OneJustice Blog

Bring life-changing legal help to Californians in need.

Fundraising experts to help you reach your goals!

Healthy Nonprofits: Top 10 Experts to learn from as you prepare for your fall fundraising season.

The busiest season for development professionals in the nonprofit world has just started! As a support center for over 100 legal services organizations in the state, we care about the successes of our fellow legal nonprofits. With this in mind, our Healthy Nonprofits Program put together a list of folks you should follow to boost your year-end campaigns. Check out this diverse and amazing group of people, and be sure to subscribe to their newsletters!

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1. Claire Axelrad has helped nonprofits implement innovative fundraising and marketing strategies that advance the mission, vision, and values of causes addressing society’s most pressing problems. She also teaches a variety of topics such as development/marketing integration, nonprofit management, strategic planning, major gift stewardship, and annual giving donor identification and cultivation.

2. Pamela Grow helps small nonprofits develop sustainable funding through donor-centered fundraising. She is also the author of Five Days to Foundation Grants, the first online grant-writing guide, and the creator of Simple Development Systems, an interactive ebook written exclusively for the overwhelmed fundraiser in the one-person marketing and development shop.

3. Mission Minded is a branding firm that works exclusively with nonprofit organizations and foundations. They provide help with honing an organization’s brand, strategically crafting messages, and creating campaigns, websites, and printed materials that are easy to understand and that move people to action.

4. Tom Ahern is considered one of the world’s top authorities on raising more money with more donor-centered communications. He is an award-winning copywriter and journalist and author of five well-received books on the topic.

5. Kivi Leroux Miller teaches webinars and workshops several times a month and writes a top-ranked blog on nonprofit communications at Nonprofit Marketing She is also the award-winning author of two books, “The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause” and “Content Marketing for Nonprofits: A Communications Map for Engaging Your Community, Becoming a Favorite Cause, and Raising More Money.”

6. Chris Davenport creates fun weekly videos to help nonprofits raise money, steward donors, and inspire board members. Each week, he takes interviews with Development Directors, Executive Directors, Board Members, Donors, etc., and turns them into short videos on how fundraising professionals overcome particular problems every Monday morning!

7. Shannon Doolittle is a fundraising and donor happiness coach. She helps nonprofits create and improve their event fundraising programs. In her trainings, she shares the know-how nonprofits need to skyrocket their fundraising results and donor retention rates.

8. Gail Perry provides a number of innovative strategies for getting Boards energized and involved with the fundraising process. You can read her weekly blog at, and also find her articles at Nonprofit PRO (formerly FundRaising Success), Guidestar, and Capital Campaign Magic.

9. Joan Garry works with nonprofit leaders assisting with crisis management, executive coaching, and the building of strong management teams to support the work of the CEO. She also teaches nonprofit media strategy as a professor at the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a blogger for The Huffington Post.

10. Tony Martignetti is the creator and host of the Nonprofit Radio and hosts 50 shows a year, picking the brains of authors, consultants and thought leaders to help small- and mid-size nonprofit organizations.

Meet our Expert Dancer and Tae Kwon Do Master

OneJustice welcomes its newest members, DreamSF Fellow Miguel Castillo and Pro Bono Justice Program Intern Brandon Marquez.

Our busy fall season is in full swing for the Rural Justice Collaborative project and the Justice Bus Project! With our clinics filling up and phones ringing off the hook, we welcome Miguel and Brandon to the team to bring legal help where its needed most. We asked them to share with us a little about themselves and their upcoming work during this busy season.

Please welcome Miguel and Brandon!

Miguel, tell us what drew you to the work of OneJustice? 

[Photo: As a DreamSF Fellow, Miguel Castillo assist in outreach efforts for the Justice Bus Project and the Rural Justice Collaborative.]

As a DreamSF Fellow, Miguel Castillo assists in outreach efforts for the Justice Bus Project and the Rural Justice Collaborative.

