California Access to Justice Commission

Funded by a one-year Innovation and Infrastructure Grant awarded by the California Access to Justice Commission, the Dividing Pensions in Divorce Project is led by the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law and its partner, QDROCounsel.

Through a specialized legal training and education program, which will demystify the process, participants will learn how to divide retirement benefits. This free year-long program provides a robust package of expert-led live (video) trainings, webinars, web-based automated drafting tools, and help-desk mentoring for a broad swath of nonprofit and government organizations interested in improving the economic security of limited income persons in family law cases.

To learn more about the California Access to Justice Commission, click here.


About the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law

Founded in 1982 by Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles and Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law (the Center), pioneered self-help family law assistance in California with volunteers. Now serving hundreds of low-income persons a year, most of whom are women and domestic violence survivors, the Center remains exclusively focused on family law practice for indigent persons.

Over the years, the Center has helped hundreds of clients establish their rights to retirement funds valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars, providing them with income or future economic security.

The Center offers, without charge, a wide range of assistance, including pro bono representation, community legal education, and its core pro per services. Over two decades ago, with the help of volunteer lawyers knowledgeable about drafting qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs), the Center began assisting clients with the division of their community property interests in pensions.

The Center looks forward to sharing its knowledge and experience with project participants.


About QDRO Counsel

QDROCounsel (QC) is a legal technology company for pension division founded by QDRO and valuation experts. QC provides legal support for both individuals and professionals, enabling them to divide retirement benefits easily, fairly, and accurately.

QDROCounsel is a legal technology company that makes dividing pensions in a divorce accessible and easy.

Louise Nixon, co-founder of QDROCounsel, has been a pro bono partner with the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law (the Center) in helping hundreds of clients secure their marital pension rights for nearly 20 years, without whom the Center could not have built its pension practice. In addition to direct legal assistance in drafting QDROs, Ms. Nixon provides advice and counsel to Center lawyers and volunteers in hundreds of cases. QC now generously shares the resources of QDROCounsel with the Center, including its software platform, which places the tools for the preparation of QDROs in the hands of Center staff. Lorrina Duffy, the lead QDROCounsel attorney for the Dividing Pensions in Divorce Project, is a former staff attorney with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, board member and past president of the Latina Lawyers Bar Association, and a nationally recognized QDRO expert with significant experience in family law.


About the Grant




Further Education


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