Advocacy and Ardour in a Time of Want Los Angeles Journal

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Advocacy and Passion in a Time of Need Los Angeles Magazine

Advocacy and compassion are two words that epitomize family law attorney Patrick Baghdaserians of the Baghdaserians Law Group. As a certified specialist in the field of family law, he learned a long time ago that these qualities are the cornerstones of a successful profession. Patrick's passion for the law and helping the needy began years before he began his legal career.

Patrick was born in post-war Iran in 1982. Shortly after his birth, Patrick's family was in a very difficult situation. They could stay in the country they grew up in, restricted by strict sectarian laws, or flee and travel west to America. Fearing persecution and harassment, the family left Iran and moved to Los Angeles, California. Unable to speak or write English, Patrick's parents relied on the community to support and guide their families. With her help, Patrick's parents started their own business, worked full-time pizza owners, and brought two children to college. Throughout this time, they remained committed to the community that helped them immensely in their move to the US.

Experience of his parents' work ethic and involvement in the local community had a lasting impact on Patrick. He remained steadfast in his commitment to education and community. Patrick thrived academically, graduating with Honors from St. Francis High School in La Cañada Flintridge, and then enrolling on an academic scholarship at Loyola Marymout University. While at Loyola Marymount, Patrick used his time to give back to the community through various public interest projects. He led food drives and led community-based events on various human rights issues.

In 2004, Patrick enrolled at Southwestern Law School. During his law degree, he worked for both the defense attorney and the district attorney. Patrick also received a prestigious external internship with the Honorable District Judge Robert M. Takasugi. Judge Takasugi, a pillar of the legal community in Los Angeles, helped foster Patrick's commitment to public service.

Since graduating from Southwestern Law School in 2007, Patrick has practiced solely in the family law field. In 2014 he became one of the youngest state-certified specialists in the field of family law. Patrick has conducted hundreds of family law hearings and has built a reputation as a strong and passionate attorney for his clients. In 2019, he successfully overturned a court ruling on property. Patrick's appeal-level victory was captured in a published decision. Later that year, he and partner Daniel J. Leonetti founded the Baghdaserians Law Group.

For the past decade, Patrick has represented people from all walks of life on divorce and ancestry issues. Hundreds of cases and countless court appearances have made him the lawyer he is today. Patrick has been fortunate enough to handle some of the most complex cases in family law. Despite this success, he never lost sight of what is really important in his life.

Throughout his career, Patrick has always sought to give back to the community that supported him and his family so much when they first immigrated. An area of ​​interest to Patrick has always been the victim of abuse advocacy. Patrick has always tried to fight for those who cannot do it alone.

In 2017, Patrick helped create a pro bono legal aid program geared towards helping victims of domestic violence, namely the Southwestern Law School Almuni Association's Domestic Violence Advocacy Initiative. The DVAI program provides financial grants for lawyers who then volunteer with legal aid organizations. The lawyers selected will work under the supervision of a senior lawyer to protect and stand up for victims of domestic violence. Several years ago, Patrick worked with one of Los Angeles County's most respected nonprofit organizations, the LevittQuinn Family Law Center. Through this partnership, the DVAI hired several lawyers at LevittQuinn as volunteers. These attorneys have worked on more than 100 different domestic violence cases.

Regarding the DVAI, Patrick says: "Domestic violence comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes a matter may not go so far as to involve the prosecutor. This doesn't mean it isn't an abuse. If the prosecutor decides not to initiate criminal prosecution, the victim must apply for a family injunction himself. If the victim cannot afford a lawyer, such a task can be daunting and daunting. The DVAI program was created to eradicate this reality and provide free legal services to victims who otherwise could not afford legal assistance. ”

In the past few years, Patrick has raised over $ 250,000 for the DVAI. Through various fundraising campaigns and sponsorships, the DVAI has had a significant impact on the local community and has helped well over 100 families.

In May 2020, Patrick's law firm Baghdaserians Law Group donated $ 140,000 to fund legal aid scholarships in the area of ​​domestic violence, sexual harassment, and abuse. The grants include two full-year grants paid by the DVAI of $ 60,000 per year.

In addition, from September 2020 the Baghdaserians Law Group will expand its reach and fund its first scholarship with Public Counsel. Public Counsel is the largest pro bono law firm in the country. With over 120 employees (including attorneys, support staff, and social workers) and over 5,000 volunteer lawyers, Public Counsel supports over 30,000 children, youth, families and community organizations each year.

The Baghdaserians Law Group scholar will work in partnership with Public Counsel's Audrey Irmas Project on Women and Girls' Rights (WGR). The fellow will endeavor to review all facets of Title IX, with an additional focus on the issues faced by women and girls of color and members of the LGBTQI community. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, the WGR is pushing for change and systemic reform in institutions that uphold discrimination against women and girls.

The Baghdaserians Law Group scholar will also work with other Public Counsel programs, including homeless prevention, community development, children's rights, immigration rights, and the Veterans Advancement Center. This includes helping survivors of domestic and sexual violence, vulnerable seniors, young people involved in the system and veterans to overcome institutional obstacles.

Regarding the Baghdaserians Fellow and the WGR, Patrick explains: “I hope this new project will have an impact similar to that of the DVAI. The area in which the fellow will be working is truly amazing and very much in line with what is going on in society today. It's more important than ever that we continue to build on the current MeToo movement through programs like the WGR at Public Counsel. ”

Patrick is confident that his commitment to the DVAI and WGR will motivate others to donate their time and money to such causes. Baghdaserians Law Group remains committed to the community and its clients in managing their family law matters. Patrick and his law firm are open and able to handle all types of family law matters with the same passion and advocacy that he has shown over the past decade.

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