CALIFORNIA—On Tuesday, May 5, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Attorney Mike Feuer launched L.A. Represents: a pro bono initiative to provide free legal services to residents adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The official webpage for L.A. Represents describes it as “an unprecedented legal assistance initiative to help thousands of Angelenos who are facing extreme hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
It consists of a large number of law firms, bar associations, attorneys, and legal aid organizations that have agreed to expand their current pro bono offerings, in order to “provide free legal counsel and representation to residents and businesses” facing COVID-19-caused hardships. This includes “helping vulnerable tenants, domestic violence victims, and low-income Angelenos with employment, consumer debt, and bankruptcy matters.”
The coalition is also collaborating with Bez Tzedek Legal Services to develop a support system for small businesses “devastated” by the pandemic: “Small businesses least likely to have access to effective legal services can receive pro bono assistance as they confront new workplace regulations, renegotiate commercial leases, apply for government relief programs, and navigate compliance with emergency health and safety orders.”
“Our message is clear: If you are struggling, we are here for you,” said City Attorney Feuer. “Los Angeles’s legal community is full of experienced, dedicated lawyers eager to make a difference for those in need. This crisis has taken an enormous toll on our city, but it has also brought out the best in us. The lawyers and law firms of L.A. Represents will be heroes to their new clients. All Angelenos can be very proud of them.”
“The COVID-19 crisis is putting people in some of the most painful, difficult, and complex situations they have ever experienced — and legal assistance can mean the difference between ruin and recovery,” said Mayor Garcetti. “L.A. Represents will get urgent help to Angelenos who may not be able to afford the advocacy they need at a critical time in their lives.”