- Erin Peterson
One of the two original recipients of the Long Beach Bar's new Distinguished Service Award recognizing ongoing and extraordinary public service, Toby Rothschild graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1969. He was a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteer for one year and had a graduate fellowship to work at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach for the next two years. After a short time as a staff attorney at LAFLB, he became Executive Director for the next 27 years. During that time he co-taught a course in “The Lawyering Process” at the USC School of Law, and taught a course in consumer law at Western States College of Law. He was also a Teaching Fellow at the Harvard Law School, assisting Professor Roger Fisher with his course on negotiation skills. Upon the merger of LAFLB and LAFLA, Toby became General Counsel of LAFLA for the next 13 years, until his retirement in 2014. Since then, he has served as Of Counsel to OneJustice, a statewide support organization for legal services programs, providing training and consulting in ethics and risk management for legal services programs throughout the state.
Toby served on almost every statewide and national organization of legal services programs, often in a leadership capacity. He also served on several committees and commissions for the Long Beach, Los Angeles County, and State Bar association. He served as president of the Long Beach Bar in 1993, and served as its Interim Executive Director for several months last year. He was the founding chair of the Long Beach Bar Foundation, and served on its board for many years. He currently serves on the State Bar Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission and on the State Bar Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct. He is also an ex officio member of the California Access to Justice Commission.
In the Long Beach community, Toby has served on several non-profit boards and committees. He was the president of the Long Beach Jewish Community Center and vice president of the Jewish Federation of Long Beach and West Orange County. He was on the board of the Long Beach Community Improvement League, the Southeast Asian Community Health Alliance, and the United Way Long Beach Area Planning Council.
Toby has been recognized for his work by both legal and community groups. He was the Long Beach Lawyer of the Year and the UCLA School of Law Public Interest Attorney of the Year. He has received the Human Relations Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews (now the California Conference for Equality and Justice), the Lauren Miller Legal Services Award from the State Bar, and the Visionary Leadership Award from the Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership.
In his spare time, Toby enjoys photography and playing in his Klezmer band, the Shtetl Menschen.