OneJustice Blog

Bring life-changing legal help to Californians in need.

Helping others who cannot help themselves

Join us as we honor Suk Lee at this year’s Opening Doors to Justice event!

We’re about a month away from this year’s annual event! Each year, the OneJustice network meets to honor extraordinary individuals who are committed to advancing access to justice and have brought help, hope, and justice to individuals in need. Last week, we introduced you to Chris Schneider, now we’d love you to meet Suk Lee — Senior Counsel at Electronic Arts Inc., who is also one of our honorees this year!

We asked Suk to tell us more about himself and what justice means to him. Please join us in welcoming our second honoree, Suk!


Suk Lee_Honoree ImageThank you for joining us, Suk! Tell us, what does “justice” mean to you?

I think “justice” means helping others who cannot help themselves. As lawyers, we are especially qualified to provide that help. I believe that we have an inherent duty to use our skill set for pro bono service. As an in-house lawyer for almost 10 years, I’ve always had an interest in pro bono work, but wasn’t sure how or where to start. I’ve served as co-chair of the Pro Bono Committee for ACC-SFBA (San Francisco Bay Area’s Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel) for the past three years, helping to coordinate (and participating in) pro bono opportunities for Bay Area in-house attorneys. It has been a professionally and personally fulfilling experience helping those with limited means and working with wonderful organizations, like OneJustice.

Folks like you really make pro bono opportunities possible — we can’t thank you enough! What is one particularly rewarding experience you have been involved with?

In 2015, I participated in two Justice Bus events, the first to Greenfield in Monterey County and the second to Modesto. For both trips, we assisted applicants with their DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and citizenship papers. Getting on a bus and visiting a rural community was a new experience for me. I grew up in urban areas, and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to a farming community. I was amazed at how something as simple as helping someone complete an application form could have a significant impact on people’s lives. This was an important part of their ability to work and support their families. It was particularly meaningful to me, because I vividly recall my parents going through the citizenship process when I was 11 years old.

We couldn’t agree more! Just one document has the ability to transform someone’s life. Now, tell us more about how you became involved with OneJustice?

In 2014, I attended the Opening Doors to Justice event, and Julia Wilson’s words about the disparity in legal services in rural communities stuck with me. Later that year, my colleague Pamela Ostroff and I started an initiative to make pro bono an integral part of Electronic Arts culture and identity, and a Justice Bus trip was an ideal pro bono opportunity to kick off our initiative. Because volunteers were not required to be attorneys, all members of the Electronic Arts legal department were able to participate and contribute. The great first pro bono experience inspired participants to volunteer again. We had our third Justice Bus trip in May 2016, with many repeat volunteers. I expect that Justice Bus trips will become a regular part of Electronic Arts’ pro bono activities.

IMAGE: Suk Lee and Justin Aragon, with their client at the Greenfield Immigration Justice Bus clinic.

Suk Lee and Justin Aragon, with their client at the Greenfield Immigration Justice Bus clinic.

That’s wonderful to hear — and we’re very excited about EA’s upcoming Justice Bus trip to Tracy! Last but not least, who is your favorite social justice hero and why?

My heroes are all the volunteers who take the plunge for the first time to do pro bono work. There is a certain amount of anxiety and apprehension you have to overcome to go outside of your comfort zone, both literally and figuratively. Often, you are helping in a substantive area of law that is outside of your field of expertise or training. I admire and appreciate those that make the commitment to pro bono, and in doing so, inspire others to get involved.

Thank you, Suk, for your commitment to bringing justice to those who need it most!

Folks, remember to mark your calendars for this year’s event!

IMAGE: 2016 Opening Doors to Justice event on June 23, 2016 at The Julia Morgan Ballroom in downtown San Francisco.

My heroes are the unsung participants of social justice movements

Join us as we celebrate Chris Schneider at this year’s Opening Doors to Justice event!

