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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

New Beginnings Law Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Crime & Law, Crime & Legal-Related, Legal Services, Public Interest Law

Mission: Our Mission is to empower and transform the lives of those who are burdened by a criminal record and to provide a safety net for those at risk of re-entering the criminal justice system.

Results: NewBeginnings Law Center has a 100% success rate to date.

Target demographics: Those who are burdened by a criminal record.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Through our various projects, we helped over 100 clients with criminal histories integrate back into the community.

Geographic areas served: Marin County

Programs: Our fundamental program is our Clean Slate Program. It is the foundation for NBLC projects. The Clean Slate Program uses strategic legal and policy tools to reduce involvement in the criminal justice system and remove barriers to employment and civic participation for people with criminal records. NBLC believes that community outreach is essential to providing equal access to justice and quality, independent legal advocacy. Through our projects, we are able to perform community outreach to those at-risk of re-entering the criminal justice system. Our outreach projects serve the most vulnerable in our community: the homeless, the undocumented/non-U.S. citizen, those suffering from addiction and mental health disorders and those that are denied equal access to quality independent legal advocacy due to inability to pay legal fees.

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with Elissa for 15 years. She is a brilliant criminal defense attorney and has devoted her professional life to helping the indigent and marginalized. Her compassion for the downtrodden is second to none. Our community is blessed to have her.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Elissa reminds me time and again of what a truly magnanimous person is like, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the help you have given me and the happiness you have helped me find

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can not put in words the kindness I received from New Beginings Law Center. Not only did they help me expunge my record due to my addiction and go to bat for me with The State Attorney General Office to have the Board of Nursing reinstate my RN Licence. Elissa taught me a life lesson that I will never forget and I pass it down to others who have felt shame from their addictions. She compassonatly told me that all my reckage and trauma which I felt so much shame and embassement from was not the true authentic person I truely was, but just a symptom of my disease. I am able to use that valuable wisdom and grow more in my Recovery as well as help others recover. I am forever grateful," I have my life back".
Grateful RN

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We are tremendously pleased with the impact our donations to New Beginnings Law Center have had on so many people. NBLC furthers such a deserving cause, and their team is a delight to be involved with. We look forward to their continued success in supporting social justice throughout our community.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is amazing Elissa and her Team us amazing, caring, kind people who care for others who have been through trauma and have overcome. She was patience, listen, and believe in me. I am forever grateful for them.
I got my tickets clear, background clear got my license back

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with Elissa Lasserre at NBLC since April 2016, as her Legal/Administrative Assistant. In this capacity, I’ve watched our organization grow from a small start-up, & have observed Elissa’s tireless commitment to our clients and community. Her expertise and remarkable networking ability enable her to fully address the needs of our very diverse clientele, and her 100% success rate is unparalleled.

Part of my position involves our intake process, during which I hear clients’ stories and create a summary for our records. Every story is different, and every one speaks to the need for the spectrum of services NBLC provides. Elissa works closely with our clients to address the whole person—not just their criminal record. It is my privilege to witness this transformation for each client, knowing that our work is bettering the lives of individuals, their families, and our community.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've worked with Elissa for six years as the Office Manager of the suite her office is based in, and it's been such an honor getting to see the work she does! I get to regularly talk with her clients and hear their stories. The work this nonprofit does is an inspiration, and I am very lucky to get to witness a glimpse of it.

2 Alan Miller

Client Served

Rating: 5

Elissa and NBLC are true heroes of the legal and recovery communities of Northern California. I came to NBLC 4 years ago for help getting out of the paper prison that had become my past due to poverty, addiction and criminal behavior. These people are accomplished legal minds, who not only have an encyclopedic knowledge of the law, but also the empathy required to meet people where they are and help them find themselves on their journey. They have my undying trust and loyalty and I will do whatever I can to Champion their cause in our community.

2 Jim Ricci

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was the first client of NBLC in 2016. I believe so much in everything Elissa and this agency stand for I have never stepped away. Even though my case has been finalized, with a positive outcome, I have now taken an active roll with the agency as president of the board. Elissa and NBLC provide life changing services to the community. I would rate it higher if it was offered. Thanks you Elissa for your dedication and compassion for all you serve.

