Photo of Joseph Cordova

Joseph Cordova

  • Hosted by Florida Legal Services
  • Sponsored by The Florida Bar Foundation
  • Service location Newberry, Florida
  • Law school University of Florida Levin College of Law
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Joseph increased community power, socioeconomic opportunities, and legal services to northeast Florida immigrant and migrant worker families via community education, outreach, pro bono recruitment, and community lawyering.

Throughout Florida, immigrant families come to work, live, and raise children in hopes of securing stability for the future. In the small rural towns of northeast Florida, these families live further isolated culturally and economically from community resources and legal services. This project empowered such community members to properly identify and assess legal challenges and needs, as well as establish strategies for solutions and service acquisition. Through an array of community partnerships, legal services, education events, and pro bono recruitment, community members are better able to move forward in confidence and more readily access much needed legal services.

Fellowship Highlights

During the two-year Fellowship period, Joseph:

  • Conducted more than 120 outreach events with over 6,000 attendees, including Know Your Rights presentations, Legal Clinics, Community Resource, and Advocacy events, and Leadership Discussions
  • Opened over 130 cases on behalf of community members and their families, who sought legal assistance with complex immigration, family, property, and employment issues
  • Worked with over 50 families through Emergency Planning events, who received assistance in completing Power of Attorney forms for their minor children in case of emergency
  • Developed more than 30 partnerships with community organizations and other legal partners
  • Held an ‘Immigration Consultation and Resource Event,’ designed and co-hosted with the UF Law Immigration Clinic, the Mexican Consulate, community leaders, and other partners, which drew more than 300 community attendees and 25 Pro Bono Attorneys and Law Student participants
  • Involved in the creation of The Plaza Comunitaria, which has played host to numerous resource events, as well as weekly Know Your Rights presentations and Legal Workshops
  • Facilitated the participation of over 200 students in Law & Leadership programming, including Street Law Legal Life Skills, Mock Trial activities, and courthouse tours and visits with judges and court personnel
  • Recruited a dozen private and legal aid attorneys to assist project efforts and community issues

Next Steps

Following his Fellowship, Joseph has remained at Florida Legal Services, working on projects that center on immigrant and migrant rights, fair housing advocacy, and additional community lawyering endeavors.

Media

Equal Justice Works Fellow lays foundation for change in rural immigrant neighborhoods

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