The way OneJustice travels all over northern California with pro bono attorneys to rural areas and provides legal assistance to low-income underrepresented communities is what drew me to work at such a respected and amazing nonprofit. As an immigrant and a DreamSF Fellow (the DreamSF Fellowship is for DACA-approved youth to serve San Francisco’s immigrant communities while gaining valuable professional experienc), I hope that by working for OneJustice I can bring more access to legal aid to the immigrant communities that need it the most.

That’s so inspiring, Miguel! What will you be responsible for at OneJustice – and what do you hope to achieve?

As a Senior DreamSF Fellow, I help the Rural Justice Collaborative and the Justice Bus projects organize clinics and do outreach efforts. During the clinics, I mainly serve as a Spanish interpreter and support the staff on-site. I also help the Development team with communication tasks, such as website maintenance/creation and flyers. I hope to utilize my skills in visual communication and help OneJustice move forward with their social media, website, and posters/flyers.

It sounds like great work ahead for you! What did you do before working for OneJustice? 

Before working for OneJustice, I served as the Administrative Assistant at another nonprofit organization in San Francisco, Legal Services for Children (LSC). As their Administrative Assistant, I mainly helped the Development team with administrative tasks such as scanning, court filing, translating documents, interpreting, outreach, and mailing. I also helped them with their communication efforts by running their social media accounts, website maintenance, and flyer creation.

Last thing, what is something quirky about you?

On my spare time, I love to go dancing or dance in general. I dance most Latin dances pretty well and I will dance to any kind of music. Also, I will dance anywhere if I get the urge, no problem at all!

Great answers, Miguel! And Brandon, how did OneJustice appeal to you? 

[Photo: As the Pro Bono Justice Program Intern, Brandon Marquez assists in outreach efforts for the Justice Bus Project and the Rural Justice Collaborative, which bring legal help to the Bay Area and around the state of California.]

As the Pro Bono Justice Program Intern, Brandon Marquez assists in outreach efforts for the Justice Bus Project, which brings legal help around the state of California.

Growing up in a rural area and then having the opportunity to pursue my career has motivated me to work in the legal field as a way to benefit others who may not be able to have the same opportunities as I have been privileged with. That is why I chose OneJustice–its main focus are low-income Californian residents. My passion to help my community is one of the many reasons OneJustice appealed to me in giving back to others. Its this kind of work that gives me a drive to do my best in whatever I am assigned to help with.

Tell us about the work you’ll be doing at the organization.

One of my main responsibilities is reaching out to communities and organizations where OneJustice will be hosting free legal clinics as part of the Justice Bus Project in Northern California. It is great to be sharing OneJustice organized opportunities in which we assist families and individuals in times of hardship.

We’re so appreciative of your hard work, Brandon! What were you up to before coming to OneJustice? 

This summer, I worked for an immigration law firm in Madrid, Spain. My daily routine was interacting with consulates from many countries in Central and South America. I had the opportunity to intern for the Monterey County Public Defender’s Office. At the Public Defender’s Office, I would help clients prepare for trial, or would initiate pretrial preparation for attorneys. I would also meet with clients in county jail, and then give our attorneys new case information.

And share with us something about you that isn’t work related! 

A secret talent I don’t tell many about is that I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Also, some of my favorite hobbies are going to concerts, listening to music, and traveling.

Thank you, Miguel and Brandon, for joining us for this Q&A! We’re so grateful to have you on our team and we’re excited to see your work ahead!

Avoiding ethical pitfalls in our sector

Toby Rothschild, a Board member and pro bono Of Counsel to OneJustice, shares valuable insight all nonprofit leaders should know.

Toby is a longtime partner in OneJustice’s efforts to strengthen the civil legal aid system and has been a member of the OneJustice board since 2000. He provides ethics trainings to our network organizations throughout the state. We asked Toby to tell us about his path to becoming an Ethics trainer in the legal services sector.

Please join us in welcoming Toby!

[Photo: Toby Rothschild, Of Counsel to OneJustice.]

Toby Rothschild, Of Counsel to OneJustice.

Thank you for joining us, Toby! Tell us what started your interest in legal ethics?