We can’t believe it’s already May! This month, we’re excited to introduce you to both of this year’s Opening Doors to Justice event honorees, Chris Schneider and Suk Lee! Each year, the OneJustice network comes together to honor individuals who have brought help, hope, and justice to Californians in need, and who are committed to advancing access to justice.

We asked Chris to tell us more about himself and his work over the past few years. We’re honored to recognize Chris for his efforts to increase legal services in the Central Valley. Please join us in welcoming our first honoree, Chris!


IMAGE: 2016 Opening Doors to Justice Honoree: Chris Schneider, Fresno Attorney & former Executive Director at Central California Legal Services, Inc.

Thank you for joining us today, Chris! Tell us, what does “justice” mean to you?

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of justice as love in action. I view the social justice movements that I have been privileged to work with, both inside and outside of legal services, to be just that.

We couldn’t agree more, and that’s also one of our favorite quotes! Why have you committed your time increasing access to civil legal services?

On my parents’ 19th wedding anniversary, they lost their home to the bank. At age ten, I learned how the law too often works against hard working, low-income families, especially if they don’t have access to an attorney to help them. My eight brothers and sisters and I were taken in by friends and relatives while my parents struggled mightily over the next few months to find a new home and eventually reunite the family. By pure coincidence, 20 years to the day after our family became homeless, I was sworn in as an attorney. In my comments at the swearing in ceremony, I told my parents that obviously I could not do anything about what happened to them twenty years earlier, but I promised to them, and all my colleagues there from the United Farm Workers, that I would fight like hell when I saw injustices heaped upon my clients.

Before coming to work in a legal services program, I was generally aware of the insufficiency of resources for legal aid programs. My work at California Rural Legal Assistance and Central California Legal Services (CCLS) made me woefully cognizant of how great that insufficiency is, especially in rural areas.  As a result, injustice runs rampant as employers, slumlords, and others take advantage of people knowing that the likelihood of them being able to find an attorney is minimal. Undocumented individuals are especially vulnerable in areas where the only legal aid programs have federal funding restrictions which prevent them from assisting.

Access to civil legal services is an important, and often, essential tool for disenfranchised individuals and communities. But due to the lack of resources, increasingly more and more families facing homelessness, women and children seeking to escape family violence, elders enduring abuse, people wrongfully denied health coverage by their insurers, children improperly expelled from school and at risk of being swallowed up into the prison pipeline, communities seeking basic services like safe drinking water, workers who have been robbed of their wages, in short, the most vulnerable in our society, are denied their day in court or go to court unrepresented, because legal services programs are overwhelmed.

Your journey is truly inspiring! Can you tell us about one particularly rewarding experience you’ve encountered over the years?

Choosing just one is extremely difficult. Over the decades, I have had the good fortune to witness numerous important victories for our client communities. In March of 2000, CCLS issued a study entitled “Suffering in the Pastures of Plenty: Experiences of H-2A Sheepherders in California’s Central Valley.” The report exposed how sheepherders were exempt from federal and state protective labor laws, thereby making this treatment legal.

Worse, the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL), through improperly implemented regulations, sanctioned many of the deplorable conditions and set the wages. Media reporting on the study caught the attention of many. Within a year, even with tremendous opposition from powerful agribusiness organizations, California passed the first protective labor law legislation for sheepherders anywhere in the United States and significantly increased their wages. Other legal aid organizations across the country began to take on the issue. Late last year, the improperly implemented DoL regulations were finally replaced and sheepherders nationwide gained wage increases and some minimal protections. There is still far to go, however.

IMAGE: Chris with fellow Executive Fellows at one of their sessions in 2012.

Chris with fellow Executive Fellows at one of their sessions in 2012.

Wow, sounds like a significant win! Can you now tell us how you became involved with OneJustice?

