CCLC logo 25 yrs 5

Winter Newsletter

Casa Cornelia: Celebrating 25 Years of Pro Bono Legal Services

CarmenandLucy Carmen M. Chavez and Lucy Howell, Vice-Chair
of the Board, at the 2017 La Mancha Awards

Dear Friends,

It brings me great joy to take a moment and reflect upon the history of Casa Cornelia: twenty-five years of collaboration, determination, and legal action to help thousands of children, women, and men to find justice and humanitarian protection. It is thanks to your friendship, compassion, and generosity as well as the continuous renewal of your commitment, that we made it here – a quarter century serving immigrant and refugee communities in Southern California. 


From the beginning, Casa Cornelia understood the special and unique needs of our region located... Read more.


Our Clients and Their Countries of Origin

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In 2017, Casa Cornelia responded to 2,441 children, women, and men from various countries and nationalities. Of these, 2,143 were nationals from Latin America, 197 from Africa, 39 from Asia, 31 from the Middle East, 20 from Eastern Europe, 6 from Western Europe, and 4 from North America. 


Attorneys Who Care: You Can Still Sign Up!


During the two work weeks of March 12-23, San Diego firms will come together to raise the necessary funds to provide access to justice for immigrant victims of human and civil rights violations. Help Casa Cornelia build a path to hope for our clients, and see if your firm can raise the most!

Sign-up your firm by Wednesday, March 7, 2018!


Last Year, Best Best & Krieger, LLP, hosted 'Bingo for Casa Cornelia' as part of the 2017 Attorneys Who Care Campaign.


They raised funds to support access to free quality legal services for our clients while having fun at the same time. Thank you, Best Best & Krieger, LLP for your continuous support!


We encourage law firms to raise funds using creativity! Special recognition will be given to the large law firm and the small law firm that raise the most funds per attorney. Click here to submit and allocate a donation to your firm right now!


Join the firms that have already signed up:


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Contact Rosa Mitsumasu Scotti, Development Manager, at or (619)231-7788 ext. 330 for more details.

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Client Stories: Women Seeking Justice


Diana* is a survivor of domestic violence – Shortly after learning that she was pregnant, her boyfriend got jealous at a party and threw her against a wall. After realizing that his abuse could kill her and her baby, Diana left the relationship.

A few years later, Diana saw an emergency broadcast about police looking for a man suspected of killing his wife and two kids. A picture flashed on TV, it was him. In shock, Diana called the police, shared her experience, and later testified at his trial. Casa Cornelia filed for a U Visa on Diana’s behalf to protect her from deportation, and helped resolve her legal status. Diana is now working and caring for her child, free from fear of violence or deportation.  



YolandaYolanda* reported a medical doctor’s sexual abuse in 2014. During his time at the clinic, the doctor took advantage of his position of power and molested, raped, and took private pictures of his patients. Yolanda went to the free clinic because of abdominal pain, and after an unusual check-up, she questioned why he was touching her and taking pictures of her on his private cellphone... Read more.

*Clients' names have been changed to protect confidentiality.



Meet Patricia Ramirez, MSW, Casa Cornelia’s Support Services Coordinator

Expanding our Network to Support our Clients’ Growth and Basic Needs


Throughout the course of a legal case, Casa Cornelia’s clients often experience the need for basic human and social services such as housing, nourishment, access to healthcare, and education for themselves and their families. These unmet needs often become barriers to the clients’ ability to participate fully in their legal case. With this in mind, Casa Cornelia developed a new position within the legal team to develop partnerships in the community.

Patricia Ramirez, Support Services Coordinator, shares her vision for the new role... Read more.

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VIT Corner: Mark Your Calendars!


Volunteer Interpreters and Translators (VIT) are vital for the success of our clients’ cases. In 2017 alone, VITs supported Casa Cornelia Law Center by interpreting and translating over 40 languages from around the world, including a growing number of indigenous languages from Central America such as Kanjobal, Mam, Mixteco and Akateko.

Please join us for the VIT appreciation party on Thursday, April 19 at the offices of Casa Cornelia Law Center. We love our volunteers, and cannot wait to celebrate our collective accomplishments!

Questions? Contact Artemisa Valle, VIT Program Coordinator, at (619) 231-7788, Ext. 302 or 



Casa Cornelia’s Reception: Opening Doors for Clients Seeking Justice       

A Conversation with Evelyn Hernandez, Receptionist at Casa Cornelia

   Welcome As soon as a person walks through the door to share their story, Casa Cornelia staff welcomes them with a smile, resources to apply for legal aid, and information about additional services.

This first interaction sets the tone for the relationship with our potential clients – a tone based on compassion, resourcefulness, and the mission to provide access to justice, hope and dignity. Many of Casa Cornelia’s clients are victims of sexual violence, trafficking, and torture... Read more.



Thank You for Your Ongoing Moral and Financial Support


Donate TodayYour donations are transformational.

With your contributions, you are funding free legal services for survivors of domestic violence, asylum seekers suffering from socio-political persecution, and children held at detention facilities.

Donate today and bring hope, dignity, and opportunity to vulnerable communities in need.

For questions about making an outright gift or a planned gift to Casa Cornelia, contact Courtney Brown, Director of Philanthropy at or 619-231-7788 ext. 324.


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Suite 200
San Diego, California 92103

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