Legal Aid Society Orange County
Organization Type: Association
Position/Title: Executive Director
Functional Area: Law Practice
Year of Induction: 2012
2101 N. Tustin Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
CITATION UPON INDUCTION INTO THE COLLEGE
Robert Cohen is a futuristic thinker, years ahead of his time in adapting innovative technologies and processes to serve indigent civil clients. He championed legislation that has generated millions of dollars for civil legal services programs serving indigent and low income Californians. As the executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, he instituted innovative new services: a telephone help-line where qualified low-income civil clients can receive information on legal issues; the Interactive Community Assistance Network (I-CAN), a network of web-based interactive kiosks assisting self-represented litigants; and the Earned Income Tax Credit “E-File” computer-assisted technology program. Robert and his staff have watched the LASOC grow from a little-funded volunteer branch of the Law Wives section of the bar association in 1958 to a nationally recognized, independent legal aid organization with an annual budget of $9 million and multiple offices. The Society has won awards for legal access and excellence in eLawyering. Robert’s career demonstrates new ways of using technology to give low income families and people of modest means increased access to the legal system. I’m pleased to welcome Robert Cohen as a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management.
—Nominated by Richard Granat and Ron Staudt, October 2012