ANWOL Champion: Pavithra Menon

pavithra

Pavithra Menon first became familiar with A New Way of Life by volunteering at our legal clinics as a UCLA Law student. She loved helping out and working directly with the clients, “As a law student, you don’t get many opportunities to do that.”

Pavithra previously worked at a private law firm representing employees who faced discrimination or retaliation before joining our team. She worked with various public interest organizations in the Southern California area while in law school. These experiences made it clear to her that she eventually wanted to return to the nonprofit sector.

“I hope that we not only are able to change individual lives, but that we are able to create systemic change in such a way that our clients can move forward and seek out opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.”

As one of our valued staff attorneys, Pavithra supervises the re-entry legal clinic, which serves as a first stop for clients in their journey to getting post-conviction relief.  She helps clients with dismissing convictions under state expungement law and reducing felonies to misdemeanors. In addition, she trains the clinic volunteers and oversees their work. Pavithra also represents clients at court hearings and files petitions on their behalf. When appropriate, she files legal motions and briefs as necessary and has worked on two appeals made to the California Court of Appeals. Finally, Pavithra prepares clients for administrative hearings in order to obtain occupational licenses or criminal record exemptions that they need for work.

When asked about her goals for the community and our society at large, Pavithra stated, “I hope that our work and advocacy will change more and more of the public’s opinion about our clients in terms of seeing them as real people who can rehabilitate and can contribute to society, and seeing them less as criminals who are beyond redemption. I hope that we not only are able to change individual lives, but that we are able to create systemic change in such a way that our clients can move forward and seek out opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.”

Pavithra Menon holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Finance & Liberal Arts Honors. She received her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. She’s from Austin, Texas, and enjoys Netflix, trying out new restaurants, and travelling.

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    Eric Villalpando

    Eric Villalpando is the 2016-2017 Ignatian Service Corps volunteer at A New Way of Life