On March 22, 2012, LACLJ’s Anniversary Gala had a record breaking 303 attendees! The evening began with the silent auction, which had many popular items such as a basketball signed by the Lakers, Omni-Hotel getaways and Disneyworld passes. Guests mingled, bid on items and enjoyed the music of Marcos Loya and Friends. Lalo Alocraz, political cartoonist and co-host of The Pocho Hour of Power on KPFK, graciously hosted the dinner and awards program for the night. The dinner included a heartfelt speech from Norma, a thriving LACLJ client who was able to overcome both cancer and domestic violence with the legal help from LACLJ attorneys. This year LACLJ honored the work of Courtney Chavez, Jason Liang, James Gutierrez and the Honorable Lee Smalley Edmond.

LACLJ was thrilled to have the Honorable Yolanda Orozco present the Justice Award to The Honorable Lee Smalley Edmon, Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Judge Edmon has been exemplary in her work to serve marginalized families and has taken on the challenges of being a leader in making the court system more transparent and fair for all.

CSI actor Adam Rodriguez presented the Corporation of the Year Award James Gutierrez, founder of Progreso Financiero. By offering low-interest loans to those with poor credit history, James Gutierrez’s innovative company works to empower low-income families. LACLJ proudly recognizes Progreso Financiero’s accomplishments in serving the growing needs of the Hispanic community with respect, dignity and cultural sensitivity.

Progreso Financiero Founder and Corporate Honoree, James Gutierrez, with Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice Boardmembers Laura Genao of Southern California Edison, Mary Ann Todd of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, and actor Adam Rodriguez.

LACLJ was proud to have Commissioner Padilla present this year’s Community Service Awards to attorneys Courtney Chavez and Jason Liang. The Community Service Award recognizes both Courtney and Jason’s incredible devotion to providing pro bono legal services for victims of domestic violence. Both Courtney and Jason demonstrate exceptional sensitivity in working on complex cases and have taken the initiative to mentor new colleagues to become more involved in this important work.

All of the awardees gave truly inspirational speeches that encourage us to continue our work to break down the barriers to justice. With the help of the legal community and LACLJ supporters, the Gala raised over $100,000 in funds that will go directly towards providing legal services for low-income families and survivors of domestic violence.  LACLJ thanks its major sponsors:

Partner of Justice

Occidental Petroleum Corporation

Friends of Justice

The Capital Group Companies

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Foley & Lardner LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Hemming Morse, LLP

Jones Day

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP

Morrison & Foerster

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Pacific Western Bank

Sidley Austin LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Congratulations to all our honorees, and thank you for continuous dedication and your support of LACLJ!