Celebrating 25 Years of Justice with Compassion

Summer Newsletter

You are Invited!

Casa Cornelia Celebrates 25 Years of Justice with Compassion at the 2018 La Mancha Awards

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Casa Cornelia is delighted to celebrate its 25th anniversary during the 2018 La Mancha Awards, commemorating over 10,000 children, women and men who received pro bono legal services, were granted protections, and escaped violence and persecution in their countries of origin.

With Keynote Speaker:

Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize Winner and Columnis for the New York Times

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Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
Photo by Ramin Talaie / EPA

Reserve your passes today!

Responding to the Family Separation Crisis in San Diego

By Rosa Mitsumasu Scotti, Development Manager

Elizabeth Camarena, Associate DirectorAs the only local organization providing legal services to unaccompanied detained children, and the largest non-profit law firm assisting adult asylum seekers in San Diego County, Casa Cornelia has been uniquely positioned to assist those who were separated as a result of the Zero Tolerance policy implemented by the federal administration. Despite our success in effectively assisting affected adult and children, the legal processes in the immigration system brought on by rapid policy shifts will be challenging for a long time. On August 21, I interviewed Elizabeth Camarena, Associate Director of Casa Cornelia, to ask for her thoughts in this time... [Read more]                                                              

A Tale of Two Refugees    

A Reflection by Volunteer Attorney and Board Member Nancy Aeling, Esq.
adult-beautiful-daughter-1101730 3Of the thousands upon thousands of words I read, heard and studied in Law School, one sentence by a professor stands out: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” (Luke 12:48.) My work as a Volunteer Attorney at Casa Cornelia Law Center has been a double blessing. I have found a path for using my legal training as a way to give, and in the process discovered that you always –and I do mean always– get more than you give. in August 2016, I met Yorrie and her four-year old daughter Mellie for their first hearing in San Diego. Yorrie and Mellie fled their native Eritrea to avoid persecution and imprisonment for seeking information from the... [Read more]

Grateful for our New Friends

By Courtney Brown, Director of Philanthropy

7.13It is truly difficult to summarize the outpouring of support that Casa Cornelia’s clients received from community members this summer - across San Diego, across California, and even across the country. As news of the family separation crisis broke, our phones began ringing… and they kept ringing. I had the honor of working with incredible new donors and community ambassadors. New funders, including Avaaz, The James Irvine Foundation... [Read more]

Welcome New Casa Cornelia Staff!


In the last few months, Casa Cornelia has added five new staff members to continue furthering its mission of hope, including: Alice Bendinelli, Volunteer Interpreter and Translator Project Assistant, Zelena Lissette Cartagena, Staff Attorney, Odili Cerecedo, Administrative Clerk, Zohaile Kakavand, Project Staff Attorney, Michelle Terazawa, Development Assistant, and Rosa Vargas, Pro Bono Legal Assistant.

Welcome to Casa Cornelia!

VIT Program: Bridging the Language Gap to Serve

kidsQuality representation begins by hearing the client’s story in their own words--in their own language. This is where Volunteer Interpreters and Translators (VITs) make Casa Cornelia’s mission a reality: by making the client-attorney communication possible. VITs go through a comprehensive training consisting of ethical and technical elements to set the clients (and our volunteers) for success. Artemisa Valle, who leads the VIT program, stresses the importance of VITs commitment: “Our VITs are expected to be independent. We do not have the resources to hold their hand, but we train them and share the emotional competence needed... [Read more]

Thank you

In the last few months, many of Casa Cornelia's friends and supporters have initiated and hosted fundraising events, social media birthday fundraisers and other activities to benefit our clients.

We are incredibly grateful for your thoughtfulness and generosity, thank you for believing in our mission of hope!

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Casa Cornelia Law Center
2760 5th Ave.
Suite 200
San Diego, California 92103

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