Shortly after I began at CCLS, I had the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC). At that time, LAAC was staffed by the then Executive Director of the Public Interest Clearinghouse (PIC), Nancy Strohl. PIC was the predecessor organization to OneJustice. I worked with PIC and OneJustice on numerous projects over the years and was lucky enough to be selected to participate in the Executive Fellowship Program in 2012.

And finally, who is your favorite social justice hero, and why?

While I am inspired by the strategies, tactics, commitment, and vision of well-known leaders such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez, my favorite social justice heroes are those who, for the most part, are not named in the history books or not known much beyond their own families and friends. My heroes are the unsung participants of social justice movements who overcame fear and took great personal risks: the Indian Salt March participants beaten by the police; the men and women of Montgomery who walked to and from work, no matter how tired they were; students hosed down when they marched; farm workers who left their jobs and traveled across the country to urge consumers to boycott grapes and lettuce. Without tens of thousands of people who have been willing to take such risks, Gandhi, King and Chavez and so many others hailed for their leadership would be unknown.

Thank you so much for your time, Chris! We can’t wait to celebrate you on June 23rd!

Folks, if you haven’t already done so, mark your calendars today:

2016 Opening Doors to Justice Newsletter Image2

DACA has helped me in ways I’ll never forget

DreamSF Fellow tells us about his time at OneJustice and his experience as a DACA recipient.

We’re excited to have Miguel, our DreamSF Fellow and Communications Intern, give us an inside view on his current work and his goals for the future before he leaves OneJustice. We have been so fortunate to have had Miguel on the OneJustice Team, and he will be sorely missed! So before he leaves, we wanted to pick his brain one last time!

Join us in bidding Miguel a heartfelt farewell!


Thank you so much, Miguel, for joining us for this quick Q&A! Tell us about your work at OneJustice, why did you choose OneJustice as your host site?

IMAGE: Miguel Castillo, DreamSF Fellow and Communications Intern at OneJustice.

Miguel Castillo, DreamSF Fellow and Communications Intern at OneJustice.

For my DreamSF Fellowship, I chose to work for OneJustice, because I believe in the work and the change OneJustice is so bold to take on. Since September of 2015, I have helped out the Pro Bono Justice Program (PBJ) and the Development and Communications team. For the PBJ program, I helped with outreach for upcoming Justice Bus Project and Rural Justice Collaborative clinics and clinic logistics like, signing up clients, making sure they have the right paperwork for the clinic, and translating legal documents into Spanish. During clinics, I would help greet and sit clients down with a pro bono volunteer as well as interpret in Spanish for clients.

In my role with the Development and Communications team, I used my graphic design skills to help with the creation of the upcoming new website and interactive clinic map, plus I designed flyers and a brochure for OneJustice. In addition, I would take professional pictures at clinics for communication purposes and would help with social media.

We’re so grateful to have had a Fellow like you — you’ve been a crucial part of our team over the past months! Can you explain to folks what the DreamSF Fellowship is? How has it helped you with your career goals?

The DreamSF Fellowship is a paid internship exclusively for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. Fellows get placed at a nonprofit organization in San Francisco serving the immigrant community. By training and preparing DACA recipients, the DreamSF Fellowship serves as a gateway to the professional workforce. It has provided me with professional work experience and skills that will help me with my career goals. It has also given me a wide network of people that I can reach out to and count on. The Fellowship has given me hope that I can succeed in a world that is not always welcoming. It is important that programs like the DreamSF Fellowship continue to serve and empower underprivileged communities and provide opportunities to youth.

It definitely sounds like Fellowships such as the DreamSF Fellowship are opening doors for individuals! Tell us how DACA has helped you on your journey towards achieving your goals.

I immigrated to the United States when I was three years old and grew up in Santa Barbara, CA. My family decided to come to the US due to economic hardship and lack of opportunity in their home country. Before DACA, I was limited and barred from most opportunities that people would not think twice about. For example, DACA allowed me to get an Identification Card, a Driver’s License, and allowed me to obtain a job — all things that most people my age have access to. If I could summarize DACA with one word, it would be opportunity. It has allowed me to travel, go to college, and feel somewhat normal in society. I now have more control over my life and where I would like to go and who I would like to become.

