WSGR Pro Bono Team Honored with CRLA's Champions of Educational Justice Award
On November 8, 2018, a pro bono team from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati—comprised of partner Steve Guggenheim and Of Counsel Joni Ostler—was honored with the California Rural Legal Assistance's (CRLA's) 2018 Champions of Educational Justice Award at the 2018 CRLA San Francisco Fiesta event at The City Club of San Francisco. CRLA expressed their gratitude for Joni and Steve's work on this matter, noting that their contributions to the litigation were critical to its successful outcome, and that WSGR had been a great partner in their fight for better education opportunities for students.
Specifically, the team was recognized for their pro bono work on the Kern High School District (KHSD) litigation matter in partnership with several civil rights organizations, including CRLA and the Equal Justice Society. After a three-year court battle to stop years of discriminatory discipline practices that deprived African American and Latino students of their right to an education, a landmark settlement was reached with KHSD, including an immediate change to the district's discipline practices to reduce the disproportionate suspensions, expulsions, and involuntary school transfers of African American and Latino students.
Founded in 1966, CRLA provides direct legal services, community outreach, and educational training to nearly 50,000 low-income people annually, including farmworkers, individuals with disabilities, immigrant populations, LGBT communities, women, children, and families in rural areas. CRLA's primary program focus areas include: education, employment & labor, housing, leadership development, and rural health.