Law Firm Spotlight

Being the Supervising Attorney for the Voluntary Legal Services Program (VLSP) at Central California Legal Services, it is not uncommon for me to be in contact with Ana de Alba, pro bono coordinator at Lang, Richert, and Patch (LRP), seeking pro bono assistance for our client community on any given day. Well, it just so happened that a few days before the start of the new school year, I was sitting in her office to discuss a pro bono project and I noticed one entire wall of her office stacked with school supplies from backpacks to pencils, erasers, markers, crayons, and notebooks. It made her office look more like a school teacher's than a lawyer's, unless you noticed the CEB books on her shelf and the stacks of pleadings on her desk.
So, to satisfy my own curiosity, because my own children were starting school in just a few days, I asked Ana why one side of her office looked like a classroom. I learned that Lang, Richert and Patch was collecting school supplies and backpacks to distribute to a local school located in an impoverished area. The firm had made the decision to adopt a school. The lucky school: Fremont Elementary School. "It's important that these kids have what they need. If we (LRP) can help in anyway, then let's do it." said EJ Moore, a receptionist at LRP. "It is our duty, as a society, who have the ability to give, GIVE FREELY to our children what they need to become prosperous in their education. It is an HONOR to be able to provide to our children, because they are our future" says Rachel Price, Legal Assistant at LRP.
I was impressed by the level of commitment by everyone in the firm to donate to this cause, from the managing partners to the legal secretaries. So much so that staff were making several trips a day to purchase school supplies because of limits imposed by the merchants as to how many of each item a person could purchase. Mark L. Creed, Managing Partner stated, "We understand how important it is to have the right tools for success. These backpacks and classroom supplies will provide the students of Fremont Elementary an extra boost towards succeeding in school. Lang, Richert & Patch is delighted to help these kids reach their goals."
I thought that maybe they were taking part in some bigger school supply drive and inquired if that was the case because I wanted to spread the word if that was the case. I learned that it was squarely a Lang, Richert, and Patch school supply drive. "As a firm, we enjoy finding innovative ways to partner with other organizations to be part of the change we want to see in our community. Be it via pro bono legal assistance or community outreach, we do our part to serve others," says Ana de Alba.
After I left their office, I knew I had to write this article to acknowledge them in some small way because I remember being given such a backpack when I was in the third grade, probably by people with hearts just as big as those at Lang, Richert, and Patch.
"As the mother of 5 kids, I know first hand how exciting simple things, like pencils, crayons and a new backpack are for little ones. Putting on that backpack means someone is supporting them from home and someone believes in the work they are doing. Sadly, for some kids, those feelings don't exist. It feels really good knowing there are another 45 kids out there who get to experience that kind of support this year." -- Julie Butler, paralegal.
If you would like to learn more about the Voluntary Legal Services Program or would like to learn more about pro bono opportunities, please contact, Hilda Ramirez, Interim VLSP Coordinator at or by telephone at (559) 570-1247