Shortly after I became Executive Director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach, I was faced with an ethical conflict. We were representing a client who was attempting to stop the demolition of some low income housing by the city. The president of my Board of Directors raised questions about the client’s eligibility and asked me to show him the intake information. I refused, and told him that I had verified that the client was eligible, and that he had not consented to sharing the information with the board. To avoid a standoff, we agreed to send a joint letter to the Ethics Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar and be bound by their decision. The Committee issued an opinion that made clear that the board was not entitled to confidential client information.

I maintained an interest in legal ethics after that, occasionally doing training for my staff and for other legal services attorneys. When LAFLB and LAFLA merged, I became General Counsel of LAFLA, and ethics advice and training became a major part of my job. I began offering monthly ethics training for LAFLA advocates, and soon began inviting all of the other LA area advocates to attend as well. In addition, I provided counselling on ethics issues for LAFLA and other advocates throughout the state.

When I retired from LAFLA about a year ago, I was looking for a way to continue to use the knowledge I had developed to assist legal services advocates and programs. I talked to OneJustice’s CEO Julia Wilson and we agreed that it would be useful to offer the training and consulting I had been doing through LAFLA as part of OneJustice’s programs.

What are the general topics you cover?

In some ways, ethics in legal services programs is no different than for any other lawyers. The same rules apply. On the other hand, the kinds of ethical issues that arise are often different. Legal services lawyers seldom face ethical problems with how to collect their fees, or how to sell their practice (for example, who would want to buy it?). The two primary ethics issues that do arise, conflicts of interest and confidentiality, come up in different contexts. So the training focuses on the particular issues like these that arise in a legal services setting.

In these trainings, we talk about the unique issues of representing nonprofit organizations, withdrawal from representation, whether you can give a client money for a meal or bus fare, and communication with clients, among other issues. There are many issues that arise in situations where the program is representing multiple clients in the same case. It might be several tenants suing a landlord for lack of maintenance, or several employees suing their employer for wage theft. There are several disclosures that have to be made to the clients in such cases to get their consent to continue representing all of them.

And how do organizations benefit from Ethics trainings and consulting?

Every lawyer needs to keep up to date with their ethics training. First, it is important to understand the rules of the road, so you can avoid ethical pitfalls. Second, ethical conundrums arise in every practice, and it very useful to have a place to go to get guidance on how to address the complexities of the rules and cases. And it is useful to have someone outside the organization to consult with, as there are some circumstances where consulting only with your colleagues can cause ethical problems by itself.

And third, every lawyer is required to obtain a number of hours of Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) on a regular basis. Several of these hours must be in legal ethics. It is much better to obtain the MCLE ethics hours in programs that focus on the unique needs of legal services attorneys. And California law requires paralegals to obtain regular ethics training as well, so we provide the training for paralegals. Particularly for confidentiality, we often include the entire staff, as it is critical for everyone to understand the obligations of a lawyer, and all who work for or with the lawyer, to “maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself or herself to preserve the secrets, of his or her client.”

Thank you so much, Toby, for your guidance and leadership!

About Toby Rothschild: He recently retired after serving as the General Counsel of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) for 13 years. Prior to that, he was the executive director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach (LAFLB) for 28 years and Interim Executive Director of LAFLA. He graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1969, and has worked at legal aid programs since graduation. He has been the president of the Long Beach Bar Association and was Vice Chair of the California Commission on Access to Justice. Toby has served as a member of the State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct and as Chair of the Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar. He also was liaison on access to justice issues to the first commission which drafted the proposed new California Rules of Professional Responsibility, and is a member of the newly appointed Rule Revision Commission. He currently serves as a member of the State Bar Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission and he’s been a member of the OneJustice board since 2000. He currently serves as pro bono Of Counsel to OneJustice.

I could see happiness in their eyes

Healthy Nonprofits Program’s Christopher McConkey tells us about the civil justice shortfall and the need for free legal assistance.

