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State bar considers requiring all law students to do free legal work

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 12, 2015

Two fresh-faced UCLA law students met Carlis Pegues with a smile, eagerly leading the frail, 64-year-old woman into a cramped office to hear her troubles.

Pegues, they learned, is locked in a dispute with her landlord, who she says is attempting to evict her.

She was lost in a sea of legal paperwork with no money for an attorney and fearful of ending up back in a homeless shelter.

So nearly every Wednesday, Pegues has been riding the bus from her home in the Baldwin Village area of South L.A. to a free legal clinic in skid row. There, a staff of attorneys and law student volunteers provides free legal advice once a week to anyone who seeks it.

"It's a traumatic, mind-boggling experience trying to get out of this situation when everything is closing in on me," Pegues said. "If I have a problem, they don't look down on me here. They just step up and help."

The State Bar of California is hoping to get more help to people like Pegues by requiring that law students complete 50 hours of legal work for free or substantially reduced rates within one year of obtaining their license to practice law.

Read the whole story at LA Times

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