IMAGE: Miguel presenting a proposal for the creation of an Undocumented/AB540 Student Resource Center to the Board of Associated Students at San Francisco State University.

Miguel presenting a proposal for the creation of an Undocumented/AB540 Student Resource Center to the Board of Associated Students at San Francisco State University.

Although DACA is an amazing opportunity and achievement, it is not enough. Families are still getting torn apart and getting abused and taken advantage of in the workforce. Due to my immigration status, I have become a big activist in my community for Immigrant rights. As a result of my activism and advocacy for immigrants, I have been at the forefront of establishing an Undocumented/AB540 Student Resource Center at San Francisco State University. The Resource Center will provide resources to over 650 students at the University who identify as Undocumented or AB540. Currently, there is a resource gap that undocumented students face while at school. This population of students do not have access to Federal Student Aid, loans, and most scholarships, and do not have access to a central location where they can receive help with resources they do qualify for. The creation of this resource at San Francisco State University is one of my biggest dreams and goals.

Sounds like great work ahead — we can’t wait to hear about what you do in the near future! How would you say free legal services have helped DACA applicants?

Legal forms and the English language can be obstacles for DACA-eligible people, but free legal services help this specific population with their applications, giving them access to new opportunities. With this new eligibility, DACA recipients can join the workforce and contribute to society, proving how the country can benefit from immigrants. I believe DACA will play in important role in immigration, because it is the start of something bigger, like immigration reform. 

We couldn’t agree more on the importance of programs like DACA and DAPA, and we are grateful for our partners, supporters, and volunteers for bringing justice to those who need it most.

Thank you so much for joining us today, Miguel! We will miss you! We know you will achieve everything you’ve set your mind to! 


To keep updated on Miguel’s current endeavors and projects, follow him on Behance, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Wouldn’t you want a second chance?

This National Reentry Week, Prop 47 and expungement clinics allow individuals to move past their offenses and rejoin our communities.

By Maureen Slack, OneJustice Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow

Almost one in three Americans has a criminal record. In fact, roughly the same number of Americans have criminal records as do four-year college diplomas. Before I started working on criminal record clearance clinics with the Justice Bus Project and our amazing partners, I didn’t realize the depth of the damage.

IMAGE: OneJustice Board member and Justice Bus Volunteer at a clinic in Napa County.

OneJustice Board member and Justice Bus Volunteer at a clinic in Napa County.

In many ways, a criminal record punishes someone long after she’s completed her sentence. And convictions from 20 or 30 years ago, minor offenses, or just arrests, carry criminal records and serious turmoil. The Proposition 47 and expungement clinics that the Justice Bus holds along with legal and community organizations provide at least some form of relief. However, as the law stands, there is no complete remedy for someone to move on.

Much of a record’s harm is economic. Most housing and employment sources require background checks and providers can make harsh snap judgments based on little information. This was our client from Napa’s experience: “I was in a volatile marriage and received a DUI in my own driveway as I got in my car for safety from my abusive husband. I lost my nursing license due to this.” And she’s not alone. Depending on the survey, up to 90% of prospective employers perform criminal background checks, as do 80% of landlords. Some research indicates that a criminal record reduces the likelihood of a job callback or offer by almost 50%. And this negative impact is more pronounced for African-American men than white men. Many clients come to clinics hoping for meaningful, full-time employment.

Beyond these economic barriers, a criminal record can also do serious emotional damage. A major part of this emotional strain comes from the economic and housing instability. Many clients also feel hurt by the stigma of being forever labeled as criminals. As one of our clients put it, “When I was young I made a mistake and got a felony conviction. That was about 15 years ago. I am now mature, a father, and hardworking… [by getting this expunged] I feel a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.” Even when someone feels they’ve moved forward from past mistakes, a record is a constant reminder of how society labels them.

