Breaking Away Award of Excellence: Alexia Peters

Friday KUSI and Torrey Pines Bank are delighted to honor Alexia Peters, the Managing Attorney at the Justice Center Alliance at the San Diego Family Justice Center (FJC) and a graduate of California Western Law School, with the Breaking Away Award of Excellence. She’s been practicing law for 6 years and started as a volunteer for the FJC, a collaborative one-stop shop for abused women and children, and has now made it her life’s mission to help people in full force.

In the beginning of her career with the FJC, Alexia’s supervisor asked her if she would be willing to help open a clinic. She was given 72 hours to develop a plan, secure the proper insurance and start providing services. She developed a team of pro bono attorneys who donated their time to the organization.

Peters also developed a highly sought after and award-winning internship program, The Legal Network, with the three law schools in San Diego, this partnership allowed law students to experience working with real victims. Many of her interns went on to careers in public service based on their intern experience under Alexia at the FJC.

In 2013, the FJC was at risk of closure. Refusing to add more stress to the victims’ lives, Peters decided to form a new nonprofit called the San Diego Family Justice Center Foundation. She took on the role of Executive Director in addition to being the managing attorney. Her nominator Elliott Stiasny, and others in the office, expressed that Alexia’s work set a quality standard in the legal world.

“The Family Court judges came to use the work produced by the Legal Network and the Foundation as a template for how a restraining order should be done and clients were often referred to the Center to speak to Ms. Peters for assistance. Judges refused to modify or cancel restraining orders until victims had spoken to Ms. Peters even if the original order was not done at the FJC.” Elliott also remarks, “As far as the victims are concerned, Ms. Peters is a life saver. She had developed an excellent working relationship with the SDPD Domestic Violence unit, which in addition to helping with legal issues allows her to be an advocate for her clients when it comes to prosecuting their attacker. Due to the efforts of dedicated professionals like Ms. Peters, the rate of homicide rate in domestic violence cases has dropped from over 30 in the late 1990’s to only 4 last year [in San Diego]. Although one homicide is too many, Ms. Peters’ efforts are working to bring this number to zero.”

This award came at a pivotal time in Alexia’s career. As she accepts it, she closes the chapter of her life in San Diego, to move to Virginia with her husband, a military helicopter pilot. Not forever though, they hope to return in the future, but for now, she will go on to make a difference, nationally.

In the meantime, she will be leaving big shoes to fill for her right-hand partner, Dr. Kelley Rogers, whom she mentored to help with both legal and social services for abused victims for the past year. Alexia’s courage and passion will be missed by the San Diego community, but we are honored to see her talents travel across the country. She is a valuable representation and very deserving honoree for this award, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.

If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing domestic violence and could benefit from the services provided by The San Diego Family Justice Center, visit http://www.sandiego.gov/sandiegofamilyjusticecenter/ for more information or call (866) 933-HOPE or (866) 933-4673. 

The FJC is easily accessible and located downtown right next to the Trolley Station at 1122 Broadway, Suite 200 San Diego, CA 92101. Parking is validated inside. All languages are spoken.

This is a safe place that you can feel confident in going to for protection and a plan to move forward, you just have to make that choice.

Categories: Breaking Away Award of Excellence