We asked our Staff Attorney Christopher McConkey to give us his insight on why it’s necessary for organizations and programs in the legal sector to transform the civil legal aid delivery system.

Guest Blogger: Christopher McConkey, OneJustice Staff Attorney for the Healthy Nonprofits Program

[Photo: Huffington Post]

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

There is a phenomenon in our society where people who are less able to afford legal help are often the people who need it the most. These low-income individuals struggle every day to find the legal assistance they need to preserve basic life necessities like housing, health care, economic security, and child custody.

This is not a minor phenomenon. Over 60 million people in the United States might qualify for free civil legal services because they live at or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. However, people are less likely to access these services due to limited resources, mental health issues, and inexperience with our legal system.

Worsening this crisis, insufficient funding prevents many legal aid programs from serving 50% or more of the people who actively seek their help, leaving attorneys to address less than 20% of lower-income people’s legal needs.1 All of these shortfalls ultimately leave low-income individuals without critical legal assistance.

The Civil Justice Shortfall

The civil justice shortage is especially acute in California. As a legal aid attorney right after law school, I encountered hundreds of people slowly moving from one legal services project to another with the same issues. The recurring problem was program capacity. Staff attorneys reached full caseloads, projects offered fewer services to help more people, and funders carved programs to reflect their priorities. Even waves of talented and eager volunteers could expand an organization’s capacity only superficially, and only to a point.

I recall a monthly legal clinic I helped coordinate in Los Angeles. This clinic aimed to reduce an overwhelming and countywide need for immigration legal aid. The immigration attorneys who volunteered–I was not one of them–helped numerous lower-income Angelenos to understand and pursue their legal options. Limited capacity, however, left some clients on the waitlist for months. Those who persevered accessed expert immigration services for free. Those who dropped off the waitlist continued the long search for assistance or, worse, gave up.

For the clients who received assistance, legal help gave them their safety, jobs, family cohesion, dignity, and peace of mind; I could see happiness in their eyes. To me, this clinic exemplifies why finally eliminating the justice gap is worth our collective effort, resources, and ingenuity.

Transforming the Legal Services Sector through Innovation

As with all solvable problems, we should be optimistic! Our resourceful and morally ambitious society can overcome this justice shortfall. More funding is necessary, but for now, we can and should innovate additional ways to expand legal services for people who are lower-income.

[Photo: Legal Services Nonprofit leaders discussing trainings.]

Legal Services Nonprofit leaders discussing trainings.

OneJustice is already strengthening California’s legal services infrastructure to provide greater access to the legal system. In the Healthy Nonprofits Program (“HNP”), we are supplying nonprofit management consulting, legal technical support, and public policy advocacy to legal services organizations throughout the state.

Additionally, we help connect hundreds of public-interest-minded law students to nonprofit and government employers every year. We are invigorating legal nonprofits while enhancing the environment in which they operate—all so we can transform the legal services sector.

Individual attorneys will close the justice gap one client at a time. Several factors can coalesce to make that possible: additional funding, robust nonprofit management, public policies that value legal services organizations, and the gumption to innovate strategies that will solve one of the most stubborn justice crises of our time.

1 For more information about this civil justice gap, please see the Legal Services Corporation’s report titled Documenting the Justice Gap in America: The Current Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans


As a Staff Attorney in the Healthy Nonprofits Program, Chris helps guide legal services organizations on matters of nonprofit law and management. He also advocates for public policies that foster the growth of legal nonprofits and–through them–meaningful access to justice for all Californians. In this way, his work bolsters California’s infrastructure for civil legal assistance at the organizational and systemic levels. As part of his role, Chris provides legal support for OneJustice’s consulting and policy work. Additionally, he provides policy briefings and advocacy for OneJustice’s statewide community of legal services organizations.


85 trips and counting…

Our very own Justice Bus Program Coordinator, Ruby Kimberly, tells us about bringing vital legal assistance to Hollister.

