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Advocacy for Low-Income Children with Disabilities in California

Author(s): Linda Johnson, Brian Blalock
Practice Area: Family Law, Pro Bono
Published: Apr 2014
PLI Item #: 53492
CHB Spine #: 22

Linda Johnson is a Staff Attorney with San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc. (SDVLP) where she is responsible for the Education Law Project.  Ms. Johnson provides direct representation to students who are dependents or whose parents are receiving voluntary services from the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services, who have unmet special education needs, difficulty with enrollment, or who are facing school discipline proceedings.

Brian L. Blalock is a staff attorney and director of the Youth Justice Project (YJP) at Bay Area Legal Aid. YJP provides legal representation and does systemic advocacy on issues related to youth who are under twenty-five years old. It aims to create a civil legal support network for youth throughout the Bay area through a strong presence in the community and collaboration with system partners with a focus on better supporting vulnerable and disconnected youth. Brian’s current projects at YJP include working with homeless young adults in reconnecting to appropriate systems and services, providing comprehensive civil legal services to youth in the dependency or delinquency system, and looking at systemic funding issues that create barriers to entitled services.

Brian started his legal career as a Skadden fellow at BayLegal, where he founded the Youth Justice Project. Before becoming a lawyer, Brian worked as a religious affairs consultant, a fight trainer, and a public school teacher in the south Bronx. He has graduate degrees from Columbia and Harvard and a law degree from Stanford Law School.