Jessie Kornberg '07, a leader in public interest law in Los Angeles and the president and CEO of public interest agency Bet Tzedek Legal Services, will deliver the commencement address at UCLA School of Law's 68th Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 17, in Dickson Court North on the UCLA campus.
Kornberg joined Bet Tzedek – which means "House of Justice" – as president and CEO in 2014. The agency offers free legal services to low-income people in Los Angeles, each year teaming up with pro bono attorneys to serve more than 40,000 people in elder justice, immigrant advocacy, workers' rights, homelessness prevention, economic development and reparations for Holocaust survivors.
Under Kornberg's leadership the agency created the nation's first transgender medical-legal partnership, began operating Los Angeles' first low-income tax and small business start-up clinics, and launched a family preparedness program to respond to concerns surrounding the deportation of undocumented parents.
Prior to taking the helm at Bet Tzedek, Kornberg was a trial attorney at Bird Marella in Los Angeles, where she chaired the firm's pro bono program. Before joining Bird Marella, Kornberg was the founding executive director of Ms. JD, which she established as a national voice on issues concerning women and law.
Kornberg's earlier work at the intersection of strategic policy and litigation includes service as a legal fellow at NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (now Legal Momentum), as well as work with Homes for the Homeless, the Institute for Children and Poverty and the Los Angeles Community Action Network. Immediately after earning her J.D. at UCLA, she clerked for Chief Judge Jon P. McCalla of the U.S. District Court in Memphis, Tenn.
While at UCLA Law, Kornberg was editor in chief of the Women's Law Journal. She earned her bachelor's degree in American history from Columbia University. In 2016 she was named to the American Bar Association's inaugural "40 Under 40" list of top young lawyers. She has been a member of the UCLA Law Board of Advisors since 2017, and of the Los Angeles Urban League Board of Directors since 2018.
More information about UCLA School of Law 2019 Commencement.