In her time at OneJustice, Ruby has coordinated 85 Justice Bus trips around the state! These trips are made possible by our amazing volunteers, partner organizations, corporations, and firms, who join forces to bring life-changing legal help to communities all over the state. As a valuable member of our Pro Bono Justice program, we asked Ruby to share a trip that resonated with her the most during her time at OneJustice.

Guest Blogger: Ruby Kimberly, OneJustice Justice Bus Program Coordinator

[Photo: Hollister-CA]

Photo credit: Realty World

I had been an employee of OneJustice for less than eight months when I boarded a bus to Hollister in July 2014. Before this trip, I had already attended over 20 Justice Bus trips bringing free legal services to nearly 600 low-income individuals throughout the state. Since joining the Pro Bono Justice team as the Justice Bus Program Associate the previous October, I had traveled to and helped organize free legal clinics in communities as far flung and geographically diverse as the Klamath, just south of the Oregon border, to Pixley, a census designated place at the far end of California’s drought-ridden Central Valley. And while each mile traveled proved as critical as the next, I felt something special on this particular day as we made our way down the 101, through Santa Clara County and into the sparsely populated San Benito Valley. This was the first time that the Justice Bus had ever traveled to Hollister, but it would not be the last.

The story of Hollister for me is one of a justice gap and how to fill it. For those who have never heard it, “justice gap” is a term used to describe the discrepancy between the concentration of legal resources in urban areas versus the concentration of low-income and particularly vulnerable populations in rural ones. For example, where as in San Francisco there is one attorney for every six low-income individuals, San Benito County has just one attorney for every 120 low-income individuals. Bridging gaps such as this is the entire raison d’etre for the Justice Bus Project, and it is a goal which requires the effort of a diverse group of stakeholders, usually located in multiple different regions, as well as dexterity and mobility (hence the bus!). And, never had it been more evident to me how well suited the Justice Bus Project is for this seemingly insurmountable task than in the case of Hollister.

[Photo: Lowenstein Sandler LLP attorney volunteers assist a client with citizenship matters at the July 2014 clinic.]

Lowenstein Sandler LLP attorney volunteers assist a client with citizenship matters at the July 2014 clinic.

Our journey to Hollister had begun several months earlier when we received a call from a teacher at the local community college. He heard about a Justice Bus clinic we were holding in a neighboring town to assist Green Card holders with their applications for citizenship and wanted to sign some of his students up. Despite the dearth of resources in San Benito County, we would not be able to serve his students, because funding restrictions on this particular clinic limited appointments to locals only.

But the thing I love most about the Justice Bus Project is that where there’s a will, there’s usually a way, and -– after piecing together four different partners from four different counties -– a way we found! Now just over a year later, we’ve held two immigration-focused clinics there, delivering free services to 42 individuals and helping to build a permanent network dedicated to serving the Hollister community.

We continue to receive phone calls from organizations across the County inquiring about our services and how they can help, and together, we’re watching as day-by-day this gap slowly shrinks.

“I am so thankful for this event because much of the time I don’t have the resources necessary to take care of things like [my immigration paperwork]. For me, it is very important to vote but I couldn’t for lack of money to apply for citizenship. Thank you for coming to our community and changing this.” – Client from Hollister clinic

Ruby KimberlyAs the Justice Bus Program Coordinator in the Pro Bono Justice Program, Ruby Kimberly coordinates Justice Bus trips in Northern and Southern California, mobilizing attorney and law school student volunteers to bring life-changing legal help to isolated communities in the state.

Get your gamble on for justice

Project Rocket Lawyer is hosting a Casino Night in downtown San Francisco to help raise money for OneJustice, and we’d love for you to join us! Come enjoy a fun-filled evening full of blackjack, poker, drinks, and yummy snacks—all for a good cause!

Rocket Lawyer Casino Night Screenshot

For only $20, you’ll get:

Rocket Laywer Ticket Pricing & Raffle

We hope to see you there!


Meet our very own financial guru

A chat with Executive Fellowship faculty, Elizabeth Schaffer.

We invited Elizabeth Schaffer—a nonprofit leader, consultant, trainer, and author—to tell us about herself and her work with the OneJustice Executive Fellowship.

