Paul Freese, JD
Paul is a highly accomplished, nationally recognized expert in public interest law. He has served most recently as Vice President of Public Counsel, the nation’s largest provider of pro bono legal services; there, he propagated advocacy programs that embodied best practices designed to empower distressed households, eliminate legal barriers to entering the workforce, humanize the criminal and juvenile justice systems, and prevent and end homelessness.
Paul’s expertise also includes cultivation of relationships with major funders, government entities, foundations and strategic partnerships. In addition, he has served in leadership roles promoting therapeutic, collaborative and restorative justice models locally and nationally. Paul, who has extensive public speaking experience, has appeared in documentaries and on talk shows discussing welfare reform, foster youth and homeless issues. He has published many op-ed articles on public interest and human rights topics in national and international press, and was featured in a 2002 Los Angeles Daily Journal article titled, “Guardian Angel for the Poor.”
Among Paul’s numerous honors are the Antonia Hernandez Public Interest Award from UCLA School of Law; the Mark Pearlman Outstanding Service Award from the California Youth Coalition; the “Courage Award” from the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness; the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Toberman Neighborhood Center; the “Hero of Hollywood Award” from My Friend’s Place youth services center; and the Info Line of Los Angeles’ Community Corazones Unidos Award for “outstanding community service.” He also has received commendations from the L.A. County Commission for Children and Family Services for his efforts to assist the health and welfare of disadvantaged youth and from the L.A. County Commission for Public Social Services for policy work to benefit the homeless.
Paul has served on boards, committees, task forces and working groups focused on the needs of the poor and marginalized; a few examples include: the Children’s Law Center, the Coalition on Residential Education, and the National Trust to End Youth Homelessness. He has served on L.A. County workgroups on Transition Age Youth and Emancipation Planning, the Juvenile Court Task Force of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and he was selected as an expert on legal issues affecting homeless and runaway youth for the California Homeless Youth Project.
Paul is available to consult and train on a wide variety of issues related to improving legal services and outcomes for families and children.