GLENDALE, Calif.–Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLS-LA) is preparing to swear in several new attorneys at a reception this Friday, December 18 at its Glendale office. The ceremony will be presided over by California Supreme Court Justice Carlos R. Moreno.
NLS-LA, an organization providing innovative and free legal services to low-income residents throughout Los Angeles County, recently announced its inaugural Dickran Tevrizian Fellow, Alina Azizian, who will be a part of the swearing in ceremony. NLS-LA is the first legal aid agency in the United States, to tailor a fellowship program to the specific civil legal needs of low-income Armenian Americans. Azizian will work closely with advocates to identify barriers to legal justice and community development and implement culturally effective programs and solutions.
“California is home to an estimated 500,000 Armenian immigrants and nearly 80,000 live in Glendale alone, where NLS-LA’s administrative offices are located. The Dickran Tevrizian Fellowship program is committed to better recognizing and serving the complex needs of our Armenian neighbors in accessing our justice system in areas of the law such as healthcare, education, fair employment, affordable housing, and economic development,” said Neal S. Dudovitz, Executive Director of NLS-LA. “Alina has already demonstrated her passion for these issues and we look forward to the energy and ideas she is going to bring to our organization and to the community.”
The Fellowship honors Retired Federal Judge Dickran Tevrizian for his more than three decades of public service and his long-standing commitment to the Armenian community. Over the years, he has been a mentor for numerous Armenian lawyers throughout Los Angeles and he established the Dickran Tevrizian Fund at the University of Southern California to help disadvantaged students pursue their legal education.
“Throughout my career, I have felt that one of my most important roles is fostering the minds and skills of young people,” said Judge Tevrizian. “I know that Alina will gain valuable experience working with the team at Neighborhood Legal Services and she, in turn, will be an asset in their efforts to address the concerns of the Armenian community.”
Azizian grew up in Glendale, CA and attended Glendale Community College before graduating from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in political science. She graduated with University Distinction, was a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, and a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society. Azizian attended Boston University School of Law where she was on the International Law Journal. During law school, she interned at Neighborhood Legal Services, MA and worked on their Elder Law Project.
Azizian already has experience with public service locally, having served as the executive director of the Armenian National Committee in Glendale and working closely with individuals and organizations seeking to enhance community life in Glendale for low income Armenians.
“I’m grateful to Neighborhood Legal Services for giving me the opportunity to make a difference,” said Azizian. “It’s gratifying when you can use your education and experience to benefit others and this fellowship allows me to do just that.”
An Advisory Committee comprised of prominent members of the Armenian Community, elected officials and bar leaders will support Azizian, who will work out of the NLS-LA office in Glendale. Her work will include community outreach, policy advocacy at the local, state and national levels, and assisting individuals with their legal problems.
Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County is one of California’s premier legal services programs serving the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, the neighboring communities in the Pomona, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys, and the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena. NLS-LA provides individual client services for traditional legal needs, such as family law and evictions, self-help assistance through court-based centers, and advocacy to address low-income communities’ core legal needs including access to health care, economic development, education, job training, employment and child care.