Elizabeth is a longtime faculty of the Executive Fellowship. She coaches nonprofit leaders in the process of improving the quality of their organizations’ financial data and analysis, and also assists in enhancing organizations’ decision-making abilities. She is the co-author of Financial Leadership for Nonprofit Executives: Guiding Your Organization to Long Term Success (Fieldstone Alliance Press), a book that we use in our program, and an absolutely essential resource for all nonprofit leaders.

Please join us in welcoming Elizabeth!


[PHOTO: Elizabeth Schaffer, CFO at the Global Fund for Women and Executive Fellowship faculty.]

Elizabeth Schaffer, Chief Financial & Operating Officer at the Global Fund for Women and faculty of the Executive Fellowship.

Thank you for joining us, Elizabeth! Tell us a little more about yourself and what you do.

I am currently the Chief Financial & Operating Officer of the Global Fund for Women – the largest foundation exclusively funding international women’s rights organizations. I have been involved with nonprofit financial management for over 20 years, as a finance director, consultant, trainer, and author.

We are so happy to have you as an Executive Fellowship faculty. Tell us why you are involved in the Fellowship program.

The fellows cohort is consistently smart, dedicated, and engaged.

I especially love teaching in the program because so many folks introduce themselves by saying: ‘I’m not good at finance,” and then go on to really, really understand the content – and bring it back to their organizations. Without question, my best student is Julia!

As a nonprofit financial management coach, what is your top advice to nonprofits hoping to develop and strengthen their financial leadership?

Trust your instinct, not necessarily the numbers on the paper. If what you have at hand does not seem correct, challenge it!

Amazing advice! Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for your guidance and leadership teachings! 

Wrapping up a summer on wheels

Justice Bus mobilized volunteers to bring legal help where it’s needed most!

As we wrap up the summer and prepare for fall, we’re excited to report back on a very successful Justice Bus summer season! This summer, the Justice Bus traveled to nine locations around the state–sometimes traveling to two locations in the same week! In three months, our amazing volunteers assisted 264 low-income individuals with a variety of legal problems, including housing, immigration, veterans benefits, expungements, estate planning, and medical debt-related issues.

A big thank you to all of our wonderful Justice Bus Riders, supervising attorneys, supporters, firms, and partnering organizations for bringing justice where it’s needed most!

Summer Season Pic Stich

Thank you to these firms and organizations for participating in this summer’s Justice Bus season!


The Justice Bus Project takes teams of attorney and law student volunteers from urban areas to set up free legal clinics for low-income Californians living in rural and isolated communities.  These clinics provide life-changing legal assistance to low-income veterans, vulnerable seniors, children with disabilities, low-wage workers, immigrant youth, and families.

Correction: August 18, 2015

This blog post has been updated to include O’Melveny & Myers LLP  and Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Announcing the 2015-2016 Executive Fellows!

Empowering leaders to transform the legal services sector.

As schools get ready for the school year, OneJustice is getting ready for the newest class of Executive Fellows. We invited Director of the Healthy Nonprofits Program, Kim Irish, to give us a sneak peak into this year’s class and what is ahead.


Guest Blogger: Kim Irish, OneJustice Healthy Nonprofits Program Director

It hardly seems possible, but in September, OneJustice will welcome its 6th class of Executive Fellows! The 2015-2016 cohort promises to be outstanding, with 20 participants hailing from a wide variety of organizations located in cities like San Diego, San Bernardino, East Palo Alto, Fresno, and Berkeley. We’re excited to have representatives from 18 organizations, including 5 organizations who are joining us for the very first time.

[Photo: 2014-15 Cohort during one of their many Executive Fellowship classes, which include becoming a great communicator, human resources, financial context and ratios, and budgeting and change management.]

2014-15 Cohort during one of their many Executive Fellowship classes, which include becoming a great communicator, human resources, financial context and ratios, budgeting, and change management.

