ASUCR Legal Clinic
Welcome to the ASUCR Legal Clinic, a service provided by the Riverside County Barristers Association, the young and new attorneys’ division of the Riverside County Bar Association!
Follow the legal clinic on Facebook for legal updates and helpful information!
Scope of Services
ASUCR works with volunteer attorneys to provide free legal services to registered undergraduate students at UC Riverside. Our attorneys do not provide formal legal representation but rather education and self-help services to assist and help students to solve problems. Students are encouraged to seek assistance from an attorney outside of the legal education clinic if they need further legal assistance or representation.
When to Contact an Attorney
There are various reasons a student may need legal assistance, including:
- Alcohol related citations or arrests
- Auto accidents
- Bankruptcy and credit cards
- Roommate, landlord and security deposit issues
- Noise violations from the police
- Selling your car
- Small claims court
- Child custody, divorce and child support
- Any other issue that may come about
- Limitations on Services
Currently, the ASUCR Legal Clinic does NOT have an employment attorney to advise on workplace issues
We provide legal assistance to currently registered students at UCR. As the attorneys work on an entirely volunteer basis, our attorneys limit their assistance to inquiries relating to the UCR student, not their family member or friends. Please contact your local bar association if you are looking for legal assistance for someone other than a currently enrolled UCR student.
Disclaimer: The law firms that the attorneys in the legal clinic practice at are provided for identification and informational purposes only. Any advice provided by the legal clinic attorneys in a free appointment through this website is provided through UCR and ASUCR, not through the firms identified in their biographies.
For all COVID-19 related landlord/tenant issues, please click on the links below for self-help PRIOR to contacting a Legal Clinic attorney: https://www.talkovlaw.com/student-lease-breach-termination-coronavirus-force-majeure-ucr/ https://www.talkovlaw.com/lease-termination-letter-free-sample-template-coronavirus-force-majeure-frustration-purpose-impracticability/ Listen to this podcast for expert legal information about getting out of your off-campus lease (Attorney information at 8:56): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nEKvl0KH2o&feature=emb_title
Confidential and Independent Attorneys
The attorneys in the ASUCR Legal Education Clinic are volunteers involved in the Riverside County Barristers Association under the direction of a volunteer attorney director. We are not beholden to UCR, the administration, or any other department or entity you may have had an issue with, including the UCPD, housing or campus conduct. In fact, our attorneys do not work on the UCR campus and often have only limited contact with other campus departments. Your inquiries are treated with the same attorney-client privilege that you would expect if you hired a private attorney. Note that attorneys may not advocate for one student in an action adverse to another student, such as roommate disputes. We will, however, work to mediate and solve conflicts between students.
Arlene M. Cordoba
– Family Law (Legal Clinic Director)
Arlene M. Cordoba grew up in Riverside, CA and is actively involved in the community. Ms. Cordoba obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California, Irvine in 2002. She then attended the University of La Verne, College of Law earning a Juris Doctorate. After her admission to the California State Bar in 2008, Arlene served as a Staff Attorney and Interim Managing Attorney at Inland Counties Legal Services. As an attorney with Inland Counties Legal Services, Arlene served as the Staff Attorney in the Riverside Family Law Courthouse, helping low-income litigants with their family law issues. She also assisted indigent clients with Unlawful Detainer matters.
Arlene is currently at The Law Office of Arlene Cordoba in Riverside, CA.
– Real Estate, Civil and Media Litigation (Legal Clinic Founder & Assistant Director)
Scott is a real estate attorney in Riverside at the law firm of Talkov Law. Students most often contact him for unlawful detainer law in California, including rental deposit returns and breaches of leases. Before attending law school, Scott attended UCR, where he was an ASUCR Senator and later elected to the equivalent position as a student at UCSB. He graduated cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law where he served on the board of editors of the Washington University Law Review. He is active in numerous groups in the Riverside community and has twice served on the Board of the Riverside County Barristers Association. As a bankruptcy attorney in Riverside, Scott is also the longest standing board member on the Inland Empire Bankruptcy Forum. Due to his experience as a Riverside business attorney, he is also available to answer student questions related to breaches of contract, frauds, and other issues that may arise. In his free time, he is the Editor-in-Chief of InlandEmpire.com. As the Assistant Director of the Legal Clinic, Scott is available for comments or suggestions you may have by email at scott (at) talkovlaw.com.
– Criminal Law
Gilbert is criminal defense attorney who focuses on defending those accused of driving under the influence (DUI’s), traffic, and misdemeanor citations. Gilbert has experience working for the McKinley County District Attorney’s Office, he has worked for the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office, and now maintains a private practice with a full-service law firm in Chino. Prior to becoming an attorney, Gilbert was a graduate of Boston University and then obtained his law degree from the University of La Verne College of Law. Gilbert maintains an active presence in the practice of law as well as the community at large as a member of the California State Bar, American Bar Association, the Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino County Bar Associations, and the Inland Empire Latino Lawyer’s Association.
– Personal Injury
Mr. Serrano grew up in British Columbia, Canada and moved to California when he was 20. He graduated with honors from California State University Dominguez Hills, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Jean was recruited and attended University of La Verne College of Law on a full scholarship. While in law school, he was selected to be a member of the moot court honors program and the school’s moot court traveling team in nationwide competitions. He also received a CALI award in the area of Legal Research. Admitted to practice before California State and Federal Courts, he has an active practice in both as a personal injury attorney at Heiting & Irwin. He has argued before the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District and has petitioned for California Supreme Court review. Mr. Serrano is a member of the Riverside County Bar Association and is an officer on the board of the Riverside County Barristers Association. He is also a member of the Leo A. Deegan American Inn of Court, the Riverside Chapter of an organization devoted to the fostering of excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal skills. Coming from a multi-lingual heritage, Mr. Serrano also speaks French fluently.
