Winter 2019 Newsletter
When massive federal budget cuts forced legal aid organizations to eliminate services, Ethel Levitt and Ziva Naumann could have simply walked away. But in 1981, they rose to meet a challenge. Both retired grandmothers who had been volunteering with a legal aid family law center for years, Ethel and Ziva were outraged by the stark impact the budget cuts would have on legal services for the poor. Worried where 400-plus family law clients would go, they turned their outrage into action.
They pitched a plan to the legal aid’s board to open a new law firm that would take over the family law cases. The board consented, and in August 1981, they opened on Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake. Ziva recruited volunteers, raised needed funds, and even led early self-help workshops. A chance meeting at a United Way luncheon led Ethel to recruit retired attorney Grace Quinn, and the firm became Levitt & Quinn, a Family Law Center.
Featured in a 1990 episode of “60 Minutes,” their goal was to make Levitt & Quinn self-supporting, and four years later they incorporated into a non-profit public benefit organization that today continues our founders’ legacy of service to the community they loved.


Madison Chisholm and Lesly Silva clerked with us this summer after finishing their first year at Loyola Law School. Working alongside our attorneys, Madi and Lesly helped us to provide the full range of family law help to LA County families.

Madi and Lesly joined us for this year’s virtual MOSTe Shadow Day. After an introduction, each MOSTe scholar paired with an LQ attorney for a morning of shadowing to see how lawyers are providing services to modest mean families in this hybrid environment. We came back together in the afternoon for debrief and closing reflection. Afterwards, one scholar shared, “It really opened my eyes and gave me a great insight into the job.”

Lesly and Madi met other LQ volunteers at our 6th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception we held early June outdoors at LQ. Board and Leadership Council members gathered for a socially- distanced celebration with other volunteers and staff.

Legal Services Director Lucia Reyes and Board Member Cheryl Hoelting

Board Member Lorna Mouton Riff with Administrative Assistant Anastasia Finney and Staff Attorney/Community Engagement Coordinator Nalleli Sandoval

Leadership Council Vice Chair Ashlee Hamilton catches up with LC Chair Amanda Fleming

We thank Lesly and Madi for all their efforts this summer, and wish them the best as they move forward in their legal careers.


Please join us on Saturday, September 11 to celebrate our 40th anniversary. We return to Skirball for a modified outdoor cocktail reception, silent auction, and presentation of the 2021 Outstanding Community Service Award to Family Law Supervising Judge Lawrence Riff.


From beautiful vacation destinations, delicious wines, fun experiences, and great gifts, there is something for everyone in the LQ silent auction. Even if you can’t join us in person on the 11th, you can still participate in the auction remotely.

The auction will open for bidding on Monday, September 6.


Perfect for that postponed extended family celebration, enjoy an incredible seven (7) night stay in an estate-sized home. Nestled atop a lush hillside overlooking Kaanapali Golf Course, this property boasts a stunning panoramic ocean view and island views of Lana’i and Moloka’i.
At over 4,500 square feet, this home offers two king master suites, a queen bedroom, a twin bedroom, five baths, a spacious gourmet kitchen, and is fully furnished with solid teak doors and exquisite details throughout.
Enjoy the private pool and spa. The beach is just a short five-minute drive away!


No two families are alike. At LevittQuinn, we strive to provide accessible and meaningful legal services to all kinds of families throughout L.A. County, including the family Legal Services Director, Lucia Reyes, helped to complete via an adult adoption.
Our client’s former partner had a young child when they met, and that they thereafter raised together. This same-sex couple never married, but agreed to share custody of their child after separation. After nearly 20 years of experiencing the non-recognition of their parent-child relationship from schools, doctors, and government agencies, they decided to seek legal recognition for their family, and file an adult adoption. They came to LevittQuinn.
Our client shared that when she read the draft petition Lucia sent for her review, she expected to read a dry, transactional document. Instead, she found herself moved to read that Lucia had drafted “matters of the heart” that captured the loving bond she and her child had built and shared over the many years.
A bonded relationship that would finally receive the legal recognition it deserved.