GLENDALE—Community members and elected officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate the new Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA) Dickran Tevrizian Fellow, an Armenian-speaking law graduate who for the next two years will work to expand access to justice for families in the City of Glendale and surrounding communities. Nareeneh Sohbatian is the second-ever recipient of the fellowship, which honors retired U.S. District Court Judge Dickran Tevrizian for his lifetime of service to the Armenian American community, his dedication to mentoring and training new lawyers and his commitment to helping impoverished communities.
The reception, attended by representatives from the City of Glendale as well as staff from the offices of Congressman Adam Schiff, Councilmember Paul Krekorian, Assemblyman Mike Gatto and Supervisor Mike Antonovich, was also an opportunity to say farewell to Alina Azizian, the organization’s first Dickran Tevrizian Fellow. Alina fostered and strengthened relationships with community members and community-based organizations, and collaborated with elected officials, bar associations and Armenian community leaders.
“Alina created a critical bridge to services for so many Glendale residents,” Judge Tevrizian said. “I am confident Nareeneh will build on that work to create greater access to legal services for low-income families in the area.”
Los Angeles County is home to an estimated 350,000 Armenians, the largest community outside the Republic of Armenia. The Dickran Tevrizian Fellow will work closely with advocates throughout the County to identify and address the legal needs of low-income residents through research, community education and legal representation.
“While the needs of low-income Armenian Americans aren’t all that different from those of other low-income Los Angeles residents, there is very little information about available resources among people who qualify for them in the Armenian community,” said Sohbatian, who is fluent in English, Armenian and Spanish. “This fellowship allows me to talk to all Glendale residents about the work of Neighborhood Legal Services and the ways in which we can help.”
NLSLA has been changing lives and transforming communities in Los Angles since 1965. Now one of California’s most prominent public interest law firms, each year NLSLA provides free assistance to more than 80,000 individuals and families. NLSLA is widely known for its unique and innovative special projects that have expanded access to justice for the poor and address the most critical needs of Los Angles’ poverty communities.