While these economic and emotional barriers are severe and often unyielding, the law currently makes it really difficult to remove them. Criminal expungements and Proposition 47 offer at least some relief. Through expungement, someone can get their old conviction case re-opened and dismissed. It won’t completely erase their record, and the case will still show up on state background checks — but it won’t show up on private criminal background checks. The person can now accurately answer on most applications that they’ve never been convicted of a crime. Additionally, Prop 47 is a piece of legislation that reclassifies certain non-violent felonies as misdemeanors. Through Prop 47 relief, individuals may be able to restore their ability to get certain professional licenses and public benefits. It may also make DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) available to immigrants previously ineligible because of felony convictions.

IMAGE: Stanford Law School students helping a client at a mobile legal clinic in Shasta County.

Stanford Law School students helping a client at a mobile legal clinic in Shasta County.

The Justice Bus has been working with dedicated and enthusiastic Public Defender’s offices, community organizations, private attorneys, and criminal defense firms throughout the state for one-day, limited-scope expungement and Prop 47 clinics. The clients we see are overwhelmingly relieved to confront their criminal pasts and move forward. Since April 2015, our Northern California office has held 15 criminal record clinics in San Joaquin, Napa, Fresno, Butte, and Shasta Counties. This weekend, we’ll head to Santa Cruz.

While expungements and Prop 47 provide some relief, barriers still remain, and at this point, there’s no way for a client to have a truly clean slate. We need more research on the impact of expungements and Prop 47 on people’s lives, but, anecdotally, the people who come to our clinics are hopeful for a fresh start. With the right legislation, there is hope for stronger programs to help those individuals successfully start their lives again.


Maureen_Blog Post photoMaureen Slack is an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Fellow and a proud participant in Equal Justice Work’s national Veterans Legal Corps. At OneJustice, she is responsible for leading Justice Bus trips throughout Northern California, working to bring attorney and law student volunteers from urban areas to serve isolated communities.

She hears their calls…

Welcome to our new Pro Bono Justice Program Associate, Lyla Bugara!

We’re super excited to introduce you to the newest member of our team! Lyla will be working with the Pro Bono Justice Program, which fosters volunteerism in the legal profession and builds innovative, private/nonprofit collaborations that deliver free legal services to vulnerable communities. So to get to know her better, we sat down with Lyla this week and asked her a few questions!

Please join us in welcoming her to the OneJustice network!


Photo: Lyla Bugara, the new Pro Bono Justice Program Associate in the San Francisco office.

Meet Lyla Bugara, the new Pro Bono Justice Program Associate in the San Francisco office.

Thank you for joining us today, Lyla! Tell us what drew you to the work of OneJustice?

I was extremely excited by the opportunity to work at OneJustice because of the organization’s commitment to systemic and transformative change. OneJustice is a unique nonprofit in that it takes a bird’s-eye view of the legal aid system in California and works to develop innovative solutions to the many problems that plague our state’s justice system. Millions of people live their lives every day without access to legal resources just because of where they live, how much money they make, where they were born, what language they speak, the color of their skin, and their gender identity. It’s wildly unjust, and the time for change was yesterday! The good news is that we are living in historic times. Thousands of Black and brown people across the country are rising up to say “enough!” to systemic racism and oppression. I hear their calls. And OneJustice’s work plays such an important part in the fight for equal justice, economic justice, and racial justice. I am honored to work here.

We’re honored to have you on the team! What will you be doing in your role at OneJustice?

As the Pro Bono Justice Program Associate, I will be responsible for managing the Justice Bus Project in Northern California and clinic coordination for the Rural Justice Collaborative. Both of these programs provide essential legal services to people living in rural areas who might otherwise never be served. I hope to ensure these projects best serve the needs of oppressed and marginalized Californians, while transforming the legal aid system in California.

