Lauren Carbajal

  • Hosted by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Sponsored by Equal Justice Works
  • Service location San Francisco, California
  • Law school University of California, Davis School of Law
  • Issue area Criminal Justice Reform, Racial Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Lauren provides legal services to Bay Area residents harmed by encounters with the police through direct representation, community outreach, and impact litigation to defund the police and reinvest in communities.

Black and Latino communities are subject to constant low-level policing. This results in frequent encounters with officers, who then leverage their power in traffic, infraction, and other enforcement of laws that criminalize ordinary human behavior. All of these police encounters can lead to lifelong health consequences such as PTSD and asthma, the exacerbation of existing mental illnesses, trauma in Black communities, criminal punishment of the police’s victims, and interruption of employment and childcare. A gap in legal services exists when it comes to representing these kinds of injuries, leaving community members with the understanding that they must endure their injuries without redress.

Lauren’s Mexican-American upbringing and pre-law school work with incredible students of color in New York City motivate her commitment to racial justice.

Fellowship Highlights to Date

In the past year, Lauren has:

  • Founded and opened The People’s Clinic, which provides legal support to people who have been harmed by encounters with the police and other law enforcement agencies
  • Met with over 30 clients, drafted 15 government tort claims, and helped file two small claims actions against police departments in Northern California
  • Hosted a webinar for attorneys and activists about policing and surveillance in Northern California
  • Managed client contact and interviews for an investigation into a California city’s police department
  • Drafted portions of a complaint and subsequent motions for NAACP of San Jose/Silicon Valley v. City of San Jose challenging the city’s response to protestors during 2020 uprisings against police violence

Next Steps

In the next year, Lauren plans to:

  • Continue running and expanding the reach of The People’s Clinic
  • Continue providing legal support to current The People’s Clinic clients
  • Draft portions of future motions for NAACP of San Jose/Silicon Valley v. City of San Jose and assist in discovery process
  • Draft sections of the report on a Bay Area city’s housing authority police department
  • Support investigation into a California city’s police department’s policies and practices
  • Engage with communities in Northern California to learn about their experiences with police and how LCCRSF can provide support

Meet Other Fellows Like Lauren

View All

Photo of Hillary Richard

Hillary Richard

Host: Central Minnesota Legal Services

Sponsor: Anonymous, Faegre Drinker, Target Corporation

Current Fellow

Photo of Serena Witherspoon

Serena Witherspoon

Host: UnCommon Law

Sponsor: Apple, Inc., Baker McKenzie

Current Fellow

Photo of Jack Saletta

Jack Saletta

Host: Lawndale Christian Legal Center

Sponsor: Aon, Kirkland & Ellis

Current Fellow

Photo of Sarah Free

Sarah Free

Host: Illinois Prison Project

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Current Fellow