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Kazan Law Foundation

Kazan Law Foundation a Top Donor for Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund

Kazan LawThrough our 40 years of practicing law as mesothelioma lawyers at Kazan Law, all of us have seen heartbreak up close. It stays with us. It compels us to give back. That’s why we created our firm’s foundation. Over the last 20 years we have given over $20 million in grants to a range of community, educational and civic organizations, including $6 million for mesothelioma research. This is one way we give back to the mesothelioma community whose rights we fight for as mesothelioma lawyers.

At this special time of year, when the store windows are full of glitter and glamorous expensive gifts, we at Kazan Law are acutely aware that for many people it is a challenge just to meet their basic needs for food and shelter. Seeing the abundance around them and joy during the holiday season makes their lack even more poignant. So at this time of year, we are proud to be listed as a major donor to the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund. As we did last year, the Kazan Law foundation has donated $20,000 to this wonderful cause. We are proud of the work we do as mesothelioma lawyers and grateful that our success makes it possible for us to help those in need.

The Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund provides temporary assistance to help people living in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties.

Since 1986, the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund has raised more than $98 million to help thousands of Bay Area families. The Fund offers grants to help families in crisis so they can pay for housing and emergency needs. Through a network of more than 120 community service agencies, the Fund works to identify families in need and provide short-term, critical assistance grants.

Grants from the Fund can help families in any number of ways, such as paying the rent so they can stay in their home, covering a security deposit so they can transition out of a homeless shelter, or buying a wheelchair or other essential medical equipment that they couldn’t otherwise afford. In addition, the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund supports food banks and distributes nearly $1 million each year to assist individuals and families who might otherwise go hungry. You can read some of their stories here.

East Oakland Youth Development Center’s Creates New College Scholarships

East Oakland Youth Development Center We are proud to announce that the Kazan Law Foundation helped support the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC) in creating several new college scholarships. Through scholarships funded by our firm and others, 45 students were awarded funds for the 2014-15 academic year. EOYDC has provided more than $400,000 over the past 10 years to students.

For the first time, we are sponsoring three scholarships, at $5,000 each.  Our three recipients are: Bryce Bell who will attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Marisa Jolivette who will attend Cal State East Bay; and Branden Vonderwerth who will attend Nichols College.

The scholarships to this worthwhile organization were presented at EOYDC’s 10th Annual “Something for Everyone” Art, Wine and Jazz Reception. The purpose of this wonderful event was to honor East Oakland students who pursue higher education.

EOYDC does a superb job of providing summer enrichment programs to traditionally underserved populations. For example, this summer in partnership with the African American Male Initiative at Oakland Unified School District, EOYDC helped send fourteen participants, nine high school and five college students, on two-week educational visit to China for cultural, educational, and science related  lectures and field studies.

It is no secret that college costs have been skyrocketing as the average person’s income has declined. Yet education remains one of the most powerful ways to help create change on an individual basis. Rates of poverty are closely correlated with an individual’s level of educational attainment: one – third of Oakland residents who did not complete high school live in poverty, compared to only 6% of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to a recent Oakland Youth Indicator Report.

Numerous studies have shown that academic success is linked to individual and societal benefits, from improved employment opportunities, increased earnings, reduced crime, and improved self efficacy. We applaud the efforts of EOYDC in this important endeavor and appreciate Kazan Law partner Gordon Greenwood guiding us in supporting this worthy cause.

Kazan Law Foundation Honored by Lend a Hand Foundation

Kazan Law FoundationThe success of our asbestos law firm compels us to reach out and try to help meet the needs of the vibrant diverse community around us. The Kazan Law Foundation was formed in 1994, and over the years has disbursed over $20 million in grants to a wide array of community and civic organizations, including $6 million for mesothelioma research.

Recently our Foundation was recognized by Oakland’s Lend a Hand Foundation for our contribution to their efforts. At their annual ceremony, the Green and White Ball, featuring legendary percussionist Pete Escovedo , we were honored to receive a certificate of special Congressional recognition from Congresswoman Barbara Lee as well as certificates of commendation from the California State Assembly and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors for our donations to the Lend a Hand Foundation.

But we chose to donate to the Lend a Hand Foundation not to receive recognition but because we support their mission. And that mission is to enhance the quality of life of less fortunate youth with a special focus on kids residing in transitional housing facilities and others at a disadvantage. Lend a Hand tries to give these kids the opportunity to experience educational, cultural and other activities not otherwise available to them.

