Casa Cornelia Law Center celebrated its twenty-year anniversary at the sixth annual Mancha Awards on October 17 at the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. TJSL alums Juan Guzman '13, Susanne Prochazka '13 and Susana Inda '13 were among the distinguished list of honorees who were recognized with pro bono service awards this year.
“The evening was a reminder of why I love doing the work that I do, and why I will continue to utilize my legal education and expertise to fight injustice," said Inda. “This was my second time attending La Mancha Awards, the first time was as a volunteer and this time as an award recipient. It is a great experience being in the same venue with over 200 attendees that all share a common affinity towards helping those who cannot help themselves,” she added.
Professor William Slomanson kindly accepted the award on behalf of Prochazka and Guzman, who both relocated after graduating in May. Prochazka is currently pursuing graduate studies in London and Guzman is in Los Angeles working for Alliance for Children's Rights, a public interest organization providing free legal services to foster children.
“I am truly honored to be a recipient of the pro bono award and to represent TJSL in this category,” said Guzman. Guzman knew he wanted to advocate for youth before entering law school and had the opportunity to intern with Casa Cornelia Law Center's Unaccompanied Minors program.
“Casa Cornelia sees past our clients' indigent status and realizes that everyone, regardless of their status, deserves a right to representation. I will continue to advocate on behalf of children and ensure their voices are heard,” he added.
Casa Cornelia provides quality pro bono legal services to victims of human and civil rights violations. In addition to recognizing the important pro bono work of the San Diego's legal community, La Mancha Awards also raises funds that support the mission of the organization. The 7th annual La Mancha Awards will be on October 16, 2014.