On April 23, 2016, the USD Legal Clinics proudly participated in the 31st Annual Linda Vista Multi-Cultural Fair and Parade. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Clinic staff and legal interns distributed informational flyers and answered questions regarding the free legal services offered at the USD Legal Clinics. Federal Tax Clinic Legal Interns Mitchell Smith and Ana Menshikova, Federal Tax Clinic Law Clerk Natalie Rodriguez, and Outreach Coordinator Patty O’Deane participated in the day-long festival.
“The people who stopped by our booth asked a wide variety of questions,” comments Federal Tax Clinic Legal Intern Mitchell Smith. “Some of them wanted general information about what the Legal Clinics do, who works at the clinics, and how it operates. Other people had questions regarding their individual problems and asked if we could help. We explained the various types of legal services the clinic offers, and informed them of the income requirements at the clinic.”
This year’s theme was, “It takes a Community to Educate a Child,” and more than 15,000 people attended this day-long event. Approximately 92 people stopped by the USD Legal Clinics’ booth, and about 42 of the people that visited the booth were Spanish-speaking.
“We handed out flyers that included information about the various legal clinics,” adds Smith. “A few people that stopped by our booth were having federal tax problems. Since Natalie, Ana, and I work at the Federal Tax Clinic, we were able to answer some of their general questions and suggested they call the USD Legal Clinics for further assistance.”
In addition to the numerous cultural exhibits, ethnic foods, and artistic performances, many other agencies provided information about their services. The Linda Vista Multi-Cultural Fair is designed to promote cultural awareness and understanding within the City of San Diego. It is a particularly important event for USD as we are proudly located in the Linda Vista Community.
“I find that it’s always a fun experience getting out into the community and talking to people about the USD Legal Clinics,” reflects Smith. “Knowing that we can help people who cannot afford expensive legal services is a great feeling. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Professor Richard Carpenter for two semesters at the Federal Tax Clinic and he teaches us the importance of giving back to the community. He taught us to treat pro bono cases with the same amount of respect and care that you would treat a paying client.”