2017 Family Law Awards

Each year, LAAC and the legal aid community recognize family law advocates for their outstanding dedication and commitment to legal services for low-income Californians. More about the Family Law Awards.

Here are the 2017 Honorees:

2017 Family Law Honorees Grace Mitsuhata, Kimberly Aston-Young, and Courtney Black


Courtney Black, Pro Bono Work

Courtney’s passion to serve vulnerable women and children have led her to work in family law, a track she believes is the #1 priority area of law useful in helping this population. After years of building a reputation as a talented litigator who served as counsel in numerous civil and criminal cases, in both state and federal courts, Courtney currently dedicates her professional life to pro bono work. As the Pro Bono Coordinator for Hueston Hennigan she not only carries an active caseload, but also recruits, trains and mentors all Hueston Hennigan staff on pro bono related matters. Courtney is also known within the legal aid community for being someone willing to take on difficult cases others pass, combining her passion and expertise to obtain substantial benefits for her clients.


Kimberly Aston-Young, Self-Help Center Support

For several years, Kim has been more than an asset to the LAFLA Self-Help Center. She helps families and individuals seek out solutions to many difficulties, including those related to divorce, custody, and other family law related  matters.  She also supports the center by training new volunteers, teaching them how to manage clients and setting an example of best practice in all that she does.  Because she is highly knowledgeable about family law, Kimberly is the right person for questions and guidance.  Kim is revered by her colleagues at the Court who appreciate her hard work, positive attitude, and interpersonal skills, noting that clients and volunteers alike leave the court with more confidence and trust after speaking with her.



Grace Mitsuhata, Pro Bono Work

Grace has been volunteering her services as a pro bono attorney since 2012. A retired real estate partner from the law firm of Bryan Cave, Grace has adapted to an entirely new area of law and demonstrated dedication by volunteering twice a week at LAFLA’s DV clinic in Santa Monica and twice a month at the Harriett Buhai Center. Grace’s colleague, Minty Siu-Kootnikoff shared, “In an era when volunteers disappear as soon as the economy improves, Grace has been a treasure to our community over the past five years, in her unfailing commitment to domestic violence survivors and the low income population.” In addition to accepting LAAC’s Family Law Award, Grace is also the recipient of the State Bar’s Wiley Manuel Award.