McGeorge School of Law

Students Reach Out To Low-Income Californians

May 25, 2012

Twelve McGeorge students spent part of their March 2012 spring semester break helping low-income Californians in the state's recession-stuck Central Valley with legal issues.

The volunteers boarded an overnight "Justice Bus" for a trip to Delano, California. At a community economic development clinic, they interviewed grassroots groups seeking to establish community gardens and other green development projects. The law students also assisted low-income residents at a housing and public benefits clinic.

They came face-to-face with a side of California that most of us take for granted, poor people struggle to meet basic needs such as food, housing, health care, and education. The law students assisted CRPE's campaign for Green and Justice Economic Development, which works with community groups in San Joaquin Valley to alleviate root causes of poverty by establishing local economic development projects built on social, economic, and environmental justice principles.

The McGeorge Justice Bus trip was part of a larger pro bono initiative to help the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CRPE) deliver pro bono resources to San Joaquin Valley. This summer, OneJustice will return to Delano with pro bono attorneys from Hewlett-Packard and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, who will meet with the same grassroots groups and provide expert legal guidance tailored to the specific legal issues identified by the McGeorge students.

McGeorge participants included: Marshal Andrews, '14, Emma Siverson, '13, Roman Edwards, '14, Nikole Omotoy, '14, Grace Cotulla, '13, Andrew Ducart, '13, Jorge Guardado, '14, Erik Groen, '13, Hunter Starr, '13, Allegra Gabbert, '14, Katie Reed, '14, and Michelle Nam, '14.