We look forward to hearing about this work in the near future! What were you up to before coming to OneJustice? 

In 2011, I worked at the Correctional Association of New York advocating for an end to the incarceration of domestic violence survivors. From 2012-2016, I worked at ColorOfChange, the country’s largest online civil rights organization, as Criminal Justice Campaign Manager where I managed campaigns relating to ending for-profit prisons and anti-Black police violence.

It sounds like really rewarding work! And final question, tell us something about you that is not work-related!

I was born and raised Macrobiotic — a Japanese diet based on the power of whole foods to heal and nourish the body. From ages 10-13, I went to “Macro Camp” every summer.:)

Thank you so much for your time, Lyla! We’re happy to welcome you to the OneJustice team!

The best way to find yourself…

Is to lose yourself in the service of others…Happy National Volunteer Week!

Mahatma Gandhi once said that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others,” and we couldn’t agree more! Over the past year, 766 volunteers have brought help, hope, and justice to over 1,200 Californians around the state. These volunteers traveled all over California, and with just a few hours, they changed many lives.

This National Volunteer Week, we express our deepest gratitude with a slideshow of your photos! A million thanks to all of the outstanding volunteers who made this work possible this past year! You will always be a part of the OneJustice network!

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Without volunteers like you, hundreds of Californians would not have access to legal help. You make all the difference to them and to OneJustice! Thank you for making justice accessible!

They deserve an equal opportunity to life…

University of San Francisco School of Law students tell us what pro bono means to them. 

Last month, six law students traveled on a two-day Justice Bus trip to Fresno to provide free legal help with the expungement process, which helps individuals clean their criminal records and opens doors to opportunities that their records previously prevented. Thanks to the hard work of these law students and the advice of expert attorney volunteers, 31 individuals received legal assistance. A big shout out to our partners, Ciummo and Associates, the Fresno Vet Center, and University of San Francisco School of Law for bringing help, hope, and justice to the Fresno area!

Check out what these amazing students had to say about pro bono!

University of San Francisco School of Law students give their own personal quotes on why pro bono matters to them.

Thank you all for taking the time to talk with us! You make all the difference!

Meet our newest team member!

New Pro Bono Justice Program Associate, Dulce Sanchez, joins the OneJustice team.

We’re excited to introduce you to Dulce, our newest team member in the Los Angeles office! She is currently working on pro bono naturalization work in Los Angeles and on the IMPACT LA and SoCal Justice Bus projects. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Dulce!

We’re pretty nosy here, so we forced her to sit down and answer a series of questions before she leaves for the next clinic!


IMAGE: Dulce Sanchez, Pro Bono Justice Program Associate in the Los Angeles office.

Dulce Sanchez, Pro Bono Justice Program Associate in the Los Angeles office.

Welcome, Dulce! Tell us, what drew you to the work of OneJustice?

As a person interested in applying to law school and in working with underserved groups and populations, I was most drawn to OneJustice’s mission. OneJustice’s push for expanding legal access in rural communities via the Justice Bus and legal clinics, aligned perfectly with my own personal and professional interests. Working with OneJustice simply seemed like (and continues to be) a perfect fit!

We’re happy to hear that we’re a match! What will you be responsible for at OneJustice – and what do you hope to achieve?

At OneJustice, I will work closely with my colleagues to implement and expand pro bono naturalization and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)/DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) work through community outreach, through the Justice Bus, and in a collaborative effort with other community partners. Ultimately our goal is to reach out to hard-to-reach populations in Los Angeles County and neighboring counties to expand immigrant integration efforts and to provide the hard-to-reach populations education on the citizenship process.

Sounds like great work ahead! What were you up to before coming to OneJustice? 

Before joining OneJustice, I studied sociology and government at Smith College. Though Smith College is located in Western Massachusetts, I interned and volunteered at different nonprofits in Los Angeles during my summer breaks. Among those organizations are the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and Town Hall Los Angeles. Upon graduating, I moved back to LA and worked with Town Hall Los Angeles as Program Coordinator.

