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Jean Ahn

The Project

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) seeks to achieve equal justice for poor and low-income people in greater Los Angeles. LAFLA was one of the first legal aid organizations in the country to create a specialized unit to serve the Asian and Pacific Islander community in the 1990s. Jean served the Asian and Pacific Islander community in the greater Los Angeles in a variety of ways by providing direct representation, offering counsel and advice, providing referrals, and educating community members about their legal rights through workshops and seminars. Through this fellowship, Jean assisted and represented survivors of domestic violence, sexual assaults, and other serious crimes to obtain protection and adjust their status. 

As a previous Title IX Investigator, Jean offered trauma-informed services. Jean provided linguistically and culturally appropriate services to crime victims, and as a bilingual attorney, she conducted regular legal clinics in Korean to assist monolingual Korean speakers. She also regularly provided legal help at the Domestic Violence Clinic in the courthouse in Downtown LA. Through this fellowship, Jean helped protect and advance the rights of the most underserved in Los Angeles. 

The Project

This Fellowship increased community awareness by conducting culturally competent outreach and trainings that inform vulnerable populations such as LGBT and indigenous immigrant victims in rural and agricultural areas of California about their legal rights and access to legal services. This Fellowship also provided access to trauma-informed legal services and representation to hate crime victims and immigrant victims with meritorious claims for immigration relief, including LGBT and indigenous victims with U/T/VAWA visa applications. Furthermore, the Fellowship increased holistic support by partnering with local community resource providers to address the client’s legal, education, healthcare, economic and other needs, to help break out of the cycle of exploitation, abuse and wage theft within LGBT, indigenous and other victims of crime. 

Lizett investigated hate crimes and potential civil claims, such as wage, retaliation, and harassment claims, and provided legal representation to advance such claims through administrative proceedings before the Labor Commissioner, Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints, or through negotiation with employers, and/or civil actions. She also investigated and provided representation in applications for temporary immigration relief through the U-Visa, T-Visa, or VAWA-Visa programs for immigrant victims of certain serious crimes and domestic violence. 

As a first generation Latina immigrant and proud daughter of migrant farmworkers, Lizett is dedicated to using her migration experience of living in migrant camps and two countries, Mexico and the United States, to advocate for the most marginalized and exploited rural workers. Through her prior work and life experience, Lizett has developed transferrable and practical legal skills that allow her to connect with the clients when investigating their hate crime claims and potential civil claims to provide them with effective legal services.