OneJustice Blog

Bring life-changing legal help to Californians in need.

Don’t roll up the red carpet, yet!

In the spirit of the Oscars, we announce…

The 2015 Opening Doors to Justice awards!

Every year, the OneJustice network gathers to celebrate three individuals whose outstanding accomplishments have truly moved the needle on legal services, pro bono, and access to justice in California.  We look forward to gathering with you all again this year at our Opening Doors to Justice awards ceremony. Mark your calendars now:

2015 Opening Doors to Justice
Thursday, June 25, 2015

6:00pm to 9:00pm
Julia Morgan Ballroom
465 California St, San Francisco, CA 94104

And now to announce the 2015 honorees! The envelopes, please!

In the category of: Building the Power of Pro Bono…

2 Kathryn Fritz_Honoree Announcement
Kate Fritz has a vision; she knows first-hand that the private sector can be mobilized to bring life-changing legal help to Californians in need.  And due to Kate’s leadership, Fenwick & West delivers on that vision. In 2013, Fenwick & West contributed over 11,000 hours in pro bono services, valued at over $5 million in legal services.
Fenwick & West is at the forefront of pro bono delivery, as a founding law firm in the Bay Area Rural Justice Collaborative, the Virtual Legal Services Project, and a frequent partner in the Justice Bus Project, reaching isolated communities throughout Northern California.  Thank you Kate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch the Winning Film: Fenwick & West in “The Power of Pro Bono”

Pro Bono in Action: Fenwick Attorneys Board the Justice Bus from Fenwick & West on Vimeo.

In the category of: Supporting legal services leaders through new learning…

2 Claire Solot + Martin Tannenbaum_Honoree Announcement

Claire Solot and Martin Tannenbaum believe deeply in the power of civil legal aid to remove legal barriers to basic necessities. At the same time, they realize that dramatic sector and funding shifts have left legal services nonprofits – and their executive directors – needing to develop a new set of skills around effective fundraising, marketing, communications, strategic planning, program evaluation, and board development. Together, Claire and Martin sparked a novel idea – an intensive program to give legal service leaders the business skills they need for their organizations to survive – and thrive – in today’s increasingly complex environment. The result – the OneJustice Executive Fellowship – is now in its 5th year, and this June will graduate the 100th Fellow!  Thank you Claire and Martin!

Watch the Winning Film:  OneJustice Executive Fellowship

Meet Incredible Justice Bus Rider, Devin Kinyon!

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Devin Kinyon

We are so thrilled to introduce you to our featured Justice Bus Rider, Devin Kinyon! 

Devin is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Santa Clara University School of Law where he oversees academic support programming. The amazing thing is, during his time at University of San Francisco School of Law, Devin attended 6 Justice Bus trips, traveling over 1448.2 miles to reach those in need – wow!

Devin wanted to share with all of you his experiences as a Justice Bus rider, and what motivates him to give back!

Thank you Devin, we are so honored to have you in our network!

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1.)  What’s the most inspirational memory you have from your time spent participating in the Justice Bus Project?

I still remember my very first client. I was helping out with some family law cases and worked with a woman who was filing for divorce. Her husband had left her, and after months of waiting for him to return she decided to divorce. What struck me at the time was how young she was. I was 30 at the time of my first Justice Bus trip, and she was much younger than me. And I’d grown-up in rural Northern California, not far from where we were volunteering. So as I helped her fill-out the divorce petition, I couldn’t help seeing myself and so many people I grew-up with in her experience. She was incredibly grateful, which made me feel good. But more importantly, I realized how lucky I was to have had the privilege to get a good education and go to law school. I have so many wonderful opportunities that many of our clients would never have. She was an important reminder of that, and I continue to think of her when I’m helping out other clients in need.

2.)  What’s the strangest/funniest thing that you have witnessed on a Justice Bus trip?

It was very weird to receive the respect from the Justice Bus clients that we got.  I had no legal experience before law school, and had never interacted with legal clients.  During the first few Justice Bus trips, we would be helping clients complete forms, or conducting interviews on behalf of the attorneys.  Every time we met a client, they would treat us with incredible respect – probably well beyond what we deserved.  In all honestly it freaked me out a bit since I didn’t feel like I’d done anything to earn that respect.  Over time I came to understand that lawyers represent such a valuable resource in some communities that it’s a huge deal to have access to one, even if that “lawyer” is just a law student.  Their need for legal services and respect for the role that I was playing made me want to do my very best for them.  I continue to feel that way aboutmy legal volunteer work.

