SparkPoint at Skyline College and the Center for Legal Studies, with generous support from the President’s Council, are pleased to announce the opening of a weekly on-campus legal clinic where students and community members can receive free legal information on a host of pressing issues such as immigration, domestic violence, and tenant’s rights.
In 2012, inspired by the promise of support for “big ideas” from the President’s Council and working in collaboration with Director William Watson and Counselor Melanie Espinueva of SparkPoint at Skyline College, Vice President of Instruction Sarah Perkins, Dean of Creative Arts & Social Sciences Donna Bestock, and Associate Professor Jesse W. Raskin got to work planning a one of a kind free clinic.
As envisioned, the clinic will help bridge the justice gap by providing equal access to legal services for under-resourced members of the local community. Concurrently, the clinic will serve as a hands-on classroom where, under the supervision of a licensed attorney, the dedicated students in Skyline College’s paralegal program will learn to provide client consultations, self-help support, and referrals.
But, the team knew they were missing a key element: a local lawyer committed to education and interested in working for social justice. As luck would have it, Maria Segarra Gaudio from Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach reached out to Professor Raskin. And, a fruitful partnership was soon formed.
Per Maria, adjunct instructor and managing attorney, the clinic is here to serve, “everyone who can use our help: undocumented students applying for work authorization, county residents facing eviction, domestic violence survivors who need resources and support, all are welcome. We are here to serve you.”
Maria not only has experience on immigration matters, landlord-tenant cases, and domestic violence restraining order petitions, but as a Skyline College alumna she has first hand knowledge of the challenges facing our community.
“We found a great fit for the managing attorney position! Maria has a passion for providing legal services to the underserved and a deep desire to make a positive impact as a community college instructor,” says Professor Raskin, Coordinator of the Center for Legal Studies.
This fall, the legal clinic will operate weekly on Thursdays from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. in the SparkPoint Center in Building 1 Room 1214 from September to November 2014. Appointments are preferred but drop-ins are welcome. This legal clinic is FREE. For appointments and information, please call (650) 738-7035.
Article by Maria Segarra Gaudio and Jesse W. Raskin