Laney College’s Undocumented Student Week of Action came to a close on Oct. 17 with a “Know Your Rights” workshop led by the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), a local nonprofit organization that provides free legal support to low-income Bay Area residents.
“Ultimately, we’d like to eradicate GPS monitoring of youth, but we’re also interested in the pragmatic next step to reform it,” says attorney Cancion Sotorosen, clinical supervisor at EBCLC’s Youth Defender Clinic.
EBCLC’s Sharon Djemal talks to UpFront’s Cat Brooks about California’s sweeping new consumer protections.
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Low-Income Californians Get Protection From Debt Collectors Trying to Clean Out Their Bank Account.
Three years ago, during Brandon Greene’s first week working as a lawyer in a new clinic affiliated with the East Bay Community Law Center, he was handed a stack of cases to review. Each involved a client who was struggling to pay down the fines and fees that easily accumulate in California’s criminal justice system. It was his job to help. A handful of the cases were so old that he couldn’t find current contact information for the clients. He quickly realized that “some of those folks,” even if he did reach them, “could not get back on their feet at all” because of their debt. “The folks who were being affected were mostly indigent,” he said. “Everything costs money. Every program costs money. And a lot of folks can’t afford to pay these things.”
Theresa Zhen, a staff attorney at the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley, who is helping coordinate the advocacy effort for SB144, is already declaring victory. “The fact that even the opposition to the bill admits that it’s philosophically right is huge,” she said. “We’re finally having the real conversation: that courts have been built on the backs of the poor.”
Founded in 1988 by Berkeley Law students, the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) is the largest non-profit provider of free legal services in Alameda County, serving more than 5,000 clients each year delivering client-centered, community-driven and culturally-responsive services and engaging in legislative and policy advocacy.
We use legal and administrative strategies to mitigate the impact of inequitable and unjust systems on low-income individuals, families, and communities, while advocating for systemic change at the local and state level. EBCLC’s ability to address a wide range of substantive legal issues, including housing, health, immigration, consumer and court debt, community economic development, juvenile defense, school expulsion, and community reentry, enables us to build a more healthy, secure, productive, and hopeful community.
In addition to our legal advocacy work, EBCLC functions as a law school teaching hospital, serving as the community clinic for Berkeley Law and preparing over 150 law students every year to become skilled and principled advocates committed to finding innovative solutions to the causes and conditions of poverty.
Over our 30+ year history, we have grown to a staff of more than 70, organized in eight legal clinics within five broad program areas, with an $8 million annual budget, two office locations, and a deeply supportive and engaged Board of Directors.
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
EBCLC seeks a Human Resources & Finance Coordinator to support to core HR and Finance functions. The Coordinator will work closely with the Finance Manager and the Director of Human Resources to support in-house financial transactions, data-entry, and record-keeping, as well as recruitment, on-boarding, benefits management, and employee relations.
The East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) seeks a Social Worker to work alongside EBCLC attorneys and other staff providing holistic representation to individuals experiencing a broad range of housing-related legal problems. The position requires a strong advocate with excellent case management and organizational skills, a willingness to work collaboratively across legal and social work disciplines, an interest in teaching and mentoring the next generation of social workers, and a desire to help grow an exciting and challenging new endeavor of integrating social workers into a legal organization.