3.)  What motivates you to do pro bono work and why do you chose to participate in the Justice Bus model of pro bono?IMG_0851

I grew-up in a working class family. We didn’t have a lot of money, but whatever we could do to help others, we did. My family ran a food bank out of my dad’s union hall.  My mom, who ran a small day care out of our home, always took care of people’s kids at low- or no-cost. My grandmother volunteered at a senior center. These were just the norm in our world. When I went to college, and ultimately law school, I knew that kind of service would continue to be a priority for me. And being able to do it was a part of the Justice Bus was doubly welcome – I could do meaningful service, and help out people who came from communities a lot like the one I grew-up in.

4.)  Where do you work now and how do you incorporate pro bono into your career?

I’m incredibly lucky to serve as a faculty member at the Santa Clara University School of Law. I oversee our academic support programming and help students get ready for the Bar Exam. I love working in higher education, and particularly at a Jesuit University, because the sense of service permeates my work. I have students who come from so many different backgrounds and experiences, and I get to help them undertake the huge challenge that is law school. I really feel that I’m meeting my mission when I see a student pass the Bar who really had to work throughout school to make it – because of that effort and commitment I know they’re going to be a great attorney and excellent exemplar for our profession. Outside of work, I volunteer with the Alameda County Lawyers in the Library Program and with the Alameda County Schools Mock Trial program. Giving back is fundamental to being a lawyer, and I’m happy to be able to do so.

5.)  What fictional social justice hero do you most admire and why?

There’s a woman named Anna Madrigal in the Tale of the City books by Armistead Mauphin.  She’s a landlord who effectively becomes a surrogate mother for her group of tenants in San Francisco.  She’s probably not the typical social justice hero that most people would think of, but I really love and respect the part of the character that’s all about bringing people together. Those books demonstrate how important family and friendship are, regardless of bloodlines, gender, or sexual orientation  (There’s lots of juicy bits too)!

Thank you Devin!

Happy Valentine’s Day from OneJustice!

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“I am so grateful for OneJustice and all the volunteers for bringing my mom legal help. At first we were so overwhelmed, but we left the legal clinic with all of the answers we needed. We are so relieved and thankful!”

- Justice Bus client from our clinic in San Geronimo

 

Thank you to all of our wonderful donors and supporters for bringing more justice to Californians in need!

Love,

the OneJustice Network

One-Justice.org with Hearts

What color cape do you want?

To all the justice heroes . . .

Thank you!

Each year, the OneJustice network comes together to say “thank you!” to our donors, supporters and volunteers.  Folks from all over the state send in video clips that come together with a heartfelt message of gratitude.

Click on the image above to watch (it’s just 2 minutes long!), and we hope you enjoy it as much as we loved making it.

Happy New Year and thank you!

I used to live with so much fear

California is my home.

Finally my parents and I can live here without fear.

For the past 6 months, OneJustice has been so honored to serve as the host site for two amazing DreamSF Fellows, Jesus Castro and Talissa Carrasco.  Talissa and Jesus have become an integral part of the Rural Justice Initiative, conducting vital outreach to isolated communities and providing essential staffing for Justice Bus and Rural Justice clinics.  When the President recently announced the expansion of the “deferred action” immigration relief, we asked Talissa for her perspective on the new programs.

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From living in fear to planning for law school

Guest Blog post by Talissa Carrasco, a DreamSF Fellow at OneJustice

Hello, my name is Talissa Carrasco and I am a DreamSF Fellow at OneJustice. In 2013, I was granted DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), and since then my life has improved tremendously.

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Talissa, hard at work on rural outreach

Before DACA, I used to live with so much fear. Fear that my American friends wouldn’t accept me for being undocumented, fear that they would judge me as an “illegal alien,” fear that my teachers would treat me differently and place me in ESL classes, and fear that one day my family or I would be deported back to Peru. This fear drove to me to reject my roots as a child. For years, I struggled to find my identity, where I belonged, and whether I was Peruvian or American. Technically, I was Peruvian, but I only spent 2 years of my life in Peru and have spent the last 22 years in the US.

California is my home. It’s where I went to elementary school, it’s where I went to middle school and high school, it’s where I am attending college, and where I will be going to law school.

Since being granted DACA, I transferred to U.C. Davis, where I am now in my senior year completing my B.A. in Political Science, and upon graduation, I will apply for law school. I now have a driver’s license which helps with my commute to Davis, and I have a job doing what I love — serving underrepresented and low income communities that desperately need legal services.

