Annual Giving Campaign – A Time To Give Thanks: Spotlight on Fran Kandel

November 2018

Annual Giving Campaign – A Time To Give Thanks: Spotlight on Fran Kandel Public Interest Fellow Nafisa Ahmed

We at the WLALA Foundation have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving! We thank our incredible Annual Giving Campaign donors who, for the past eleven years, have given more than $180,000 that has funded:

  • 35 scholarships for law students committed to issues affecting women and/or children


  • 16 Fran Kandel Public Interest Fellowships for law student projects that make governmental and social institutions and agencies more accessible to the underserved.


  • 3 WLALA/Inner City Law Center Fellowships for law students interested in working to address the needs of homeless women veterans. 


  • WLALA Foundation’s many other pro bono activities, including the Honorable Beverly Reid O’Connell Power Lunches and its support of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law and the Downtown Women’s Center.


To kick-off our 12th Anniversary Campaign, we share the story of Nafisa Ahmed. A second-year student at UC Irvine Law School, Nafisa was one of this year’s Fran Kandel Public Interest Fellows who used her fellowship to serve domestic violence survivors all across Southern California. Here is her story:


With the guidance and supervision of the immigration attorneys at the Council on American Islamic Relations – Los Angeles, I created informational pamphlets and presented four Know-Your-Rights seminars for immigrant women who were domestic violence survivors in both the Muslim community and the broader indigenous community. I was able to get my materials translated into three different languages–Arabic, Bangla and Urdu–and I did my entire presentation in Spanish at one of the events in Pomona. These seminars took place all over Southern California, including a mosque in my hometown of Rowland Heights, a Bengali community center in downtown Los Angeles, and at the House of Ruth in Pomona. One thing that I had expected, but nevertheless was a challenge, was to overcome the backlash from the community about the project. The word domestic violence made them feel uncomfortable.

Kudos to Nafisa for raising awareness and providing support and information for domestic violence survivors in the greater Los Angeles community. Our scholarship and fellowship recipients exemplify some of the best talent coming into the profession.  We plan to share  more stories with you about our scholarship and fellowship recipients over the next few months.

As you can tell from Nafisa’s story, your contributions to the Annual Giving Campaign will be very well used and help law students making a difference in our community. Of course, your contribution is tax deductible to the extent provided by law. To make your contribution, CLICK HERE. Many thanks to those who have already given.

With gratitude and our wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Jennifer Altfeld Landau                   Hon. Nancy Ramirez

Susan Steinhauser                         Sarah Schuh-Quist

Annual Giving Co-Chairs                Fran Kandel Public Interest Fellowship