CLC Receives Prestigious American Bar Association Hodson Award for Public Service

March 09, 2011

LOS ANGELES – The American Bar Association’s Hodson Award recognizes extraordinary service by a government or public sector law office. Named in honor of the distinguished public service career of the late Major General Kenneth J. Hodson, a former Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army, this year’s honoree is the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, a nonprofit, direct legal services provider acting as the voice in court for close to 100% of Los Angeles County’s 24,000 abused and neglected children. CLC’s committed attorneys and social work investigators are tireless advocates for these vulnerable youth, guiding them through the complicated and often overwhelming foster care system and accompanying court process. Appearing at every hearing, often with their young clients beside them in the courtroom, the child’s attorney is the only person in the courtroom speaking exclusively on behalf of the child to ensure that their needs are met. For many children in foster care, their attorney is the single most constant person in their life, and often the only person they are able to trust to make sense of the confusion and chaos around them. “The [ABA] Awards Committee received many worthy nominations this year; however, [CLC’s] office best exemplified the spirit of the award. The dedication of [CLC’s] staff is truly an inspiration. We thank you for providing an outstanding example of public service,” stated Kenneth D. Gray, Chair of the ABA’s Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division. Leslie Starr Heimov, CLC’s Executive Director, said that her organization is “grateful for this recognition of our efforts and of the importance of providing high quality legal services for abused and neglected children and others without a true voice within our legal system. I am so proud of the tireless efforts of our devoted staff; this honor is a welcome reminder that the plight of our young clients has not gone unnoticed despite the difficulties presented by the drastic cuts to social land legal services resulting from California’s dire budget situation.” The award will be presented at the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in Chicago at the Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division’s Award Reception on