Community Involvement

Berger Kahn Opens Doors for Santa Ana’s Youth through Project SELF Legal Internship Program

(filed under: Philanthropic | July 30, 2012)

Berger Kahn is providing a paid summer internship program for a Santa Ana high school student through the Project SELF program. Partner Teresa R. Ponder serves as a professional mentor to intern Elvis Bolainez, 17, of Century High School, who began working at Berger Kahn June 19, 2012.

Bolainez, of Santa Ana, has excelled in his academics, taking AP Spanish, AP English Language, AP Chemistry, Honors Math Analysis and Honors US History, and maintaining honor roll. Through Project SELF, he is looking forward to “learning about the responsibilities in a real work place.”

The mission of Project SELF is to offer low-to-moderate-income high school juniors exposure to the career possibilities of the legal profession through an eight-week paid internship program. Interns learn office skills, participate in a day in court, and have the opportunity to work alongside lawyers.

Says Craig Simon, Managing Principal at Berger Kahn, “Teresa is the perfect partner in our office for this role. I believe that her nurturing and kind spirit will make any intern’s experience at Berger Kahn the absolute very best.”

Says Teresa Ponder, Partner at Berger Kahn, “We’re delighted to have Elvis join the Berger Kahn team, and know that we’ll all learn and grow from this shared experience.”

Project SELF was formed as a collaboration between the Orange County Bar Foundation and the Orange County Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators. Since the program’s inception in 1995, 614 students have participated in the program.

View a photo gallery of Elvis’s internship experience

ABOUT BERGER KAHN: Berger Kahn, A Law Corporation, is a California-based law firm with practice areas such as insurance coverage and litigation, business litigation, labor and employment, serious personal injury and wrongful death, and subrogation. The firm has offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

ABOUT TERESA R. PONDER: Teresa R. Ponder focuses on federal and state court litigation of complex first-party insurance bad faith cases arising under residential and commercial policies. She has particular expertise in actions concerning a carrier’s institutional practices or procedures and disaster operations. She was named to the list of Southern California Super Lawyers, an honor reserved for only 5% of practicing attorneys, in 2012. Teresa Ponder Bio

Stay tuned for information on Berger Kahn’s participation with Project SELF and watch our Berger Kahn Facebook Page for news and photos.

Berger Kahn’s 2012 Project SELF intern Elvis, on his first day in the office.


The 2012 Project SELF interns with Judge Francisco Briseno and Project SELF leadership during the program’s annual Recognition Dinner.


Project SELF featured in the Daily Journal, August 17, 2012