Talissa on the Justice Bus!

I had the option of choosing between 13 different nonprofit organizations where I would be working to develop my professional skills. One of the first things that captivated me about OneJustice was the work they do. Having lived in many different urban cities, I’m thankful for always having had access to resources. Unfortunately that is not the case for everyone. I have an older sister who lives in Eureka who is also a DACA recipient and who is in need of legal aid to help renew her DACA. But, because the legal resources in Humboldt County are so scarce, I was unable to find her an attorney that she can afford or that is nearby.

With the recent news released by President Obama on Administrative Relief, I am grateful that my parents will finally be able to obtain legal status after living 22 years in this country undocumented, struggling to work and provide a better life for our family. Filling out DACA on my own was quite a challenge. Because of the challenge I faced, I know my parents will need legal assistance in applying for administrative relief.  There are millions of families – just like my parents – who will need legal assistance to determine if they qualify for administrative relief as well as to help them apply.

Since starting at OneJustice, I have been on 13 Justice Bus trips to serve rural counties that really need the legal assistance. This is why I chose to work at OneJustice, because the next community we serve may be one my sister lives in and that means a lot to me.

I chose this path so that I would be able to give back to my community, to give back to those who have helped me reach success. My goal is to serve as a role model for future generations of immigrant children and inspire ethnic students to succeed. My ambition gives me determination to fight for immigrants in this country, and DACA has paved that way for me. With DACA, I am no longer afraid to speak out about being undocumented.

Thank you for listening to my story, and for your support for OneJustice!

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My journey from gangs to legal aid

From concerned to joyful faces

Lessons from a DACA recipient on the power of legal services

For the past 6 months, we have been so honored to serve as the host site for two amazing DreamSF Fellows, Jesus Castro and Talissa Carrasco.  Jesus and Talissa have become an integral part of OneJustice’s Rural Justice Initiative, conducting vital outreach to isolated communities and an essential part of our mobile pro bono clinics.  When the President recently announced the expansion of the “deferred action” immigration relief, we asked Jesus for his personal perspective on what DACA has meant for him and how it intersects with his DreamSF Fellowship at OneJustice.

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My journey from gangs to working in civil legal aid

Guest Blog post by Jesus Castro, a DreamSF Fellow at OneJustice

My name is Jesus Castro. I am 19 years old, a DACA recipient and a current participant in the DreamSF Fellows program.

IMG_0102I came here from Mexico when I was five years old. My parents gave up their childhoods, left their families, and a chance at an education, so that my 3 brothers and I could have a better life. This better life includes me being an immigration attorney – that’s my end goal, that’s where I want to be.

I wasn’t always on the path of becoming an immigration attorney. Middle school and high school were tough for me due to my relationships with gangs. I was fortunate enough to realize that this gang life wouldn’t benefit me and that it would only get me incarcerated or worse – get me killed – especially since I was involved in a gang fight. And these guys who supported me, who said they were my family, left me standing alone.

Shortly after leaving the gang life, I began looking for ways to better myself.

I began my journey by joining the Coro Exploring Leadership Program. Coro gave me the initial professional skills that I needed to begin this new journey. As my time at Coro came to an end, I received the amazing opportunity to work for the City and County of San Francisco’s Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs or OCEIA for short. OCEIA is where the DreamSF Fellowship program was initiated and where I got the chance to be a part of the amazing cohort that we have today. The DreamSF Fellowship gave me – an immigrant and DACA recipient – the chance to intern at OneJustice in order to get my feet wet and truly find out what type of work I will be doing as an attorney some day.

Why I choose OneJustice as a host site. 

My time at OneJustice has really made it clear that I want to be an attorney, and that’s exactly what I was hoping for when I chose OneJustice as my host site. OneJustice also taught me that there’s much more legal assistance needed in the rural areas of California.

Jesus on the Justice Bus

Jesus on the Justice Bus!

OneJustice has also made me realize that working directly with a client plays a huge part in the work that I want to do. Being a part of the Justice Bus trips has given me a chance to hear others stories and help them – which is really rewarding.

