Grantee of the Week: Tarah Powell-Chen


This summer I will be interning in the Elder Abuse division of LAS.  Legal Assistance for Seniors provides free legal advice and information, representation in court, and community education and training on legal issues for the elderly. The mission of LAS is to ensure the independence and dignity of seniors by protecting their legal rights through education, counseling, and advocacy. LAS works closely with Adult Protective Services, the District Attorney’s Office, the courts, and law enforcement to assist Alameda County residents who are victims of physical, emotional or financial elder abuse. I will be assisting a staff attorney who will represent seniors who are seeking a restraining order against an abuser. I will also be participating in home visits to clients who are unable to come to our offices.  Some of my specific duties will include interviewing clients, completing initial intake forms, and filing documents to the court.



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Grantee of the Week: Nuha Abusamra


This summer, I have the opportunity to work as a volunteer legal assistant for the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office.  I look forward to providing legal services to disenfranchised members of society while simultaneously upholding the most basic and fundamental rights guaranteed under our constitution.  As a first generation Syrian woman, Alameda County Public Defender’s Office will provide me with a workplace in which I can utilize both my academic and cultural experiences to change the status quo.  I am impressed by Alameda’s holistic approach when representing its clients and I am grateful to be working with such a committed team.  As of now, I am not currently placed in a specific office location in Alameda, but I will be assisting public defenders in court and preparing motions and briefs as necessary.  It is a great honor to be dedicating my time and efforts at Alameda County Public Defender’s Office this summer.

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Grantee of the Week: Anna Manuel

31853ecAnna will be working for the UC Berkeley School of Law Human Rights Center, working specifically with its Atrocity Response Program.  As a summer legal fellow, Anna will conduct legal research for the program’s multi-country study on victim participation at the International Criminal Court (ICC).  The study is the first of its kind and promises to shed light on the experiences of victims who agree to participate in trials at the ICC.  It will help shape victim participation programs and inform ICC reform processes.

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PILF Bar Night 2015 – Recap

Thank you to all of those who made it out to Sidebar for PILF’s Bar Night!  The event was a great success and from the money we raised, we will continue to fund summer grants for students dedicated to public interest work.

Special thanks to:

  • Guest Bartenders – Alex Thayer, Dan Lyman, Brooke Longuevan, Erin Caliri, Nicole Phillips, and Mike Hewitt
  • The San Francisco Public Defenders Office for not only attending, but generously donating $100
  • Professor Bill Hing for attending, encouraging his students to attend, and
  • continuously supporting PILF
  • All of you who showed up and tipped so generously!
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SBA VP and President: Nicole Phillips and Mike Hewitt


Co-chair: Brooke Longuevan


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PILF’S Silent Auction Fundraising Event Success!!!

PILF’S Silent Auction Fundraising Event was held in conjunction with the USF Reunion Gala last November 15th at the San Francisco Intercontinental Hotel.  PILF offered over 30 silent auction packages, ranging from a Northern California wine tasting excursion to a Mexican Villa getaway. More than 300 alumni and friends attended this event as well as the PILF board and grantees. Check out pictures of the event below!

PILF Board and Members

PILF Board and Members


Off-Campus Coordinators Erin and Brooke

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Off-campus Coordinator Brooke and PILF Grantees Christina and Rahul

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2014 PILF Student Auction Recap

     The first-ever USF PILF Student Auction/SBA Fall BBQ took place on Friday, September 19th.  This fundraiser offered over 50 student-centered donations such as faculty services, student skills, and bar prep courses.  Due to the generous donors, bid winners, and committed efforts of the PILF Executive Board, PILF was able to raise nearly $5,000.  Much thanks to all who participated and contributed to this successful event.

PILF’s next fundraising event will be held in conjunction with USF’s Reunion Gala.  This event will take place on November 15th at the Intercontinental Hotel.  PILF will be offering various silent auction packages, ranging from a Northern California wine tasting excursion to a Mexican Villa getaway.  Please visit for more information.
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Standford Law School’s 15th annual Shaking the Foundations: The West Coast Progressive Lawyering Conference



Stanford Law School’s 15th annual Shaking the Foundations: The West Coast Progressive Lawyering Conference will be held on October 17 and 18, 2014.  Early bird registration from now until Oct. 1st is $8.  Shaking the Foundations brings the progressive community together to discuss issues within the movement, explore the role of young lawyers, and encourage attendees to work toward social and environmental justice.  Keynote speaker will be civil rights advocate Professor Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Shaking the Foundations is a two-day conference that will feature a series of panels and workshops on a broad range of progressive topics. There will also be great networking opportunities you do not want to miss

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Grantee of the Week : Alyse Pacheco

This summer I have the opportunity to work as a volunteer legal assistant for the Alameda County Public Defenders Office, which provides legal services in criminal defense, primarily to indigent clients. The mission of the office is to zealously protect and defend the rights of clients through compassionate and inspired legal representation of the highest quality, in pursuit of a fair and unbiased system of justice for all. This mission aligns with my desire to dedicate my career to fighting against the injustices of our legal system in hopes of promoting change. In addition to the traditional research and writing experience, Alameda County Public Defenders Office, presents law students the opportunity to gain practical “hands on” experience by assisting Public Defenders in court and litigate at least one motion in court, under the supervision of a senior Public Defender attorney. Also, being proficient in Spanish, I have been told I will likely have the opportunity to foster better communication between attorneys and monolingual Spanish speaking clients, especially in cases that intersect with immigration law. I believe these experiences will be an invaluable step in my career development and I am very much looking forward to beginning my work there this summer.

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Grantee of the Week: Christine MacDonald


PILF_8-25National Center for Youth Law is a private, non-profit law office whose purpose is to use legal advocacy to protect children from the harms caused by poverty and to improve the lives of low-income children and families. For over 40 years, NCYL has represented children and adolescents through impact litigation; legislative and administrative advocacy at the national and state levels; and by providing training, technical assistance, and support to child advocates, social services providers, health care providers, and other professionals who work for children and youth. NYCL works to promote children’s rights through four main areas: child welfare, economic security, health/mental health, and juvenile justice.

I will be working in the area of child welfare. NCYL’s goal is to ensure the safety, stability, and well-being of abused and neglected children. NCYL works to reform state foster care systems, promote policies and laws that protect children in foster care, and improve the effectiveness of child advocacy efforts nationwide.

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Grantee of the Week: Ashley Oddo


This summer I will be working at the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office. My summer will be split into five-week sessions in two different offices. I have not received my placements yet; however I listed by top five as follows: (1) Pasadena Juvenile, (2) Eastlake Juvenile, (3) SB9 Unit, (4) Pasadena Branch, and (5) Mental Health. I am hoping to gain some experience and insight into juvenile delinquency this summer. The SB9 unit is also an interesting placement because it was formed after the recent enactment of Senate Bill 9. The bill focuses on juveniles who have been sentenced to life in prison and affords them the opportunity of having a resenting hearing after they have served fifteen years in prison. No matter which two units I get placed in, I am excited about spending another summer interning at a Public Defender’s Office. I am honored and thankful to have the opportunity to represent the Public Interest Law Foundation during my summer in Los Angeles, California.

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