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Lena Afary

Lena Afary

Lecturer in Law

699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA

Last Updated: April 28, 2020




Lena Afary teaches the fundamentals of objective legal writing and analysis to international Master of Laws (LLM) students at USC’s Gould School of Law. This course is an exercise in cross-cultural communication and writing techniques, using both on-site and on-line resources.

Since 2018, Afary has served as a temporary judge with the Los Angeles Superior Court, presiding and adjudicating over hundreds of cases as a pro tem traffic court judge in arraignment and trial traffic courts. She currently works as the in-house counsel and property manager for a local commercial real estate shopping center.

Afary emigrated to the United States with her family as a child at the start of the Iranian Revolution. Her background as a member of a religious minority in Iran, inspired her to pursue social and gender justice issues, first as a documentary filmmaker and journalist, and later as an attorney in California. Throughout the years, she volunteered with different community service organizations, such as a battered women’s shelter and the ACLU, and expanded her awareness of her community of origin through extensive travels in the Middle East, including Egypt, Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

After graduating from Lake Forest College with a degree in philosophy and women’s studies, Afary worked for various local and national news agencies such as Reuters, NBC and PBS, where she focused on youth and gender issues and while completing her MFA in film, with an emphasis in documentary production. As an associate producer of the Emmy Award-winning reality television series American High, she and colleagues spent a year documenting life in a suburban American high school in Illinois, focusing on challenges that young, minority, disadvantaged and LBGTQ students faced.

Afary attended the University of Minnesota Law School, where she was the managing editor of the Journal of Law and Inequality and the student clinic director of the Civil Practice Clinic which handled family law, housing and social security cases for impoverished community members. She externed with the Hon. Janet N. Poston in the Hennepin County District Courts, working on family and criminal law matters, and was also a student clinic member of the Minnesota Immigration Clinic, working on asylum matters of African refugees.

After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as a law clerk for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. She then worked as Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice for seven years, focusing on civil rights and disability issues as counsel for the State of California.

Afary returned to her social justice work by externing with the Hon. Suzanne Bruguera of the Los Angeles Superior Court. She later became social services staff attorney at Pars Equality Center, a legal aid organization in Los Angeles dedicated to assisting low-income clients from Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Afghanistan and Turkey. Afary has been an active member of the State Bar of California since 2005.  

FACULTY IN THE NEWS

Los Angeles Times
July 1, 2020
Re: Edward Kleinbard

An obituary for the late Edward Kleinbard appeared in LA Times. Michael Hiltzik of the Times highlighted some of Kleinbard’s acerbic comments about public policy. "We are inundated today by economic noise and fog designed to generate superficially plausible rationales for what at bottom are simply jerk-like instincts," Kleinbard said. An obituary for Kleinbard also appeared in Law 360. He was also mentioned in Politico.

RECENT SCHOLARSHIP

Nomi Stolzenberg
May, 2020

"The Great Schism: Battles for Control in the Satmar Community," Progressive Property Conference, Fordham Law School, New York, NY.

Nomi Stolzenberg
May, 2020

Nomi Stolzenberg participated in an online conversation, "Who Are the Haredim? A Decade of Research on Kiryas Joel, New York," with B'Nai David-Judea.

Robert K. Rasmussen
May, 2020

Robert Rasmussen is part of a working group of bankruptcy academics that sent a letter to Congress urging an increase in capacity in the bankruptcy system given the expected increased demand on bankruptcy courts due to the COVID-19 virus.