Just a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a consumer debt clinic and all I can say is – wow.  I was truly amazed by the type of problems our clients had. Not only that, but I was also very aware of all their concerned faces. I can say with confidence that the clients that we assisted left with their minds at ease. My proof you ask?  That would be how grateful our clients were for the assistance we had given them. I can also say that their concerned faces had turned into joyful faces.  It’s very rewarding to know that I have helped someone in order to make their lives a little easier.  Just as they are thankful for that assistance, I am very thankful for the DreamSF Fellows program and also OneJustice – because without them, I wouldn’t be able to make a difference in people’s lives.

Thank you for supporting OneJustice, so they can support others like me. 

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The longest hug ever

It’s simple.  We feel.  We’re human.  And we can.

A personal reflection on the power of pro bono

OneJustice’s very own Lauren Roberts and Renée Schomp recently handled on a pro bono case with Pangea Legal Services that resulted in an eleven-year-old boy winning asylum and a shot at finally just being a kid. We asked Renée and Lauren to share their reflections in this guest blog post.

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One young kid.  Two attorneys.  One life changed, forever.

Guest Blog Post by Lauren Roberts, Staff Attorney, & Renée Schomp, Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow

Lauren & Renee with client & Family

Renee Schomp, Ivan & his mother, and Lauren Roberts on the steps of City Hall after Ivan provided public comments before the Board of Supervisors

A young woman recently gave us the longest hugs we’ve ever received. Her 11 year-old son, whom we’ll call Ivan*, was our pro bono client.  He had just been granted asylum.   She was hugging us because we had just found out that Ivan would no longer have to fear being returned to El Salvador.  He was no longer facing a forced return to an uncertain future in a once-safe community now transformed by gang-enforced terror. Instead, he could—for the first time in his life—have a simple shot at just being a kid.  And so believe us, we were hugging back!

We both became lawyers because we wanted to use our skills to “do good.” And while we spend our careers at OneJustice striving to do just that, there are still certain cases and clients who stand out — cases that really hit us hard. Ivan’s case is one of them.

Ivan was just a young child, fleeing terrible violence in his community

This summer saw a dramatic increase in the number of unaccompanied minors and families crossing the U.S. border from Central America.  In 2014 alone, over 40,000 unaccompanied children have made the treacherous journey to seek safety and a more stable life in the U.S.  This “surge” triggered significant changes in the process through which unaccompanied minors (technically termed Unaccompanied Alien Children or “UAC”) are moved through the immigration system.  Special court dockets, commonly referred to as “rocket dockets” because of their expedited nature, were created to handle the surge. And immigration legal services organizations, already under-resourced, saw a sharp increase in demand for services.

Something about Ivan’s simple yet powerful words—his ability to tap into how he felt in an unvarnished way that so many adults cannot—struck us deeply

There is no right to counsel in immigration proceedings.  So an Attorney of the Day program, staffed by volunteers and immigration attorneys from local legal aid organizations, ensures that children and parents have some representation and screening for relief on the day of their hearing.  However, they are still left with the task of finding long-term representation.  This is where the great need for pro bono attorneys comes in.  With this backdrop, we decided it was time for us to step up and take on a pro bono case ourselves.

Ivan’s case was placed in the “rocket docket” for kids

Ivan

Ivan in City Hall after telling his story before the Board of Supervisors

In 2013, Ivan crossed the border unaccompanied and was thus deemed a UAC.  This allowed him to apply for asylum “affirmatively” through the Asylum Office rather than go to immigration court.  Also, although he is not technically part of the unaccompanied minor surge, due to his UAC status and because his case was filed amidst the “surge crisis,” his asylum application was placed in the so-called “rocket docket” — as we quickly learned!

We met Ivan for the first time in August and from the beginning, his story struck us to the core, even though he often spoke in one-word replies. Something about Ivan’s simple yet powerful words—his ability to tap into how he felt in an unvarnished way that so many adults cannot—struck us deeply. So did the incredible, visceral relief that poured over his face, tears in his eyes, when he received asylum.

In the pro bono programs we run at OneJustice, we always tell volunteers that they don’t need specialized expertise in order to take on pro bono work — they just need to be able to connect with other people in a genuine way. Representing Ivan reinforced that belief for us. Neither of us had ever done an asylum case before — so when we decided to, we reached out to our colleagues at the fantastic San Francisco-based organization Pangea Legal Services. Within a week, we were meeting with them to go over intake notes from their initial consultation with Ivan. And within two weeks, we were sitting down to meet with Ivan and his parents for the very first time.

