On June 10th, 2018, the National Lawyers Guild – Los Angeles Chapter hosted its largest annual awards program yet! Nearly 450 people joined the celebration at the Pasadena Hilton to recognize 6 civil rights attorneys who embody and defend the goals of NLG – to elevate human rights over property rights.
Kent Wong, director of the UCLA Labor Center, served as MC, sharing his oratory and filling the room with inspiration as he proceeded to extol the extraordinary feats of LA’s most impressive human rights legal talent.
Maria Hall and Gilbert Saucedo, who are NLG-LA’s board Co-Presidents, opened the evening with a warm welcome and shared their joy in the organization’s many accomplishments –including hiring its new Executive Director, Kath Rogers.
Kath Rogers next provided her own welcoming remarks noting how humbled and thrilled she is to be part of an organization engaged in such meaningful and effective civil rights legal work.
The first award was presented to Ingrid Eagly by Victor Narro of the UCLA Labor Center, who is also an NLG board member. Ingrid’s award acknowledged her work at UCLA’s David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, where she trains and mentors future public interest lawyers. Click here to view a video about Ingrid's work.
Next up was legal activist Salvador Reza, who presented an award to Chris Newman, for his work protecting the rights of day laborers through the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
Olu Orange, a high-profile civil rights attorney who has represented individuals and class action groups and also serves on NLG-LA's board, was presented his award by Dan Stormer, a leading employment law attorney. Click here to view a video about Olu's work.
Maria Hall next presented awards to Luz Herrera and Laura Cohen whose work on the LA Incubator Consortium serves to close the justice gap by providing support to new solo practice attorneys serving the modest means community. Click here to view a video about Luz and Laura's work.
Lastly, civil rights icon, Antonio Rodriguez, known for over 5 decades of work on behalf of the marginalized was honored with the Hon. Robert Kenny award. Antonio received a standing ovation from the crowd and the applause was truly exuberant. Click here to view a video about Antonio's work.
Unlike many award ceremonies, the spirit in the banquet hall was full of love, joy and passion. Many attendees commented about how inspired they were to continue NLG’s over 80-year history of taking the legal actions necessary to promote human rights over property rights.
The National Lawyers Guild is the nation’s oldest human rights bar association and has been in existence since 1937. It has chapters throughout the country. Local attorneys, law students, legal workers, and community members are invited to become NLG members and volunteer in its many programs. To become more involved, please contact Kath Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018 NLG-LA Honorees:
Professor Laura Cohen is Director of Southwestern Law School’s Street Law Clinic and Public Service Programs, and she co-founded the Los Angeles Incubator Consortium, the only modest-means legal incubator supporting new lawyers as they build affordable, community based, diverse practices. Click here to view a video about Laura's work.
Professor Ingrid Eagly is the Faculty Director of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy at the UCLA Law School, a former Skadden Fellow at CHIRLA, a former Federal Public Defender, and in 2017 received UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Click here to view a video about Ingrid's work.
Professor Luz Herrera is Associate Dean for Clinical Education, Experiential Learning, and Public Service at Texas A & M School of Law, and co-founder of the Los Angeles Incubator Consortium, the only modest-means legal incubator supporting new lawyers as they build affordable, community based, diverse practices. Click here to view a video about Luz's work.
Attorney Chris Newman is the Legal Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, a recipient of the Academy of Educational Development New Voices Fellowship, and was the founding coordinator of the Wage Clinic and Legal Program at El Centro Humanitario para los Trabajadores.
Attorney Olu Orange is the Director of the USC Dornsife Trial Advocacy Program, has twice been a recipient of the California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) Award; has won ground-breaking civil rights cases, and serves as a teaching team member for Harvard Law School’s Winter Trial Advocacy Workshop. Click here to view a video about Olu's work.
Attorney Antonio Rodriguez is a long-time civil and human rights attorney in Los Angeles. Over many years he has served as a mentor and role model for attorneys in our community. His life and work embody the highest ideals of the National Lawyers Guild. We are awarding him with the Hon. Robert Kenny Award, given to those Lawyers Guild lawyers who have worked long and hard and successfully in the trenches, without regard for honors or public recognition. Click here to view a video about Antonio's work.