Pierre Cordero is a LAFLA staff attorney with a serendipitous story. Needing assistance with a paternity case several years ago, Pierre went to LAFLA’s Torrance Self-Help Center, where he met with Senior Paralegal Kim Aston-Young. After explaining his situation to her, Kim compassionately “began to break down the process of what [Pierre] needed to do in a very caring way.”
Kim’s genuine kindness and interest in supporting Pierre inspired him not only as a litigant but also as a law student. Later, while at law school, Pierre learned about various subjects, cementing his understanding of the importance of pro bono legal aid. After law school, Pierre met with Kim, who helped him get a position as a volunteer at LAFLA’s Torrance Self-Help Center to “pay it forward.”
As a volunteer, Pierre’s interest in working for LAFLA to fight for equal justice strengthened over time. “It became abundantly clear that LAFLA is where I wanted to begin my legal career because I knew firsthand the vital role it plays in maintaining a healthy society,” Pierre expressed in reference to his initial time at LAFLA.
After joining LAFLA in summer 2022 as a staff attorney at the Inglewood Self-Help Center, Pierre’s metamorphosis from a self-represented litigant to a full-time attorney has come full circle. As a busy soul with warm intentions, Pierre rotates between the Santa Monica, Inglewood, and Torrance self-help centers. Pierre has gained a remarkable insight into the inner workings of LAFLA’s self-help centers. Optimistic about the future, Pierre believes his unique experience will “promote a culture of genuine compassion toward litigants and patience in working with those [he] supervises.” Pierre is particularly enthusiastic about helping self-represented litigants, as “litigants show immense gratitude for the services the self-help centers provide,” which he says gives his career choice real purpose.
Pierre is incredibly proud to be a member of the LAFLA team. In addition, Pierre says, “working for an organization near and dear to my heart allows me to view the performance of daily duties as a privilege instead of an obligation.” On advice for self-represented litigants, Pierre discerns that perseverance is crucial for success: “There are organizations and people out there who legitimately care. Remain zealous, and you will find your Ms. Kim waiting just around the corner.”
Staff attorneys like Pierre who are knowledgeable and dedicated to the fight for equal justice are at the heart of LAFLA’s mission. LAFLA self-help centers provide legal assistance, how-to guides, and workshops to self-represented litigants free of charge. If you would like to learn more about our self-help centers, click here.