We met frequently with Ivan and his parents over the course of the next two months to complete his asylum application form and later his declaration and supporting evidence for the case, including letters from his therapist, teacher, family members in El Salvador, and his father — and extensive State Department and other news and academic reports on El Salvador’s horrific country conditions.

It’s simple: We feel. We’re human. And we can.

As first-timers working on an asylum case, we were impressed not only by Pangea’s mentorship but also by the willingness on the part of the Bay Area immigration legal community to help us out with our case. For example, attorneys at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies revised our declaration at a moment’s notice — while attorneys over at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights walked us through our fear of calling USCIS for procedural calls about the case. All of this support from top-notch legal services nonprofits made it possible for us to take on an asylum case for a child under an expedited immigration processing system — and win.

Taking of Ivan’s case was a career turning point for both of us – his case expanded our expertise, but more importantly taught us a lot about what it means to be a an advocate and the power of being a pro bono attorney, using your legal skills to give back. In the moment that Ivan’s mother hugged us, we knew that anyone who could be there—witness her pure, exhausted, overwhelmed relief—would understand why we took on a pro bono asylum case for her child. It’s simple: We feel. We’re human. And we can.

And there are more kids like Ivan . . . they need us all to act!

The face of immigration policy is shifting as we write.  With recent immigration action by President Obama, millions of undocumented people could be eligible for deferred action.  And, the rocket docket continues.  There’s a continual need for pro bono attorneys to step up and help increase access to free legal help.   This need exists with respect to the many unaccompanied minors and families still being moved swiftly through the immigration courts, and at limited scope clinics to assist individuals with deferred action applications.

So we strongly encourage attorneys around the state to volunteer!  An amazing network of legal aid nonprofits offer pro bono opportunities ranging from a three-hour clinic to full representation of a kid like Ivan.  The benefits to the clients are breath-taking, and the personal satisfaction of being involved is tremendous.  And there are lots more kids like Ivan who need our help – so you, too, could be on the receiving end of the longest hug of your life!

For more information on how to get involved with OneJustice’s immigration clinics through the Justice Bus Project and Bay Area Rural Justice Collaborative, visit www.one-justice.org.

* Client’s name changed for confidentiality.

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Renee SchompLauren Roberts Renée Schomp is an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow and leads Justice Bus trips throughout Northern California, bringing teams of volunteers to serve rural communities.  Lauren Roberts manages the Bay Area Rural Justice Collaborative at OneJustice, engaging law firms and in-house counsel in a network of monthly mobile legal clinics.  Together, they bring life-changing legal assistance to hundreds of rural Californians facing pressing legal problems.

 

One Day. One Hundred Veterans.

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Did you know that there are over 125,000 veterans in California living in poverty – and too many face pressing legal problems?   In rural areas, some veterans live hundreds of miles from the closest legal aid nonprofit that can help – and for some, there is simply no help at all.  It breaks our hearts.

Tomorrow you will have a chance to change this – and bring help to rural veterans!

On December 2nd, we are striving to raise $25,000 in 24 hours to reach 100 rural veterans.

That’s right.  One day.  One hundred veterans.The Justice Bus reaches veterans in isolated communities.

You can bring help to veterans in need!  It takes just $250 to bring free legal help to a veteran at a rural legal clinic – right in their hometown.

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday – a special day for folks to give back to causes they believe in.  It’s like Black Friday or Cyber Monday – only better!  We are dedicating our Giving Tuesday to a cause that we believe in with all of our hearts – bringing life-changing legal help to rural veterans.

We hope you will join us by donating online tomorrow to this special one-day campaign.  For every $250 raised, we pledge to serve another veteran suffering needlessly from a solvable legal problem.

Your kind gift will bring teams of volunteers to set up free legal clinics for veterans in rural and isolated communities.

Please join the rest of the OneJustice network today by making a tax deductible donation tomorrow. Every gift, of any size, makes all the difference for veterans in need.

Thank you so much!

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A family you should meet…

Thanksgiving

Max* is 9 years old, and he struggles in school because of his disabilities. His teachers have a special education plan they are supposed to follow to give Max the support he needs to be successful…but sadly, they won’t. Max and his family live in a remote town in northern California, far away from the closest legal aid nonprofit that could help them.

Last March, Max and his parents came to a Justice Bus clinic on special education held in their small home town. They met with volunteers who reviewed Max’s plan, told them about his rights, and helped write a letter to the school demanding that the teachers follow Max’s plan. Now, Max is getting the educational services he needs to thrive.

With your generous support, this holiday season Max and his family have something to celebrate.

