Erikson Albrecht has made a career of pursuing justice for others. He joined Bet Tzedek in 2006 as the Kinship Attorney. The Kinship Project addresses the needs of children in Los Angeles County who live with their grandparents or other relatives as a result of their parents being unable or unwilling to care for them.
The project provides relative caregivers with legal advice and representation in order to formalize the child-rearing they provide and address the specific obstacles they face as caregivers. Without legal assistance, these caregivers often have difficulty authorizing medical care, are not able to adequately advocate on the child’s behalf, and lack the authority to protect the child from an abusive or neglectful parent. Most importantly, Erikson’s work focused on ensuring that families may continue to provide safe, stable and loving homes for the children they care for. In order to reach such families, he conducted presentations throughout Los Angeles to provide education on the benefits of legal guardianships and tips for identifying families who may need assistance. Providing legal assistance to relative caregivers encompasses many areas including: Probate Legal Guardianships, Individualized Education Plans for children with special educational needs, subsidized housing issues, and Special Immigration Juvenile Status (SIJS) for undocumented minors who have suffered abuse, abandonment or neglect.
In order to meet the high demand for legal representation in this area and the increasing numbers of unaccompanied minors entering the U.S., Bet Tzedek developed their Immigrant Child Advocacy Project (ICAP) a model designed to maximize the engagement of pro bono attorneys by offering guidance and support on both the technical and strategic aspects of probate legal guardianship and SIJS. This effort utilizes private firms, big and small, by matching their interest in giving back to the community with the necessary expertise to make a meaningful difference in the lives of undocumented youth. Erikson has expanded his focus to training and mentoring attorneys at legal aid agencies and pro bono attorneys throughout California. To that end, Erikson hosts a weekly call-in hour for California attorneys regarding SIJS matters in Probate Court.
In 2017, Erikson became Directing Attorney at Bet Tzedek, supervising advocates in a host of Bet Tzedek programs, including: conservatorship, guardianship, unaccompanied minor removal defense, In-Home Supportive Services, and a Transgender Medical Legal Partnership. Prior to joining Bet Tzedek, Erikson was a criminal defense attorney and Deputy Public Defender in Santa Cruz County. During college and law school, he worked with youth in an impoverished community on the South Side of Chicago. He received his A.B. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and his J.D. from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.