August 2, 2016 – UCLA School of Law Alumna Jessie Kornberg ’07, president & CEO of Bet Tzedek, one of the nation’s premier public interest law firms which provides free legal services to the people of Los Angeles, has received the American Bar Association’s prestigious “On the Rise: Top 40 Young Lawyers” Award for 2016. The award is presented annually to provide national recognition to 40 exceptional lawyers who exemplify “high achievement, innovation, vision, leadership and legal and community service.”
Kornberg, who graduated from UCLA School of Law in 2007, is a founding board member of UCLA Law Women LEAD, an intergenerational network of law school alumnae aimed at empowering and supporting female graduates throughout their professional lives. During law school, she was Editor in Chief of the Women's Law Journal and Articles Editor for the Journal of Sexual Orientation Law. She was also the Helena Rubenstein Foundation Fellow at Legal Momentum, the legal defense and education fund for the National Organization for Women. After law school, she served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Jon Phipps McCalla, Chief Judge of the Western District of Tennessee, in Memphis. She holds a B.A. from Columbia University.
Kornberg has also served at litigation boutique Bird Marella and as the first executive director of Ms. J.D., a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the success of women in law school and the legal profession, which she helped establish as a national voice on issues concerning women in law.
As president of Bet Tzedek – the first woman in the organization’s history – Kornberg has overseen its expansion into low income tax law, HIV/AIDS law and policy, and work on behalf of unaccompanied immigrant children. Long recognized for its work in elder law, wage theft, human trafficking, disability rights and child guardianship, Bet Tzedek is also home to the Holocaust Survivor Justice Network, the nation's largest pro bono initiative.
UCLA School of Law has collaborated with Bet Tzedek on a number of initiatives to help support the most vulnerable in society while providing critical experiential learning opportunities to the next generation of legal advocates. Students have worked with Bet Tzedek lawyers through partnership to provide free legal services to low-income patients at St. Francis and St. Vincent Hospitals, are vital partners in both the Los Angeles HIV Law and Policy Project and the Los Angeles Incubator Consortium, and have also worked together on the Employment Rights Project.