In this season of Thanksgiving, this family is grateful for YOU.

And so are we.  Thank you!

 *Name changed for confidentiality.

Pro bono for veterans – finding a measure of justice

To Serve Those Who Have Served

Lawyers Help Veterans Achieve Peace Of Mind

This Veteran’s Day, we are delighted to bring you a special guest blog post about a special Justice Bus trip.  This piece was first posted on Fenwick & West’s Pro Bono blog and is posted again here with their permission.

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By: Amir Hassanabadi, Associate, Fenwick & West, and Justice Bus Rider

Amir Hassanabadi Pro Bono for VeteransA veteran, by definition, is someone who served honorably on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.  Plans for what comes after a soldier falls find welcome pause in the ordinary demands of life.  But even an ordinary life must end someday.  It must be a shock, then, for some veterans who sacrificed, served and survived for their country, to find themselves too poor to plan for a dignified end.  Where is the justice in that?

The Justice Bus, carrying a squad of volunteer lawyers, wound itself through the foggy hills of San Francisco, past the Golden Gate Bridge and through the hills of the Northern Bay Area towards its final destination in Ukiah, Mendocino County.  Travelling through the town with fellow and former colleagues from Cisco and LinkedIn, we took note that the town was small but tight-knit – a homecoming parade marched through the streets with thunderous marching bands and Instagraming teens in tow.

Volunteers on the Justice Bus

Fenwick, Cisco, and LinkedIn volunteers ride the Justice Bus to rural Ukiah, California.

Disembarking the bus, we were greeted by a cozy Veterans Memorial Building, replete with American flags and welcoming faces.  The staff at OneJustice – a legal services organization dedicated to increasing access to justice in rural and isolated communities – had organized the event well: food and full canteens awaited us.  They trained us, coached us and thanked us.  The veterans who we were tasked with helping had already been screened and informed of the process.  It was orderly and disciplined – soldier-like.

Meeting the veterans provided a stark reminder of the challenges they continue to face long after their war draws to a close.  We met poor veterans.  Cancer survivors.  Those without family and those who had lost them.  Without many resources, these veterans were having a difficult time planning their wills and outlining their end-of-life care.  They worried that they would leave their loved ones with misery instead of security.  To put it simply, they did not have peace of mind.

In teams of two, the Justice Bus volunteers helped bring comfort to these veterans.  Attorneys walked veterans through form wills, personalizing and improvising as they went along.  Veterans had land to be partitioned and pets to be taken care of.  Similarly, attorneys helped veterans make the hard choices with regards to end-of-life care.

Fenwick Justice Bus Volunteer Marion Miller

Fenwick Justice Bus Volunteer Marion Miller

One would think this would be a somber process, but it was just the opposite.  One veteran recommended an amazing museum in the Presidio dedicated to conscientious objectors.  Another told us one of the dirtiest jokes I had heard in a while (not to be repeated here).  These were kind folks who were happy to be interacting with us and getting the help they deserved.

We served 24 veterans that day, but our impact was greater and went deeper than that.  By serving these veterans, we impacted the lives of their families.  We honored their service and their legacy.  And we made sure that the poorest in our communities can leave this world with security and dignity.  Hopefully we found a small measure of justice in that.

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The Fenwick & West Justice Bus volunteer team included Priscila Bastazin, Amir Hassanabadi, Greg Hopewell, Nam Kim,Goutham Kondapalli, Liza Kostinskaya, Helen Li, Marion Miller, and Robin Reasoner.

Amir Hassanabadi, a UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) alum, is an associate in the Corporate practice group at Fenwick & West LLP.  He focuses his practice on a variety of corporate matters to support clients in the high technology and life sciences industries.  A champion of pro bono at the firm, Amir donates his time to Legal Services for Entrepreneurs, leading workshops on business law basics and providing limited-scope representation to low-income small business owners and entrepreneurs who serve underserved communities.  He also shares his expertise with pro bono clients such as Shabeh Jomeh (a Persian networking and charitable group) and Pacific Community Ventures (a nonprofit that creates economic opportunity in low-income communities).  Amir speaks Persian/Farsi and is an avid member of the Fenwick bocce ball team.  Follow Amir on Twitter (@amir__abadi) and on LinkedIn.

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Original Article posted on Fenwick & West LLP’s Pro Bono Blog on 10/23/14; reposted here with the permission of Fenwick & West and Amir Hassanabadi.

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