In Alameda County, according to the Lend a Hand Foundation there are over 6,000 students identified as homeless. This includes students living in shelters, transitional housing, hotels/motels, or living doubled up with other friends or families because they lost their housing. The Lend a Hand Foundation’s efforts to help these kids includes a Stay in School Program, Annual Back to School Giveaway providing school supplies to more than 10,000 kids and scholarship funds for graduating high school seniors.

Meet Kazan Law Associate Julianna Rivera

Juliana RiveraOne of Kazan Law’s newest associate attorneys is Julianna Rivera.  A Detroit native and recent law school grad who passed the Michigan Bar in 2011, Julianna moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in late 2012 and passed the California Bar in February 2013.  She started at Kazan Law this past July.

Ms. Rivera’s astute knowledge of law and legal proceedings combined with her compassion for human suffering and her determination to seek justice for those wronged make her a very promising attorney for Kazan Law.  We are proud to be helping to produce the next generation of asbestos attorneys.  Now let’s talk with Ms. Rivera.

Why did you choose to become an attorney?

My undergraduate degrees are in History and Spanish, and I wasn’t quite certain about what I wanted to do next.  I decided to pursue a degree in law because I saw attorneys doing all sorts of different and compelling work.  Some were in the court room, some were doing nonprofit work and others were working in public policy and local government. Law school seemed like a natural and good stepping stone to many interesting and fulfilling career paths. And I was right.

Why did you come to work for us here at Kazan Law?

I heard that Kazan Law was looking for a law and motion attorney, and I had been working as a research attorney in the Michigan Court of Appeals.  I started researching the firm, and I was very impressed with Kazan Law’s attorneys and the big victories they win for their clients.  I wanted to be a part of a team that does meaningful and important work.  I was also excited about the prospect of working at such a strong litigation firm.

How did you become interested in working with mesothelioma and asbestos cases?

I’ve learned about asbestos and mesothelioma at Kazan Law. It’s opened my eyes to this whole area of law. Our clients are mostly workers and families who were exposed to asbestos and didn’t know it and now their lives are being cut short.  The injustice was obvious.  And because of that, I feel like it is very important that we do this work not only to help our clients but to put corporations on notice that they cannot act with impunity. That there is a civil justice system and it does work. I like the sense of purpose we have at Kazan Law.

What else do you like about your work here at Kazan Law?

I enjoy working with such a passionate and caring team.  Kazan Law really cares about their clients, and I see on a daily basis how hard our staff works, and how we don’t stop until we achieve a good outcome for our clients.

I also like how much Kazan Law cares about the community and supports nonprofits.  We have a foundation and we help sponsor fundraising events for many nonprofits such as the Alameda County Food Bank. Tonight, for example, I am going to an event for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, another organization we support.

Why Kazan Law’s Foundation Supports Legal Services For Prisoners With Children

Learn how former prisoners are denied jobs, housing, student loans, child custody and the right to vote

What if you had served time in prison but because of your record, you were unable to get a job or find a place to live? How could you possibly become a productive member of society when every door slammed in your face?  How would you make money to feed and clothe your children?

Or what if you were a victim of domestic abuse who was locked up in prison for trying to defend yourself and your children against harm?  And now because of your unjust imprisonment your children were without the one parent they could love and trust?

Decades of advocating for workers and their families who are coping with asbestos-caused malignant mesothelioma has had a profound effect on all of us here at Kazan Law.  It has made us all more keenly aware of institutionalized injustices of many kinds including those I mentioned above.

As attorneys who specialize in asbestos cases, we can’t jump into a different legal area to professionally help people facing these situations. What we can do is offer support through our firm’s foundation to an organization that is committed to improving the odds for incarcerated Americans and their families.

Kazan, McClain, Abrams, Fernandez, Lyons, Greenwood, Oberman, Satterley & Bosl Foundation is proud to be a supporter of Legal Services for Prisoners With Children (LSPC).  LSPC provides legal support, trainings, advocacy, public education, and community building to reunify families and communities impacted by the criminal justice system.

Here are some of LSPC’s key projects:

  • The Family Unity Project strives to help keep families connected when a family member is in prison
  • All of Us or None provides support for formerly incarcerated people and their families and seeks to end discrimination against people with conviction histories (see video above)
  • California Habeas Project seeks to free from prison survivors of domestic violence who are in prison for crimes related to their abuse.

To help LSPC fund these and other important projects and to celebrate this organization’s longevity, our foundation became a major sponsor for LSPC’s fundraising 35th anniversary celebration.  The gala event “Rooted Together, Rising as One” takes place on October 19th in San Francisco.  It promises to be a great evening for a great cause.

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