, the OCBA Charitable Fund expanded its commitment to the community by awarding bar review scholarships to law students.
The OCBA Charitable Fund provides grants to organizations with goals and objectives that are aligned with the OCBA’s mission to improve the Orange County community and legal profession by facilitating equal access to justice for all.
This year, John Hueston, President of the Charitable Fund, and I presented grants totaling $117,000 to the following organizations:
- $37,500 – Constitutional Rights Foundation, Orange County
- $32,500 – Public Law Center (plus another $45K from OCBA/LRIS)
- $25,000 – UCI Saturday Academy of Law
- $15,000 – UCI Pre-Law Outreach Program
- $ 3,000 – Orange County Bar Foundation
- $ 2,000 – Asian Pacific American Legal Center
- $ 2,000 – Laura’s House
In June, the OCBA and its Charitable Fund were honored by the Public Law Center as the 2012 Community Partner of the Year. For over 30 years, the OCBA has had an ongoing relationship with PLC, including shared programming, trainings, and clinics. The Charitable Fund and the OCBA Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS), through donations of the net revenues from forwarding fees, have donated over $1 million dollars in support to PLC.
Bar Review Scholarships
As a member of the Scholarship Committee, we were tasked with reviewing several applications and selecting nine law students to receive the OCBA Charitable Fund BAR/BRI bar review scholarships. The scholarships, valued at over $3500, were awarded to OCBA law student members who attended ABA-accredited, Orange County-based law schools. The recipients were selected based on academic achievement, financial need, demonstrated leadership skills, and a commitment to public service. Scholarships were awarded to five Chapman University School of Law students: Michelle A. Landenberger, Nathan Brown, Samantha Myro, Cecilia Hong, and Priscilla Shirkanloo; three Western State College of Law students: Jimmy Cabral, Trinette Henry, and Katayoun (Kathy) Fazli; and Ghulam Hashimi of Whittier Law School. Hopefully, with your support this year, the Charitable Fund will be able to provide bar stipends and additional scholarships to graduating law students.
With your donations this year, the Charitable Fund will be able to continually support public service organizations, as well as fund new and innovative programs that promote access to justice, and provide additional bar review scholarships and stipends to help deserving law students, many of whom are heavily indebted with school loans, prepare for the California bar exam.
“Blues & Brews”
Plans are currently underway for the Charitable Fund’s Fall Fundraiser, scheduled for November 2, 2012, at Strawberry Farms Golf Club, in Irvine. This year, the Gala Committee is planning a “Blues & Brews” themed event, with entertainment provided by Blues Defenders. Wear your jeans, while raising money to support the community through sponsorships, ticket purchases, and tax-deductible donations. You can register online at www.ocbar.org.
Through programs sponsored by the OCBA and its Community Outreach Committee, members have actively contributed their time and financial resources to make a positive difference in our community. Members donated duffels and suitcases to support the luggage drive, held in conjunction with OC4Kids, a program to benefit foster kids. Many children in foster care have few personal belongings and when they move between families, they must carry their possessions in grocery or garbage bags. The luggage donated by OCBA members helps to make a small difference in their lives. The Community Outreach Committee, in partnership with the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center and the Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAPOC), co-sponsored the Backpacks for Success and School Supplies Drive, in which members donated backpacks and supplies to be distributed to low-income students prior to the 2012-2013 school year. According to the CAPOC, 78% of low-income students begin the school year with no or inadequate school supplies, placing the children and the teacher at a disadvantage.
Please Join Us
If you are interested in participating in the Second Harvest Food Bank this month, or other upcoming events, please check the OCBA calendar for event details and registration on www.ocbar.org.
In 2013, I will serve as President of the OCBA Charitable Fund. If you have suggestions on how to increase member donations, or if you are interested in serving on the Charitable Fund Board, the Golf Committee, or Gala Committee, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your organization is interested in applying for a grant, please contact the Charitable Fund for information. The application deadline is December 7, 2012.
I look forward to seeing you all at the “Blues & Brews” event on November 2nd.
Dimetria A. Jackson is the 2012 President of the Orange County Bar Association, a freelance attorney with Montage Legal Group, handling corporate transactional matters, and the Chief Executive Officer of redBAMBINA.com. She may be reached at email@example.com.