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Providing Services to Non-English Speaking Asian American Litigants. Karin Wang, Asian Pacific American Legal Center March 2006. Challenges. Challenge - Demographics. California has the nation’s greatest language diversity 224 languages spoken

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providing services to non english speaking asian american litigants
Providing Services to Non-English Speaking Asian American Litigants

Karin Wang, Asian Pacific American Legal Center

March 2006

challenge demographics
Challenge - Demographics
  • California has the nation’s greatest language diversity
    • 224 languages spoken
    • 40% speak a language other than English at home
  • Many Californians faceEnglish language barriers
    • More than 6 million (20%) do not speak English very well
  • California’s growth is driven by immigration
    • 44% of Latinos & 62% of Asian Americans are foreign-born
challenge demographics1
Challenge - Demographics
  • AA/PIs have significant language barriers
    • Many speak language other than English at home
      • 79% of AA/PIs overall (18% of US population)
    • Many speak English less than very well
      • 43% of AA/PIs overall, but 63% of Vietnamese, 57% of Cambodians, 52% of Bangladeshi (8% of US population)
    • Many are linguistically isolated
      • 30% of AA/PI households overall, but 47% of Korean, 45% of Vietnamese (5% of US population)
challenge demographics2
Challenge - Demographics
  • There is a strong correlation between high LEP rates & high poverty rates
    • Hmong: 61% LEP, 53% poverty
    • Cambodians: 56% LEP, 40% poverty
    • Overall California: 20% LEP, 14% poverty
challenge fear and lack of knowledge
Challenge - Fear andLack of Knowledge
  • Many immigrants and refugees
    • Fear anything perceived to be a government agency
    • Lack familiarity with American legal concepts
    • Lack knowledge of legal aid providers, self-help centers
challenge lack of resources
Challenge - Lack of Resources
  • Insufficient funding at all levels
  • Lack of competent interpreters (ie, not enough trained legal interpreters)
  • Lack of sufficient human capital in many communities (eg, very small or newly emerging groups)
allip basics
ALLIP - Basics
  • ALLIP: Asian Language Legal Intake Project
  • 4 languages: Cambodian, Chinese (Cantonese/Mandarin), Korean, Vietnamese
  • 4 partners:
    • Asian Pacific American Legal Center
    • Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
    • Neighborhood Legal Services
    • Legal Aid Society of Orange County
allip mission goals
ALLIP - Mission & Goals
  • Mission: Provide centralized intake, advice & referral in 4 Asian languages
  • Goals:
    • Eliminate language as initial barrier to access
    • Provide single point of entry for legal assistance
    • Expand capacity of partner legal aids by increasing attorney staffing to take cases
    • Coordinate outreach among partners
principles of successful programs
Principles of Successful Programs
  • Establish clear vision from the top
  • Create strong partnerships between legal aid/court program & community organizations
  • Engage in active outreach & education
  • Provide sufficient staffing
  • Provide single point of entry
  • Use self-help to complement other services
  • Utilize technology
contact information
Karin Wang, Vice-President, Programs

213/977-7500 x234

kwang@apalc.org

Juliet Stone, Supervising Attorney

213/977-7500 x344

jstone@apalc.org

Asian Pacific American Legal Center: www.apalc.org

ALLIP: www.apalc.org/allip

Contact Information