Previous Stories
4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Often times I see five star ratings and wonder do they really deserve it. NBLC is the real deal. Elissa Lasserre is not just a top notch lawyer but her commitment to the people she services is amazing. Not only does this service allow its clients an opportunity to clear up some of the wreckage of their past, it also allows dreams to come true. I say this as I contemplate my experience of seeing this service and Elissa in action. As the first client of NBLC my journey is now coming to an end. Elissa has been my champion with the judicial system, fighting and bringing me closer to my dream of "completion". This is a wonderful agency with an awesome lawyer at the helm. Thank you Elissa for all you do....

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Elissa has been a wonderful mentor to me throughout my time volunteering for New Beginnings Law Center and has given me experiences and opportunities in the criminal justice field that I wouldn't be able to get anywhere else. Through talking with past clients and working with Elissa, I have seen firsthand seen not only the legal impact NBLC makes for individuals but also the ability Elissa has to restore the client's sense of self-worth and their hope for the future.

2 Robinatty

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

One of the most important aspects of New Beginnings Law Center is their constant community out reach. They are active in helping the homeless, the immigrant, the struggling working class and anyone who needs assistance in cleaning up their prior criminal records. The work they do gives people a chance to succeed, find better jobs and housing and in some cases remain in this country where the client has lived and worked for most of their lives.

This organization is lead by a true believer in social justice. Her focus has always been on seeing the whole person and helping that person realize their full potential by removing a significant barrier to upward mobility. Her dedication and unfailing optimism brings hope to many individuals and improves lives on a daily basis.

New Beginnings Law Center is a community asset where people are making a difference in the lives of others every single day.

Previous Stories
4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

New Beginnings Law Center provides excellent legal services for clients who need post conviction representation. Because NBLC focuses on helping clients clear their criminal records NBLC provides efficient and compassionate representation to individuals who because of past convictions struggle to find quality jobs and access educational opportunities. NBLC recognizes that many people with criminal records have been completely rehabilitated but are held back from making meaningful progress in their lives because the old convictions act as a barrier to getting good jobs and into training programs. Employers see the old conviction and immediately reject the job seeker.

NBLC provides legal service at a discounted rate so that persons who cannot afford to hire an attorney in our community are able to access our courts.

NBLC researches all records to make sure the relief sought is available and files appropriate documents in Courts throughout the Bay Area. NBLC makes court appearances as necessary. In some cases where objections are filed by District Attorney Offices NBLC vigorously advocates for the clients and does not rest until the relief is granted or all appellate options have been exhausted. NBLC won, and has a published appeal, in California following an erroneous denial of a motion to dismiss.

In addition to post conviction expungements and reductions NBLC works with community organizations to help those who need additional services such as mental health care, homeless work programs, housing support, immigration relief and job placement.

NBLC is an asset to our community. I confidently refer clients in need of post conviction relief to NBLC.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of knowing Elissa Lasserre for 40 years. Her commitment and dedication to her profession is matched only by her commitment and dedication to her family and our lifelong friendship. In today's world of having elected officials drag their feet on justice reforms and related issues, it is refreshing to have someone willing to tackle these issues head on to help people who cannot wait and need help now. I was proud to watch her vision for New Beginnings unfold, and am even more proud to support her important mission.

3 Jonathan F.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I helped out with the start of New Beginnings because its issue--record expungement possibilities for those who have served their time for criminal acts--is so valuable. While the founder, Elissa Lasserre, is meticulous, very heartfelt, and energetic, she didn't know nonprofits because she's been an excellent criminal defense lawyer for years. So it was easy to make the decision to work with her and lend my 30-year expertise in the field. I became President of the board to further support her.

Her success is outstanding. She slowly learned the nonprofit management field and began to make the connections needed in the community to serve more people, generally a low income crowd. She's an excellent leader and inspiring. She learns well from her mistakes and is always open to help. Her learning curve has now gathered more good people around her, and I feel privileged to be a part of this necessary community asset.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ellissa C. lasserre from New Beginnings has been Great ! From the Start to the Very End ! She did and does everything she promises ! I'm going to referr this law firm to my friends ! Have a new beginning ! Thanks to -
NEW BEGINNINGS !

2 ginajackson2018

Board Member

Rating: 4

As a proud Board Member going into my third year... the focus and dedication we have to educate our clients and donors on our "clean slate program" as well as offering classes in EI (emotional intelligence/mindful awareness training) reduce stress and anxiety, so our clients can focus on being an energized, contributing member of our communities. This kind of sustainability, feels good and changes lives. Cheers to the "good work"-

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Top notch attorney who went out of her way to help my son 1. Beat a case and 2.,be returned back into my custody. Elissa works for pennies on the dollar out of passion for change. Her program should be more supported and funded.