Women of Excellence

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L. Ernestine Fields

Title: Attorney at Law
Industry: Legal
Type of Organization: Law Office
Major Product/Service: Legal services
Expertise: Ms. Fields currently accepts new cases when appointed by Bench Officers, including representing minors in high-conflict family law cases, representing children in contested step-parent adoptions and representing disabled adults in Probate Court. Ms. Fields is renowned for establishing a nonprofit corporation, Comfort for Court Kids, Inc.®, which provides teddy bears for the children who must attend a Court hearing in regard to their experiencing severe abuse and neglect.
Geographic Area of Distribution: Southern California
Affiliations: Los Angeles County Bar Association; San Fernando Valley Bar Association; Beverly Hills Bar Association; Italian American Bar Association; Academy of Minors’ Attorneys; Inns of Court, Los Angeles
University/Degree: B.A., Psychology and Education, Minor in English Literature, UCLA, 1954; J.D., University of La Verne, 1983
Born: October 31, 1931, Los Angeles, California
Hobbies/Sports: Clothing, fashion
Spouse: Josh Fields, M.D.
Married: 1963
Children: Karen, Candice
Work History: Previously, Ms. Fields served as a classroom elementary school teacher for 15 years, and was a Master Teacher for UCLA and USC. She taught advanced classes for elementary school teachers in mathematics, music and physical education. Formerly, Ms. Fields represented adults in Family Law and Dependency Law.
Honors & Awards: Person of the Year, Metropolitan News Enterprise, 2014; Commendations from the U.S. Senate, the State of California, the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles, including various legal associations; Honoree for a non-profit in Los Angeles for the Jewish Home for the Aging
Career Accomplishments: Being recognized by Bench Officers in each of her chosen areas of law to be competent in order to be appointed clients on a regular basis. In addition to enjoying a fine reputation legally, Ms. Fields is especially gratified by the success of her non-profit organization, Comfort for Court Kids, Inc.® The focus of Comfort for Court Kids, Inc.® has been to provide emotional support for the children while they go through the dependency court process. The act of giving the children a brand new teddy bear sends a message to the children that even though they have been abused, they are worthwhile children and deserve to receive an object that is brand new and that is recognized as a universal symbol of love and affection. Ms. Fields hopes to continue contributing to the emotional and psychological wellbeing of vulnerable children in crisis. At the present time, the Department of Children and Family Services, the State of California Superior Court for Los Angeles County, and Comfort for Court Kids, Inc.® are enjoying a collaboration that is ensuring the provisions of approximately 50,000 brand new teddy bears for the children who are subject to Dependency Court jurisdiction in Los Angeles County each year. Since its inception in 1991, over a million brand new teddy bears have been provided for the children, and this number increases by approximately 50,000 brand new bears every year. Money for the teddy bears has historically been provided by the Superior Court, Bar Associations, foundations, corporations, law offices, individual attorneys and the public through fundraising efforts at the Children’s Courthouse and within the community. At the present time, the Department of Children and Family Services has expressed its approval of the teddy bear program by providing all of the money needed to purchase the teddy bears. In addition to Comfort for Court Kids, Inc.®, Ms. Fields developed the “No-Fault” library card program, wherein the Department of Children and Family Services is responsible for the cost of any lost or late books borrowed from the library by children in foster care. This program has been established in County and City library systems in all 5 Southern California Counties. This program was established in 2004 through the collaboration of the Department of Children and Family Services, Los Angeles County Library, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Comfort for Court Kids, Inc.®.