U. Serve L.A.


UCLA Law’s Public Interest Celebration, Auction & Awards.

U. Serve L.A. is UCLA Law's annual celebration of all things public interest and pro bono, featuring awards for outstanding public interest and pro bono contributions from the UCLA Law student, alumni, faculty, and staff community. Proceeds from U. Serve L.A. support public interest and pro bono initiatives that enable UCLA Law students to support the needs of underserved communities and make lasting changes in Los Angeles and beyond.

2023 U. Serve L.A. Celebration

Join us on Sunday, March 12, 2023, for our next U. Serve L.A. celebration! This year, we will also be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, and we will be welcoming back many alumni of the Epstein Program as well as honoring members of the UCLA Law public interest and pro bono community.

Questions may be directed to publicinterestoffice@law.ucla.edu.

To support U. Serve L.A., join us at the event and visit the following links:

UCLA Law’s U. Serve L.A.

UCLA Law invites you to join in celebrating and supporting our incredible public interest community and robust public interest initiatives through U. Serve L.A

Your Impact

  • Supporting Service Learning Trips

    See how UCLA Law’s Service Learning Trips to Dilley, Texas provide necessary support to asylum seekers and critical training to future public interest advocates.

  • Testimonials from Summer Funding Recipients

    "This clerkship offered me the opportunity to hone my client skills. It also helped me realize my love for direct service work…Additionally, I left this clerkship with four mentors who are truly engaged and interested in being of assistance…I was so grateful to be able to spend my summer with Legal Aid at Work and to receive funding to make this possible.”
    -Suzanne Dombkowski (UCLA Law ’21)

    “My summer at The Bronx Defenders was very rewarding and challenging and affirmed my commitment to public defense. I could not have had such an incredible experience in New York City and at The Bronx Defenders without this summer fellowship.”
    –Yuri Han (UCLA Law ’20)

    “My experience this summer not only empowered me because it allowed me to develop my skillset, but [also] because I was surrounded by people who excel in their fields. Meeting so many people whose skills, passion and perseverance I can aspire towards is a  great start into 2L and I would not have been able to do it without [this] funding.”
    –Sarah Rahimi (UCLA Law ’19)

Past Honorees

  • 2022 Honorees

    Student Honorees

    • Joseph Gaylin, Shireen Jalali-Yazdi (1L);
    • Joseph Kim, Nicole Powell (2L);
    • Christian Gutierrez, Shyann Murphy, Joe Philipson (3L);
    • Alexandre Ferraro, Deryne Sim (LL.M.); and
    • Eduardo Miranda (M.L.S.).

    Alumni Honorees

    • Dorothy Wolpert '76, for fighting pro bono for justice for the poorest and most vulnerable residents of Los Angeles;
    • Nana Gyamfi '92, for trailblazing activism on behalf of human rights and Black lives;
    • Marisa Hernandez Stern '10, for championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession;
    • Tasha Hill '14, for fierce advocacy on behalf of LGBTQIA+ people in the criminal legal system; and
    • Andres Kwon '16, for fiercely defending immigrants in a punitive criminal legal system.
  • 2021 Honorees

    Student Honorees

    • Tiana Cherbosque, Korbin Felder, Jasmine Robinson & Melissa Segarra (1L Honorees)
    • Yasmin Abusaif, Lydia Heye, Jackie Park, Jessica Xu & Maya Chaudhuri (2L Honorees)
    • Maggie Gaffney, Shaunita Hampton & Rodrigo Padilla-Hernandez (3L Honorees)
    • Michelle Edgar, Seadimo Tlale & Brandon White (LL.M. and M.L.S. honorees)

    Faculty and Staff Honorees

    • Scott Cummings, Robert Henigson Professor of Legal Ethics and Former Epstein Program Faculty Director
    • Brenda Kim, Former Manager of Operations and Events for UCLA Law's Public Interest Programs
    • Victor Narro, Project Director for the UCLA Labor Center and Epstein Program 2L Seminar Instructor
  • 2020 Honorees

    View the video recognizing the 2020 U. Serve L.A. Honorees at UCLA Law’s Public Service Challenge Launch Celebration

    Student Honorees

    • Grace Carson & Nina Papachristou (1L Honorees)
    • Christopher Galeano & Ming Tanigawa-Lau (2L Honorees)
    • Amanda Brown, Stacy Lee & Sonni Waknin (3L Honorees)
    • Marina de Oliveira Reis & Thamsanqa Malusi (LL.M. Honorees)

    Alumni Honorees

    • Stewart Kwoh ’74 (Trailblazer Award)
    • Diego Cartagena ’03 (Alumni Award)
    • Steven Shafer ’15 & CT Turney-Lewis ’11 (Recent Alumni Award)
  • 2019 Honorees

    View 2019 U. Serve L.A. Photos

    Student Honorees

    • Alexis Ixtlahuac & Jordan Palmer (1L Honorees)
    • Julie Dargus & Tali Gires (2L Honorees)
    • Kate Lewis & Sasha Novis (3L Honorees)
    • Allyne Andrade e Silva & Harpreet Ahuja (LL.M. Honorees)

    Alumni Honorees

    • Margie Estrada ’04 (Trailblazer Award)
    • Samantha Grant ’98 (Pro Bono Award)
    • Ian Madrigal ’14, Doug Smith ’13 & Vivian Wong ’17 (Recent Alumni Award)

    Special Recognition

    • Jyoti Nanda, UCLA Law Faculty 2003-2019
  • 2018 Honorees

    View 2018 U. Serve L.A. Photos

    Student Honorees

    • Stephano Medina & Kanwalroop Singh (1L Honorees)
    • Yadira Gutierrez Vargas & Ihaab Syed (2L Honorees)
    • Beth Kent & Norma Ventura (3L Honorees)

    Alumni Honorees

    • Jerilyn López Mendoza ’96 (Trailblazer Award)
    • Nicole Howell ’13 (Pro Bono Award)
    • Stacy Tolchin ’01 (Alumni Award)
    • Theresa Zhen ’14 (Recent Alumni Award)

    Special Recognition

    • Cathy Mayorkas, Founding Executive Director of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy & Office of Public Interest Programs 1997-2017

2020 U. Serve L.A. Honorees

The 2020 U. Serve L.A. honorees were recognized at UCLA Law’s Public Service Challenge Launch Celebration.

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