I am very fortunate to join such a supportive, driven, and energetic staff…I am looking forward to working with everyone at OneJustice and with the vast communities OneJustice serves!

We’re excited to have you on the team! Last question, what is something quirky about you? 

I LOVE Hello Kitty! Perhaps a little too much… I also like buying Hello Kitty items from the countries I’ve visited. I’m considering learning Japanese and flying to Japan on the Hello Kitty airplane!

Thank you so much, Dulce, for answering all of our questions! Welcome to the OneJustice team!

It’s never too late for a fresh start…

Over 100 individuals receive free legal help in Los Angeles!

IMAGE: Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the John M. Langston Bar Association volunteer attorneys at the Fresh Start Legal Clinic in Los Angeles.

Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the John M. Langston Bar Association volunteer attorneys at the Fresh Start Legal Clinic in Los Angeles.

On Saturday, March 19, 2016, OneJustice, in partnership with Jenesse Center Legal Advisory CommitteeAlternate Public Defender, Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Californians for Safety and JusticeICE out of LAIMPACT LA, the John M. Langston Bar Association, Legal Aid Foundation of Los AngelesLos Angeles Public DefenderNeighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, A New Way of Life Reentry ProjectOne LA I.A.F., and other Los Angeles-based community organizations helped give Angelenos a Fresh Start.

At the newly created Fresh Start Legal Clinic, South LA residents completed applications for the Traffic Ticket Amnesty program, which allows individuals with unpaid fines on traffic and non-traffic infraction tickets to get a reduction of up to 80% of the amount owed to the court or collections agency. Clients also filled out applications for Proposition 47, a program that changes low-level crimes from potential felonies to misdemeanors.

Having a suspended driver’s license or felony criminal record can be a barrier to employment that keeps individuals and families trapped in an endless cycle of poverty. Without the ability to work and earn a living, families are forced to make difficult decisions about housing, transportation, and other life necessities. Traffic Ticket Amnesty and Proposition 47 programs can help end this cycle. Both programs are crucial to bettering individuals’ lives. Participants in these time-limited programs are able to improve their employment prospects, regain driver’s licenses, remove immigration barriers, and reduce old debts all through a brief application and short post-clinic process.

IMAGE: Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the John M. Langston Bar Association volunteer attorneys hard at work at the Fresh Start Legal Clinic in Los Angeles.

Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the John M. Langston Bar Association volunteer attorneys hard at work at the Fresh Start Legal Clinic in Los Angeles.

At the clinic, about 70 volunteers helped over 100 South Los Angeles community members with Proposition 47 reclassification and Traffic Ticket Amnesty. Volunteer attorneys helped clients with the support of community organizations. Thanks to the Fresh Start Legal Clinic, South LA residents face fewer barriers to success in their futures.

“[The clinic was] extremely helpful and it helps people to achieve what they always wanted to do,” said one client.

Thank you to our wonderful partners, supporters, and volunteers for making this clinic a reality!

For more information about Proposition 47, please visit http://myprop47.org/.

To learn more about Traffic Ticket Amnesty, please visit http://www.backontheroadca.org/.

Do you know where to find the best Vermont cheddar sliders in town?

At our 2016 Opening Doors to Justice awards ceremony, of course!

Mark your calendars today for June 23, 2016, from 6-9 pm, at the lovely Julia Morgan Ballroom in downtown SF.  Stay tuned for more information and see you this summer!

IMAGE: Save the Date: Opening Doors to Justice event is on June 23, 2016. Join us in honoring two champions of justice: Suk Lee, Senior Counsel at Electronic Arts Inc. and Chris Schneider, Fresno Attorney and former Executive Director at Central California Legal Services, Inc.

 For sponsorship opportunities and all other event inquiries, please contact

Arbour Decker, Director of External Relations, at adecker@one-justice.org

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