Grants

LACBA Domestic Violence Legal Services Project

ACFLS made grants to family law-related service providers in 2014 and 2015. Then, under the direction of President Jill Barr and the Board of Directors, Past President Joe Bell spearheaded the effort to create what is now the ACFLS Charitable Foundation, Inc., an entirely separate entity from ACFLS, but with the full support and cooperation of ACFLS. Our articles of incorporation are completed, first officers and directors chosen, by-laws written, and we have obtained IRS approval of our 501(c)(3) status so that donations to the foundation are tax deductible.
Download 2020 Request For Grant Application

Foundation President Joseph J. Bell will present the award to Counsel for Justice President Mark Garscia and DVP Director Sara Rondon on March 3, 2018, at the ACFLS conference in Rancho Mirage, CA

LOS ANGELES, February 28, 2018 – Counsel for Justice (CFJ) is pleased to announce that the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Domestic Violence Legal Services Project (DVP) has been awarded a $10,000 grant by the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists Foundation (Foundation) to support its efforts to provide pro bono legal services to victims of domestic violence and elder abuse in Los Angeles County.

“We are extremely grateful to the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists Foundation for awarding this $10,000 grant to support the efforts of LACBA’s Domestic Violence Legal Services Project to help clients take their first step to breaking away from their abuser,” said CFJ President Mark Garscia.

“This $10,000 is one of the largest awards the Foundation has granted and will support DVP’s efforts to meet the ever increasing demand for TROs and other services for victims of domestic violence.”

“The Association of Certified Family Law Specialists Foundation selected LACBA’s Domestic Violence Legal Services Project to receive this grant because it is effectively providing needed services to diverse and underserved abused litigants in a creative and pro-active manner,” said Foundation President Joseph J. Bell. “We believe that this award will have a substantial positive effect on the Domestic Violence Legal Services Project’s ability to directly serve an increasing number of clients.”

Last year alone, DVP staff and volunteers guided 4,222 clients through the complex and difficult processes of obtaining temporary restraining orders, stay-away orders, move-out orders, child custody and visitation orders, and support orders.

“Our involvement at a crucial point in the process assures both access to the court and resolution of petitions in a timely manner, relieving an enormous burden from the court attempting to process what would otherwise be an incomplete or inaccurate petition, which could result in delay of protection orders being issued,” said DVP Director Sara Rondon. “Without the help of our pro bono volunteers, many of the people DVP sees would find these complex petitions intimidating and daunting, leaving many to feel hopeless with nowhere else to turn.”

The Foundation was formed by the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS), an independent non-profit organization composed of certified family law specialists dedicated to promoting and preserving the practice of family law in California. In 2014, Los Angeles family law Judge Thomas Trent Lewis, an ACFLS fellow, suggested that ACFLS consider a greater legacy and do something to positively support not just ACFLS members, but all those who come in contact with California family courts. The Foundation was created as a separate entity from ACFLS. Grants such as those awarded to

DVP are due to the generosity of ACFLS members who are encouraged to donate an amount equal to one billable hour each year. DVP operates out of Room 235 at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; and on Friday from 8:00 a.m. to noon. For more information, please visit www.lacba.org/dvp. Since it was founded 35 years ago, DVP has helped more than 100,000 clients.

About the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists Foundation The Foundation’s mission is to solicit donations and to raise funds for the purpose of making monetary grants to persons and/or entities who are working to enhance access to justice, to provide family law-related education, and/or to improve the California family law process for affected persons, families, or groups in need, and to carry on other charitable activities associated with these goals as determined by the Board of Directors and allowed by law.

About Counsel for Justice Counsel for Justice brings together law firms, foundations, corporations, donors, and volunteers in support of a more just LA. Together, we stand at the forefront of providing equal access to legal services in our community by raising funds and directly contributing at the frontlines of justice in four key areas: domestic violence, support of our veterans, immigration assistance and AIDS services. With over 50 years of service as the charitable arm of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, our efforts have raised millions of dollars in giving and impacted hundreds of thousands of lives with better, more powerful paths to justice.

About the Los Angeles County Bar Association The Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) is one of the largest voluntary metropolitan bar associations in the nation and has more than 15,000 members. LACBA is engaged in advancing the administration of justice and meeting the professional needs of lawyers. For more information on LACBA, visit www.lacba.org.

2019 Grants
Grant to be presented to Executive Director Julianne Leavy in San Francisco on December 7, 2019 The Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS) Charitable Foundation, Inc (“Foundation”) has announced that Harmony at Home Children 1st project in Monterey County will receive a $5,000 grant on December 7, 2019 at the ACFLS Holiday Dinner event at the Sir Francis Drake hotel in San Francisco. The grant is the latest award made by the ACFLS Charitable Foundation, a California 501c3 charity organization that has raised and given over $50,000 in grants since its 2016 inception. According to President JB Rizzo, CPA, the Foundation was formed raise funds to give to organizations “to provide direct and substantial financial support to programs and individuals who are working to improve access to justice, to provide family law education and to improve the California family law process for affected persons, families or groups in need.” The Foundation showcases the generosity of ACFLS members and friends of the organization. The Foundation is a separate legal entity from the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (“ACFLS”), however the Foundation was created by certified family law specialists (attorneys), who have worked on family law matters for at least ten years, completed specified education courses, and who have been certified by the California State Bar as specialists after passing a second bar exam. The ACFLS has been in existence since certified specialization for attorneys began in 1980, providing continuing education seminars and law practice skills to its more than 600 members statewide. The Foundation raises money in several ways including requesting donations of the value of one billable hour made by members of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS). President Rizzo will present the check to Julianne Leavy, Executive Director of Harmony at Home’s. For over 15 years, Monterey County-based Harmony at Home has served thousands of children and youth whose lives have been disrupted and traumatized by violence, abuse, grief, and loss. The Children 1st project helps children cope with the trauma of a high conflict divorce by educating parents with live in-person teachers on the best communication and other strategies to lessen negative impacts on their children during high-conflict divorces. For more information regarding Harmony at Home, call Julianne Leavy at 831.625.5160 or email to [email protected] For information about ACFLS Charitable Foundation, Inc. or to make a charitable donation please contact JB Rizzo at 310.804.1973.

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Who Help Ensure Justice in Family Courts

ACFLS made grants to family law-related service providers in 2014 and 2015.
Download 2020 Request For Grant Application
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