March 2016 - Fairway Philanthropy

by Ashleigh E. Aitken

In the March 2015 issue of Orange County Lawyer magazine, I confessed that fashion is more my forte than golf. That being said, I once again invite you to dress to the nine-irons and look the part as you join us for the ever-popular OCBA Charitable Fund’s 32nd Annual Judge Kenneth Lae Charity Golf Scramble, Thursday, March 31, 2016.

By popular demand, we will return to Newport Coast’s Pelican Hill Golf Club, where attendees can enjoy stunning ocean views between holes. Each foursome will be accompanied by a skilled forecaddie to enhance the golfing experience, while contest packages will be available for purchase. This popular event regularly sells out, so I encourage you to register ASAP lest you find yourself OB, Oscar Brown (that’s “out of bounds” for the non-golfers).

If the greatest game doesn’t match your personal recreational preferences, please consider registering to attend the festive awards reception for networking, socializing, raffle prizes, and more.

All proceeds from the event benefit the OCBA Charitable Fund, the philanthropic arm of the OCBA, which provides funding and resources to organizations and programs that enhance the system of justice and promote equal justice for all. Thanks to the funds raised during both last year’s golf scramble and Raise Your Glass III, a wine tasting and charity awards benefit held at Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach this past fall, the OCBA Charitable Fund is pleased to announce 2016 grants totaling $170,000 (a new record!) to benefit twelve worthy and diverse causes:

Chapman/Fowler School of Law, Bette and Wylie Aitken Family Protection Clinic—$10,000 Grant
Founded in 2007, the clinic addresses the unique challenges faced by survivors of domestic violence and offers free assistance in immigration, human trafficking, and protection order matters for clients who meet income eligibility requirements.

Constitutional Rights Foundation, Orange County, Constitutional Futures Project—$40,400 Grant
This unique series of five complimentary programs (Mock Trial, Peer Court, Constitution Day, Law Day, and the Orange County Career Forum) educates and empowers our local youth to be active, responsible citizens who are civically minded and engaged.

Human Options, Legal Advocacy Program—$6,500 Grant
Founded in 1979, Human Options has grown from a small grassroots agency to a multi-service, countywide program that breaks the cycle of domestic violence at every stage through safety, healing, and a way forward. Through its Legal Advocacy Program, the organization provides intervention for men, women, and children who are survivors of domestic violence or who are currently in an abusive relationship.

Laura’s House, Legal Advocacy Program—$9,500 Grant
The only state-approved comprehensive domestic violence agency in South Orange County, Laura’s House, has provided shelter and supportive services to more than 4,000 women and children and helps survivors of domestic violence prepare for restraining order hearings, with particular emphasis on client testimony, collection of evidence, and staying safe at the courthouse.

Legal Aid Society of Orange County, Lawyer Entrepreneur Assistance Program (LEAP)—$30,000 Grant
An incubator program in which participants receive training, mentorship, guidance, and the hands-on practical experience necessary to launch their own solo practice, LEAP currently offers three pro bono legal clinics: Family Law, Civil Litigation, and Clean Slate Criminal Record Expungement.

OCKABA Foundation, Pro Bono Legal Clinic/Fellow—$2,000 Grant
In support of the Orange County Korean American Bar Association Foundation’s mission to promote and advance charitable activities relating to the law for the benefit of all communities, the Pro Bono Legal Clinic and Fellowships encourage attorneys to give back to the Korean American community and ensure that pro bono representation is regularly administered in Orange County.

Orange County Bar Foundation, Project SELF (Summer Employment in Law Firms)—$3,600 Grant
With the goal of investing in tomorrow’s leaders, Project SELF (Summer Employment in Law Firms) provides local high school students—the majority of whom are low-income and/or ethnic minorities—with hands-on, paid internships in the legal field and other professional areas.

Public Law Center, Courthouse Clinics—$30,000 Grant
In addition to its clinics held at La Habra Family Resource Center, Costa Mesa’s Share Our Selves Community Health Center, and Little Saigon Economic, Cultural, and Social Center in Westminster, PLC holds a series of courthouse clinics—often in conjunction with the OCBA—designed to assist low-income clients in such areas as domestic violence, guardianship, federal civil actions, and more.

UC Irvine School of Law, Pre-Law Outreach Program—$5,000 Grant
This program of six Saturday classes during the summer months assists undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds to prepare for the law school application and admissions process and to understand the unique demands of legal education. Participants also receive a free LSAT review course, donated by Kaplan Test Prep, Inc.

UC Irvine School of Law, Saturday Academy of Law—$20,000 Grant
In order to foster diversity in the legal profession, this series of weekend classes helps ninth-grade students in the Santa Ana Unified School District develop the skills they need to pursue higher education and a potential career in the law, with a focus on reading, writing, and critical thinking.

Veterans Legal Institute, Pro Bono Veterans Clinics—$12,000 Grant
By leveraging its network of attorney volunteers, VLI is able to assist current and former servicemembers transition into their civilian lives and empower them through discharge upgrades, VA claims, estate planning, non-profit and small business assistance, and expungement.

Women’s Transitional Living Center, Legal Advocacy Victim’s Immigration Legal Services—$1,000 Grant
Many immigrants face significant challenges when they migrate to the United States, including language barriers, cultural differences, lack of legal status, and reduced access to services. As such, Women’s Transitional Living Center provides culturally competent services to all immigrant survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.

Whether your golf game rests on the bogey or birdie side of par, we’re counting on your support to ensure a hole-in-one for our supported charities. And remember: The grass is always greener from the 19th hole.

Special thanks to Golf Committee Chair Jeffrey H. Reeves of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and the entire Golf Committee for all of their hard work and dedication in organizing this event.

For sponsorship information, to view a history of OCBA Charitable Fund grants given, or to donate online, please visit us at ocbacf.org.

OCBA Charitable Fund President and OCBA Immediate Past President Ashleigh E. Aitken is Of Counsel at Aitken*Aitken*Cohn, a position she obtained neither through nepotism nor duress. She is a plaintiff-only civil litigation attorney specializing in wrongful death, personal injury, business torts, and class actions. She can be reached at ashleigh@aitkenlaw.com.