W. Derek May
Derek attended George Mason University in Northern Virginia and received a Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Politics in 2003. Thereafter he attended law school at University of La Verne College of Law where he graduated as valedictorian of the University of La Verne College of Law with a juris doctor in May 2006. Currently at the Law Office Of W Derek May , his practice focuses on bankruptcy law.
– Housing and Campus Administrative Violations
Mark is a civil litigation attorney at the law firm of Best, Best and Krieger in Riverside. Before attending law school at UC Hastings, Mark attended UC Santa Barbara, where he founded the Office of the Student Advocate and was elected the Student Advocate General by the student body. The Office of the Student Advocate is a student-run organization at UCSB dedicated to assisting and defending students that find themselves accused of student conduct and housing violations. As the Student Advocate General, Mark attended countless student discipline hearings on the side of the student and worked closely with the UCSB administration to improve the judicial process and punishments for students accused of student conduct and housing violations.
Alejandro Barraza is an immigration and criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Alejandro Barraza Paez. Alejandro has prior experience working the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office, San Diego Federal Defender Inc., San Diego County Public Defender’s Office, Riverside County Public Defender’s Office, and World Relief Southern California (an immigration non-profit). At each of these stops, Alejandro gained valuable knowledge, made friends and mentors, and, most importantly, had the opportunity to help those prosecuted by the state. He graduated cum laude from University of California, Irvine, and the University of Colorado, Boulder, Law School. At the moment, he is on the board of the Riverside County Barristers (a fun young lawyers group), he is on the board of Asian Pacific American Lawyers of the Inland Empire (APALIE), and he is on the board of the Hispanic Bar Association of the Inland Empire (HBAIE). In his free time, Alex spends time with his puppy Mochi, watching soccer, and reading. Alex speaks Spanish.
On a case by case basis, we have been able to find intellectual property lawyers to assist students.
Looking to hire a lawyer? Contact the Lawyer Referral Service.
If you’re looking to hire an attorney, please contact the Lawyer Referral Service in the county that is most appropriate for your case: An initial consultation with a lawyer may cost a nominal fee, depending on the type of case.
- Riverside County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
- Free consultations for personal injury, workers compensation and social security matters.
- For all other areas of law, a consultation is $40 for up to 30 minutes.
- Call (951) 682-7520 for a referral.
- Location: 4129 Main Street, Suite 100, Riverside CA 92501
Other County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Services
- San Bernardino County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
- Orange County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
- Los Angeles County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
- San Diego Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
- North County (San Diego) Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
- Any other county in California
One of the best resources on the Internet is the self-help website run by the Riverside County Superior Court. This site offers numerous forms and advice that may be of help to you if you are asserting your legal rights without an attorney.
You can also seek help from Inland County Legal Services or the Riverside County Bar Association’s Public Service Law Corporation, both of which have attorneys on hand to assist and sometimes even to represent you.
Alternative Dispute Resolution / UCR Ombuds
If your concern relates to UCR or a member of the UCR community, you may consult confidentially with the UCR Office of the Ombuds. The Office of the Ombuds is functionally independent from the UCR administration. It remains impartial and cannot provide legal advice or serve as your advocate. However, the Ombuds can help you evaluate your options, and may assist you in reaching an informal resolution. For more information, check out the UCR Office of the Ombuds online at ombuds.ucr.edu and contact their office by phone at (951) 827-3213.
Frequently Asked Questions & Links to Resources
Rather than reinvent the wheel, we’ve provided you with links to some of the best resources on California law, usually from government agencies.
Rental / Security Deposits
California Civil Code Section 1950.5 – Rental Deposit Law in California
Evictions / Unlawful Detainer
Buying or Selling a Car
Guide to Selling Your Car (UCSB Legal Resource Center)
Buying a Car (Federal Trade Commission)
Small Claims (Lawsuit for $7,500 or Less)
Overtime (Cal. Division of Labor Standards Enforcement)
Vacation Time (Cal. Division of Labor Standards Enforcement)
Meal Periods (Cal. Division of Labor Standards Enforcement)
Paydays (Cal. Division of Labor Standards Enforcement)
Other employment issues (Cal. Division of Labor Standards Enforcement)
Wrongful Termination (FindLaw) – Remember, not all terminations are wrongful. Read up and consult with a lawyer if you think you may have been wrongfully terminated.
Forming a Non-Profit Corporation
How to form a non-profit corporation (Cal. Attorney General)
Landlord/Tenant: Students were issued three day notice to perform covenants or quit. Students drafted letter after meeting with legal clinic attorney. Landlord considering the notice a warning and did not pursue eviction. -Students M.S. and H.V.R., November 2010.
Landlord/Tenant: Landlord kept a rental deposit and demanded the student pay an additional fee for damage to the unit. The student filed in small claims court seeking a return of a portion of their deposit based on an improper calculation of the damage. Subsequently, the landlord discovered their “miscalculation” and will be returning part of the deposit back to the student. May 2011.
- San Bernardino County Bar Association Lawyer Referral
- Los Angeles County Bar Association Lawyer Referral
- Public Service Law Corporation
- Guide to Selling Your Car
- Riverside County Superior Court Name Change Self Help
- Vacation Time
- UC Santa Barbara Associated Students Legal Resource Center
- UC San Diego Student Legal Services