Rachel Mehlsak

RachelWall3Rachel Mehlsak graduated from Harvard Law School in 2011.  After graduating, she worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Jon D. Levy of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and to the Honorable A. Howard Matz (ret.) of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  She also served as a temporary law clerk to the Honorable Beverly Reid O’Connell of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  

While in law school, Rachel advocated on behalf of clients with employment discrimination claims through the Employment Civil Rights Clinic.  As a participant in the Mississippi Delta Project, Rachel helped create a legal guide and training for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Mississippi Delta region.  She later worked with the Harvard Health Law and Policy Clinic to meet with stakeholders and prepare a report examining barriers to accessing healthcare for individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Mississippi and proposing possible policy solutions.  Rachel also served on the editorial boards of the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and the Journal of Law & Gender, and as a Co-Chair of the Public Interest Committee of the Women’s Law Association.  During law school, she participated in legal internships focused on impact litigation, policy advocacy, and legal services with the National Women’s Law Center, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, and served as a summer associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Jenner & Block LLP.  Prior to law school, Rachel worked as the Program Coordinator for the Hadassah Foundation, where she helped administer grant programs focused on leadership and self-esteem for adolescent girls and support for low-income Israeli women through training, advocacy, and legal services.  Originally from the Portland, Maine area, Rachel earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in Comparative Literature and in Judaic Studies from Brown University, where she was elected Phi Beta Kappa.

As a 2013-2014 Borchard Fellow, Rachel will work with Bet Tzedek Legal Services in Los Angeles to provide holistic services to older clients facing consumer debt and foreclosure-related concerns, helping to bridge the organization’s existing work on debtors’ rights, foreclosure prevention and real estate fraud, and elder law. Rachel will provide foreclosure prevention assistance and advocacy to clients by securing loan modifications and asserting client’s rights pursuant to California’s new Homeowner Bill of Rights.  She will assist with intake screening and initial investigation of elder abuse title fraud and foreclosure matters, and will provide individual client advocacy on cases accepted for representation.  Additionally, she will provide advice and representation to these same clients on debt-related issues arising under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and provide counseling regarding the suitability of filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.