Hi, I'm César Nije

For over seven years, I have had meaningful opportunities to serve communities throughout Los Angeles in gaining access to justice. As a son of immigrants and as a first-generation college graduate, it’s my mission to protect the rights and safety of children and families facing poverty.

Art guides my life

My brother’s graffiti work in the 1990s introduced me to art making. Having learned photoshop and illustrator from friends in high school, I eventually shifted my technique to brand building for social justice and collective action. My freelance graphic design and photo projects speak to people.

Here's what I've done so far

I find happiness in celebrating the lives of others, and I am confident that this is the field that I want to pursue and dedicate my life.

Legal Advocacy


Public Counsel — Homelessness Prevention

Lead Paralegal, June 2018 – Present

Public Counsel is the largest pro bono law firm in the nation, providing legal aid in veteran’s advocacy, children’s rights, and housing law among others. As Lead Paralegal, I meet clients for initial case assessment; organize and maintain documents; analyze factual information; construct exhibit lists for trial; draft, index, and summarize pleadings and correspondence produced by opposing parties; draft legal memorandum to clients regarding case status and preparation; research legal issues and rules; assist in trial preparation; draft and propound discovery responses; perform in-person court research and e-filing; and provide training for new paralegals and attorneys.

Layered Pics for web PC IRP 2

Public Counsel — Immigrants’ Rights

Intake Coordinator, September 2016 – June 2018

As Intake Coordinator, I supervised the active caseload of Central American refugee family cases;assisted in the preparation and filing of applications and legal documents; conducted country conditions research; translated (both written and verbal) including interpretation at client interviews before USCIS; and recruited and managed volunteers.

Layered Pics for web Manatt

Manatt, Phelps, and Phillips, LLP

Legal Intake/Conflicts Clerk, July 2015 – August 2016

Manatt is a leading global law firm that offers a wide range of consulting services to public and private corporations. As Conflicts Analyst & Legal Intake Clerk I was responsible for directly assisting the general counsel and risk management staff with legal administration by preparing conflict check reports, waivers/disclosures, and drafting client-intake engagement contracts for Manatt’s partners and associates.

Layered Pics for web Court

Los Angeles Superior Court – Self Help Resource Center

JusticeCorps Legal Assistant, July 2012 – June 2014

JusticeCorps is an AmeriCorps program focused on providing pro se assistance to litigants in the Los Angeles Superior Court. — I performed 7.5 hours of service per week in providing intake, referrals, and legal information to 10+ self-represented litigants. This required me to work closely with paralegals, attorneys, and triage staff in conducting bilingual Spanish court workshops.

Ayuda Logo


Summer Law Clerk, June 2013 – August 2013

Ayuda is a non-profit immigration center in the DC metro area that offers direct legal, social, and language services to low-income immigrants of all nationalities. — I prepared 30+ Temporary Protected Status renewal applications for Salvadoran nationals along with managing a caseload of 10+ clients who were crime victims or undocumented youth seeking immigration relief through DACA, VAWA, and U-Visas.

Community Development

Layered Pics for web LIFT

LIFT Communities

Advocate, January 2015 – March 2015

LIFT is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on helping low-income community members achieve economic stability and well being in our country’s fight against poverty. — I managed my own client caseload and worked side-by-side with members, helping them address any immediate/long-term needs such as employment, housing, health care, or public benefits.

Layered Pics for web VA LA MAYOR

Mayor Garcetti’s Office of Economic Development

Veteran Affairs Intern, September 2014 – December 2014

Mayor Garcetti’s Veteran Affairs program focuses on restoring hope for military families fighting against financial debt, mental health issues, unemployment, and homelessness. — I was responsible for conceptualizing private and community-based partnerships for the 10,000 Strong Mayoral Veteran’s Hiring initiative. I also facilitated and recorded the citywide monthly Military Veterans Advisory Council at City Hall.

Layered Pics for web CoCo

Community Coalition

Civic Engagement Intern, October 2014 – November 2014

The Civic Engagement Project at Community Coalition focuses on outreaching to local South LA residents and community leaders to expand access to education, housing, healthcare, and employment. — As an intern, I outreached to approximately 2,460 residents and organized for Yes on Proposition 47 on California’s November 4th, 2014 ballot. I also collaborated with community presentations to recruit volunteers and teach students with a focus on the issues of massive incarceration and access to mental health services in South LA.

Education & Student Leadership

Layered Pics for web UCLA

University of California, Los Angeles 

B.A. in Political Science, earned July 2015

UCLA allowed me to embrace my purpose and feel fearless. My four years of professors and mentors pushed me to think and write, both critically and creatively. Taking courses such as Latino Immigration (Political Science), Policing in London (Study Abroad Paris & London), and Women in Latin America (Latin American Studies) made me realize the need to document and develop a critical awareness of the issues related to differing diversities. Planning major campus-wide events for MEChA, the Community Programs Office, and the Burkle Center sparked my obsession with design, attention to detail, and passion for service. I gained long-lasting friendships and strengthened my tolerance to adversity.

Layered Pics for web Burkle

Burkle Center for International Relations

Leadership Intern, September 2013 – June 2014

The Burkle Center fosters research and promotes discussion of international relations, globalization, and US foreign policy at UCLA. — I coordinated approximately 15 lectures throughout the year and encouraged students and faculty to engage with guests such as US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, author Reza Azlan, and Anne Marie Slaughter.

Layered Pics for web Calpulli

Student Retention Center – Calpulli Mentorship Program

Mentorship Coordinator & Academic Peer Counselor, September 2012 – June 2013

UCLA Calmecac’s Latina/o Retention Project part of the Community Programs Office is a student-run and student-initiated retention project that advocates for the first generation, transfer, and non-traditional Latina/o students (foster youth, undocumented students, student parents etc.) at UCLA. — I advised 210 students on academic policy, while leading a mentorship program cohort with 120 mentor and mentee students.

Layered Pics for web RD

Vice Chancellor’s Office of Student Affairs

Yield Admit Weekend Program Co-Chair, November 2011 – May 2012

UCLA’s Annual Raza Day Yield Admit program is an annual event for Latina/o admitted freshman and often first-generation students to come learn about the many resource available at UCLA and the importance of a higher education. — I prescribed a grant proposal and secured $10,458 of funding for 250 participants. This involved working with campus and community stakeholders and developing an event agenda with bilingual parent workshops, honorarium speakers, and AB-540 student activities.

Layered Pics for web CPO

Community Programs Office

Office Leadership Intern, September 2011 – June 2012

UCLA’s Community Programs Office (CPO) is a nationally recognized student-led and student-initiated department at UCLA that focuses on access to higher education, retention, and community service. — I managed daily office operations and participated in weekly meetings with discussions on race, education, and community issues while outreaching for “Proyecto de Jornaleros” (Day Laborer Project) in Santa Monica, CA.

Get in touch

LinkedIn or Email messages work best.