Legal Aid Alternative Break (LAAB) is a non-profit student organization at the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law. The organization’s goal is to bring service opportunities to students, aid underserved communities, and foster commitments to pro-bono lawyering.
LAAB members have donated thousands of hours of pro-bono legal aid, and often use those service hours to apply for USC’s Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) grants – these grants give students stipends for summer jobs in non-paying public interest positions. “Public interest” generally means attorney positions that service low-income or no-income persons.
LAAB was created by a group of USC law students in Spring 2006 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. For seven years, LAAB returned to New Orleans over spring break to provide legal services and a helping hand to vulnerable communities. LAAB has placed students in organizations throughout New Orleans in need of legal and physical services, including the Orleans Public Defenders Office, New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, and the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association.
In 2010, LAAB began organizing a local winter break trip to help communities in Southern California. We have worked with migrant workers in El Centro and in the Coachella Valley, and with the Immigration Center for Women & Children and ACCESS, Inc. in the San Diego area.
Last spring (2015), LAAB took students to New Orleans, Louisiana, where students worked with the prestigious Public Defenders office, the Louisiana Civil Justice Center, and the Recirculating Farms Coalition. Students worked directly with clients, practiced their legal research and writing skills on behalf of indigent persons, and provided manual labor to aid in the ongoing reconstruction projects in the ninth ward.
This year, we will spend our winter break in San Diego. For more information on this event, click on the “Events” tab!
Interested in joining us? Want more information? It’s easy to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!