February is nationally recognized as Black History Month but here at the Public Defender’s Office, every month is dedicated to uplifting Black, Indigenous and People of Color’s voices. We embody our County’s Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative (ARDI) to boldly articulate and implement an anti-racist agenda that guides, governs and increases our Department’s ongoing commitment to fighting racism in all its dimensions, especially racism that systemically and systematically affects our Black clients.
In 2020, we created the Racial Justice Act (RJA) Unit to challenge discriminatory practices, such as disparities in charging, convictions, and sentencing or racially coded language by individuals in a case or during trial. The RJA Unit currently assists trial attorneys in the preparation of motions, working with experts to analyze and interpret statistical data, and in mounting a defense. The RJA Unit looks at historical bias in the criminal justice system and how it affects trials, sentencing and legal procedures.
Financial hardships often steer talented law students away from work opportunities that serve the public interest. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our post-bar law clerk, law clerk and internship programs. Your support is critical to train the next generation of passionate defenders. Your contribution will enable deserving recipients to provide high-quality holistic defense for our indigent population and work alongside our attorneys, social workers, and paralegals in both our adult and juvenile trial divisions, in addition to our collaborative work in many of the specialized courts.
Thank you in advance for your support.
RICARDO D. GARCÍA
Masters of Law Degree in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine School of Law
Kozyak Tropin Throckmorton Litigation Skills Adjunct Faculty Award Recipient
2018-19 Innovative Service in the Public Interest Award
2017-2018 HOPE Pro Bono Challenge Outstanding 1L Award
McGeorge Student Ambassador
Public Service Award Recipient
2020 Nancy Stuart Public Interest Award Recipient
George and Katrina Woolverton Public Service Award
2020 Outstanding Clinical Student Award
2020 Dean's Service Award
2019 & 2018 Mexican American Bar Foundation Scholar
I was welcomed at all of the new hire trainings, trials, and learned critical skills for trial and voir dire. I was assigned to dedicated attorneys who took the time to train me how to manage cases, invited me to join expert calls, client visits, and write motions. I was always treated as part of the team. Even during the pandemic, there was never an idled day. Thank you, Los Angeles Public Defenders for your investment in my growth!
I would like people to know that working at the Public Defender's Office was an amazing experience. I was able to advocate for indigent defendants by drafting motions and ensuring that their rights were not violated. Growing up in a low-income neighborhood, I understand the struggles that several of these defendants face; thus, making my experience that much more valuable.
I am a Latina first generation recently barred attorney. I spent my time at Loyola working at the Juvenile Justice Clinic where I represented youth in delinquency proceedings as a certified law clerk. I met with youth every week in juvenile halls throughout LA, I assisted in family issues such as finding family housing and therapy resources and advocated for our clients on the record. The most rewarding case I worked on while there was a competency case for over a year that resulted in a full dismissal of seven felony charges. While with the Public Defender's Office I shadowed an attorney in court, met with clients, prepared cross examinations, conducted legal research and writing, drafted motions to dismiss and motions to suppress evidence. My favorite work with the office was writing a very challenging motion to dismiss a homicide case for a 16-year pre accusation delay.
I served as second chair on a trial from start to finish, including assisting in voir dire, helping prepare opening and closing statements and cross and direct examination. During trial, I drafted an original Hammon-Reber motion to obtain privileged psychiatric medical records of a prosecution witness and the jury returned not guilty verdicts on all the most serious charges. I also worked to prepare preliminary hearings, by reviewing arraignment packets, drafting evidentiary requests, and conducting client interviews.
Prior to going to law school, I knew I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to be an advocate and voice for vulnerable communities. Working at the LA Public Defender's Office has thus been an amazing experience all around. Clerking with the office has allowed me to work alongside a large group of attorneys that are committed to doing the same and that are driven with such passion. My time in the office has only refueled my passion for fighting against the many injustices the impoverished face. I am forever grateful to every attorney that I have had the pleasure of working with as I have learned so much.
By far the most rewarding experience during my post-bar clerkship with the PD’s office was the client interaction. It was a daily reminder of the reason I went to law school – to be a voice for those whose voices are muffled out by the systemic oppression in our society. I am so thankful for these experiences and the opportunity to gain valuable insight and training from talented Public Defenders. I am looking forward to joining the fight as a Deputy Public Defender in the near future.
For more information or if you’d like to further collaborate in achieving our Vision & Mission, please contact our Director of Strategic Growth & Development, Natasha E. Khamashta (562) 715-3410 email@example.com
Contributions or gifts to the County of Los Angeles or to any of its departments are tax-deductible if they are for public purposes. Los Angeles County is a chartered county and is a political subdivision of the State of California. The California Revenue and Taxation Code allows the same itemized deductions for California personal income tax purposes as are allowed under Internal Revenue Code Sections 170(a) and 170(c) (1) of the Internal Revenue Code which permit an itemized deduction for contributions and gifts to, or for the use of, a political subdivision of any State, if the contribution or gift is made for exclusively public purposes.
Los Angeles County’s Federal Identification Number is 95-6000927, and its California Tax Identification Number is 800-9593.