Advocacy and Passion in a Time of Need

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Advocacy and compassion are two words that embody family law attorney Patrick Baghdaserians, of Baghdaserians Law Group. A Certified Specialist in the area of Family Law, he learned a long time ago that these attributes are the cornerstones of any successful profession. Patrick’s passion for law and helping those in need started years before he embarked on his legal career.

Patrick was born in 1982 in a post-war Iran. Shortly after his birth, Patrick’s family found themselves in a very difficult situation. They could remain in the country they were raised in, confined by the strict sectarian laws, or flee and travel west to America. Fearing persecution and harassment, the family left Iran and relocated to Los Angeles, CA. Unable to speak or write in English, Patrick’s parents relied upon the community to support and guide their family. With their help, Patrick’s parents started their own business, working full-time as pizzeria owners, and put two children through college. Throughout this time, they remained committed to the community that helped them so much upon their move to the United States.

Witnessing his parents’ work ethic and involvement in the local community had a lasting impact on Patrick. He remained steadfast in his commitment to education and community. Patrick thrived academically, graduating with Honors from St. Francis High School in La Cañada Flintridge and then enrolling at Loyola Marymout University on an academic scholarship.  While at Loyola Marymount, Patrick used his time to give back to the community through various public interest projects.  He spearheaded food drives and led community-based events on a variety of human rights issues.

In 2004, Patrick enrolled at Southwestern Law School. While in law school, he worked for both the Public Defender and District Attorney. Patrick also obtained a prestigious externship with the Honorable Federal District Judge Robert M. Takasugi.  Judge Takasugi, a pillar of the legal community in Los Angeles, helped further Patrick’s commitment to public service.

Since graduating from Southwestern Law School in 2007, Patrick has exclusively practiced in the area of family law. In 2014, he became one of the youngest State Bar certified specialists in the area of family law. Having conducted hundreds of hearings in the areas of family law, Patrick has garnered the reputation of a strong and passionate advocate for his clients.  In 2019, he successfully overturned a trial court’s ruling concerning property.  Patrick’s victory at the appellate level was memorialized in a published decision. Later that year, he and his partner, Daniel J. Leonetti, formed Baghdaserians Law Group.

Over the past decade, Patrick has represented individuals from all walks of life in divorce and parentage matters. Hundreds of cases and countless court appearances have shaped him into the advocate he is today. Patrick has been fortunate to handle some of the most complex cases in family law. Notwithstanding this success, he never lost sight of what is truly important in his life.

Throughout Patrick’s career, he has always strived to give back to the community that gave him and his family so much support when they first immigrated here.  An area of interest for Patrick has always been the advocacy for victims of abuse.  Patrick has always strived to fight for those who cannot do it alone.

In 2017, Patrick helped create a pro bono legal aid program geared towards helping victims of domestic violence, namely, the Southwestern Law School Almuni Association Domestic Violence Advocacy Initiative. The DVAI program provides financial stipends to lawyers who then work pro bono at legal aid organizations. The selected attorneys work under the supervision of senior counsel to protect and advocate on behalf of victims of domestic violence. Several years ago, Patrick partnered with one of the most well-respected non-profit organizations in Los Angeles County, LevittQuinn Family Law Center. Through this partnership, the DVAI has placed several lawyers at LevittQuinn working pro bono. These lawyers have worked on more than 100 different cases involving domestic violence.

In regard to the DVAI, Patrick says, “Domestic violence comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, a matter may not rise to the level of involving the district attorney’s office. This doesn’t mean it is not abuse. When the DA chooses not to prosecute, the victim must then seek a family law restraining order on their own. If the victim cannot afford a lawyer, such a task can be daunting and discouraging.  The DVAI program was created to help eliminate this reality and provide pro bono legal services to victims who otherwise would be unable to afford counsel.”

For the past several years, Patrick has helped raised over $250,000.00 for the DVAI.  Through various fundraisers and sponsorships, the DVAI has made a significant impact in the local community, helping well over 100 families.

In May 2020, Patrick’s law firm, Baghdaserians Law Group, donated $140,000.00 to help fund legal aid fellowships in the area of domestic violence, sexual harassment and abuse. The fellowships will include two full-year stipends paid for by the DVAI, at a rate of $60,000 per year.

In addition, commencing September 2020, Baghdaserians Law Group will expand its reach and fund its first fellowship with Public Counsel. Public Counsel is the largest pro bono law firm in the nation. With a staff of over 120 (including lawyers, support staff, and social workers) and over 5,000 volunteer lawyers, Public Counsel assists over 30,000 children, youth, families, and community organizations every year.

The Baghdaserians Law Group Fellow will work in partnership with Public Counsel’s Audrey Irmas Women and Girls’ Rights (WGR) Project. The fellow will endeavor to review all facets of Title IX, with an added focus on the issues that women and girls of color and members of the LGBTQI community face. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, WGR pushes for change and systemic reform in institutions that perpetuate discrimination against women and girls.

The Baghdaserians Law Group Fellow will also work in partnership with Public Counsel’s other programs, including homelessness prevention, community development, children’s rights, immigration rights, and the center for veterans’ advancement. This will include helping domestic and sexual violence survivors, vulnerable seniors, systems-involved youth, and veterans overcome institutional barriers.

In regard to the Baghdaserians Fellow and WGR, Patrick states, “I am hopeful that this new project will make a similar impact that the DVAI has made. The area in which the fellow will work is truly amazing and very in tune with what’s going on in society today. It is more important than ever that we continue to build upon the current MeToo movement with the help of programs like the WGR at Public Counsel.”

Patrick is hopeful that his commitment to the DVAI and WGR will motivate others to donate their time and money to such causes. Baghdaserians Law Group remains committed to the community and its client’s going through their family law matters. Patrick and his firm is open and is capable of handling all types of family law matters with the same passion and advocacy he has brought forth over the past decade.