IN 1965, a group of young attorneys, motivated by a belief that the law could be a powerful tool for social and economic justice, gathered in Pacoima in a dilapidated office in the northeastern part of the San Fernando Valley. They didn’t know it at the time, but they were forming what would one day become one of the largest, most influential public interest law firms in the state—a place that would transform the lives of countless people living in poverty across Los Angeles County and beyond.

But in those early years, the attorneys had more modest goals. They wanted to widen access to justice to the poorest sections of the county, areas where residents were struggling with substandard housing and a lack of access to health care, education, and employment.

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