This year’s curriculum is divided into three core modules, starting with “You As A Leader,” which focuses on Fellows’ personal leadership and communication styles, as well as their relationship with their organization’s board of directors. Module Two – or “Managing Resources” – teaches Fellows how to manage and leverage human and financial resources, including the always-important and sometimes-confusing skill of budgeting.

The third and final module, “Creating Change,” encourages Fellows to take a broader view than their everyday work and think about how they can make changes in their organizations and even the broader legal services or nonprofit sector. A special learning opportunity called the capstone project is woven throughout the fellowship year. Fellows each choose an issue they are grappling with at their organizations and work to define the problem, gather data, research potential solutions, and present a memo and oral presentation to end the fellowship year in June. Though Fellows have reported it can be hairy at times to balance the capstone work with the everyday demands of their jobs, some claim it is the most beneficial part of the Fellowship experience.

As I begin directing the 2015-2016 Fellowship Program, I know I will reflect on my experience as a Fellow in the most recent class. Understanding what it’s like to go through the learning, camaraderie, and professional skills development that takes place during the Fellowship will hopefully help me to provide support that current Fellows may need as they embark on this new adventure.

Welcome new Executive Fellows!

The OneJustice Executive Fellowship is a 10-month comprehensive program that brings legal aid leaders new business and leadership skills.


As Director of OneJustice’s Healthy Nonprofits Program, Kim Irish is responsible for directing the Executive Fellowship and developing continuing education programs for Alumni of the Executive Fellowship Program, including in-person trainings and other support. She also oversees OneJustice’s consulting work and provides training, resources, and coaching to the Board of Directors and Executives of legal services nonprofits on governance, fundraising, and strategic planning.

Departing Fellow reflects on social justice

OneJustice’s Megan Kent shares how human stories inspired a lifelong passion.

With her Fellowship coming to an end, we invited Megan Kent, Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow, to share with us her inspiration for becoming a public interest attorney.

We are so fortunate to have Megan as our Justice Bus Project coordinator in Southern California. Thanks to her leadership and coordination, 231 clients have received life-changing legal help!


Guest Blogger: Megan Kent, OneJustice Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow

[Photo: Megan Kent, Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow, at an IMPACT LA with volunteer attorneys.]

Megan Kent, Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow, at an IMPACT LA with volunteer attorneys.

What drove me to start my career as a public interest attorney? It’s simple – social justice.

Prior to law school, I served as a social worker and educator committed to social justice advocacy. The people I met – their stories – were humbling and inspiring. I witnessed firsthand the effects of generational poverty, mental illness, and social isolation on an abused six-month old.  I also saw the child’s mother successfully battle a meth addiction and thereafter pull herself and her child out of poverty. I watched as depressed and isolated mothers gathered together for our weekly support groups, battling the effects of mental illness while simultaneously strengthening their attachment with their newborns.

Later, I advocated on behalf of a 22-year-old survivor of human trafficking whose condition had become so severe that he had to use a walker. He suffered from a severe neurological disorder that developed from the modern-day slave-like conditions under which he was forced to work. After receiving a visa granted to victims of human trafficking, he was able to receive an experimental surgery he needed to overcome the effects of his illness.

These people – their stories – inspired me to start my career as a public interest attorney. By serving in this capacity, I continue advocating for social justice causes, and continue addressing challenges affecting marginalized individuals and their families. At the same time, I can more effectively address systemic issues (like anti-poverty policies, racial injustice, and immigration laws) that affect marginalized individuals’ ability to thrive and succeed in our county.

My inspiring colleagues at OneJustice and I are able to do just that. Through projects like the Justice Bus, we’ve implemented innovative strategies to address systemic issues that affect low-income and underserved populations. Marginalized veterans, immigrants, seniors, and families throughout California are able to access quality legal services to address problems they face – services they likely would not access without our programs.


[Photo: Megan Kent, Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow.]Our guest author, Megan Kent, is an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow and member of the national Equal Justice Works Veterans Legal Corps. At OneJustice, she runs the Justice Bus Project in Southern California, bringing life-changing legal assistance to low-income Californians in rural and isolated communities.


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