Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center


Nov 22, 2017

The Pro Bono Spotlight honors volunteers and the important work they do to help Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA fulfill its mission of serving communities in need. In this edition, we recognize Shirley Wei, an immigration attorney with her own practice, the Law Office of Shirley Wei.

Nov 16, 2017

Previously on Part 2 of Health Care Access and Immigrant Barriers, Melevesi and Matelita discussed the difficulties of obtaining Medi-Cal approval for Matelita’s cancer treatments. In this final segment, Melevesi and Matelita reflect upon language and utilization barriers, as well as the importance of community clinics and storytelling.

Nov 09, 2017
Nov 06, 2017

Nak Kim (“Rickie”) Chhoeun and his family fled the Khmer Rouge and arrived in the United States when he was only six years old. Now, he and over a hundred other Cambodian refugees have been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with final deportation orders. These are the largest raids to ever target the Cambodian community and nearly 2,000 other Cambodian refugees across the country are still at risk of being unlawfully arrested.

Nov 01, 2017

Matelita Fifita reflects on her journey to better health after being diagnosed with stage three breast cancer with her daughter, Melevesi Fifita-Talavou.  Matelia shares her experience having to postpone treatment because she lacked health insurance to cover costly screening services. With guidance from PIHP and other local organizations, Matelita was able to get health coverage and has been cancer free for six years now.

Oct 12, 2017

California needs to work harder to ensure ballot access for limited-English speaking voters. I should know – I’ve been fighting for bilingual ballots for over 50 years.

Aug 25, 2017

#WomensEqualityDay celebrates the passage of the 19th Amendment, which expanded voting rights to women in 1920 -- at least, to white women. However, most people of color, including women of color, did not technically or effectively gain the right to vote until decades later.

Aug 18, 2017

For the past month, the students in my citizenship class have been learning about American civics in preparation for naturalization. In particular, they learned about all of the wars the U.S. has been a part of and the lessons that we have learned from them. They learned about the Civil War and the importance of equality when the northern states defeated the south and abolished slavery. They also learned about World War II and how entire nations had to come together to fight against hate and the Nazis in Germany.

Aug 10, 2017

My parents cried when I did not get into UC Berkeley. My dad literally held the denial letter in his hands and cried. I cried, too. All my life I had been told to go to Berkeley and suddenly, I wasn't allowed. What was worse was that one of my best friends, a Latina, had gotten accepted. Despite the fact that California banned its universities to consider race in admissions at that time due to Proposition 209, life as an 18-year-old was horrible and we didn't know what else to do but blame affirmative action. 

Aug 02, 2017

On August 2, 1995, 72 undocumented Thai garment workers were freed from a suburban slave shop after years of exploitation.  Advancing Justice-LA, in partnership with the Thai Community Development Center and other community-based organizations, provided legal assistance to the 72 garment workers and filed the lawsuit Bureerong v. Uvawas, widely considered the first modern human trafficking case in United States history. 



Advancing Justice-LA's helplines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, public benefits, employement, housing, and civil rights. 

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356
도움이 필요하십니까: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583

For any questions about DRAI, please visit:

Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.