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Beatriz Vargas
Beatriz Vargas
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Spanish Speaking Legal Centers

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Douglas K. W. Landau, Melissa Landau and Beatriz Vargas of Abrams Landau Ltd. meet at the Machu Picchu Restaurant in Falls Church VA with Claudia Henriquez and Dan Choi attorneys and advocates of The Legal Aid Justice Center and Rosario Licona and other members of The Hispanic Committee of Virginia to share and learn what we all do in making a positive impact on the lives of local Hispanic families. These organizations refer clients to us, and we refer people we can not help to these groups.

The Legal Aid Justice Center provides free legal services on non-criminal matters and legal representation for low-income individuals in Virginia. Their mission is to serve those in our communities who have the least access to legal resources. The Legal Aid Justice Center is committed to providing a full range of services to their clients. Their programs are as follow:
The Civil Advocacy Program forms the core of their legal services program, providing assistance to individuals and families in Central Virginia who face legal dilemmas related to housing, public benefits, employment, consumer protection, or the rights of the elderly, institutionalized persons, and other vulnerable populations.

At JustChildren they confront the damaging effects of poverty on children in Virginia, including the lack of educational success and over-involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice systems, through multiple advocacy strategies. Their job is to reinforce each of the concentric circles of care that exist around their children-clients. They have JustChildren programs in Richmond, Petersburg, and Charlottesville. In Charlottesville, they also supervise the Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law.

One in ten Virginians was born outside of the United States, and hundreds of thousands of low-wage immigrant workers live and work in Virginia. Language barriers and unfamiliarity with the U.S. legal system make them vulnerable to exploitation, and frequently they go unpaid, work in sub-standard conditions, and suffer high rates of workplace injury. They often have nowhere to turn when problems arise. The Immigrant Advocacy Program – operating out of offices in Charlottesville and Northern Virginia with a staff that is fluent in Spanish – reaches out to provide them with help and hope.

The Hispanic Committee of Virginia is a private, nonpartisan, tax-exempt nonprofit organization established in 1967 to enable Hispanic immigrants in Northern Virginia to more fully participate in, and thereby, contribute to American society. It is the oldest and largest Hispanic nonprofit organization in Northern Virginia. Last year, the Hispanic Committee of Virginia provided over 50,000 services to more than 10,000 clients. The Committee has 17 full-time staff and 100 volunteers, and its current operating budget is $1.4 million. Its Board of Directors meets monthly. It has offices in Arlington, Falls Church and Alexandria. The Hispanic Committee works towards its mission of promoting economic self-sufficiency and fostering civic participation among Hispanic Americans by providing a wide range of programs and benefits, including:
• Information and referral, call-ins/walk-ins.?
• Social services case management, immediate, basic and emergency assistance.
• Immigration and legal services, consultation and application assistance.
• Home-buying/homeownership, pre-/post-purchase counseling.
• Micro-enterprise development, in-depth counseling and coursework.?
• Financial literacy education, group instruction and individual action plans.?
• Workforce development, job referrals and placement, and quarterly job fairs.
• Adult education, ESL/citizenship classes evenings/weekends. ?
• Youth education, after-school tutoring/mentoring and summer day camp.
We learned that These fine organizations work hard to educate, represent and assist Latino clients just as we do at Abrams Landau.