Meet Joe Casey – Justice Bus Rider extraordinaire
He’s traveled over 800 miles to reach those in need.
We would never leave you off the bus, Joe!
No doubt about it – we think all of our Justice Bus Riders are pretty darn special. All 1,312 of them!
They travel hundreds of miles to bring life-changing legal help to rural communities. They give so generously of their time, energy, and skills to help poor Californians facing terrible legal problems. They are the solution to the lack of legal assistance for hundreds of veterans, children, families, and seniors each year.
As a result, we have a special place in our hearts for these volunteers – we call them our “Justice Bus Riders.” We think they are justice super heroes.
So we’ve decided that we will feature some extraordinary Justice Bus Riders here on the blog – so you can also get to know them. We’re starting with a true Justice Bus hero – Joe Casey. Joe, who will be starting this fall as a new associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, has been on SIX justice bus trips – all during his three years as a student at Stanford Law School. He went on four trips with Stanford and two trips with law firms during his summers. He has traveled over 800 miles on these trips to reach communities like Watsonville, Modesto, and Gilroy.
We sat down with Joe recently to ask him some questions about being a Justice Bus Rider extraordinaire.
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Joe, tell us about one of the clients you were able to help during your Justice Bus Trips?
Joe on the Justice Bus (on his way to assist rural seniors in 2012).
Helping a retiree prepare his will was a very satisfying experience. He was preparing for surgery and was visibly relieved to get his affairs in order. He was extremely appreciative for the assistance, and I was very thankful that OneJustice made the trip possible.
What’s the strangest or funniest thing you have witnessed on a Justice Bus Trip?
Sometimes, eager students can almost be a bit too earnest. For example, certain immigration forms require asking applicants questions like whether or not they have ever been “habitual drunkards.” I remember one client looking a student in the eye and asking whether or not having a few drinks a week makes him a “habitual drunkard.” Other questions on the immigration form relate to willingness to bear arms on behalf of the United States and affiliation with the Communist Party. I couldn’t find a single client who could answer these questions without breaking into laughter.
Our amateur rendering of Mike Winn as a rural justice super hero!
There is a serious justice gap in California. While Silicon Valley is very prosperous and has a glut of legal services, lawyers are hard to come by across large swaths of our state. The gross disparity in legal resources as seen through the lens of geography convinced me that the Justice Bus is an effective means of ensuring that people who don’t live near thriving economic and legal centers can also receive the legal aid they need.
What fictional social justice hero do you most admire and why?
I think my favorite fictional social justice hero has got to be OneJustice’s own Michael Winn. I just imagine Mike slipping off into the Canadian woods under the cloak of nightfall, notebook in hand after a hearty steak dinner, looking for injustices he can help to right. (Note: You have to have heard one of Mike’s inspiring speeches to the Justice Bus riders to fully understand that reference.) Seriously, you might consider creating a OneJustice comic book presenting (lightly fictionalized) accounts of real iniquities that the OneJustice team has helped to set right. And in the comics, the OneJustice team could have their own (magical, justice-seeking, flying) bus!
Thank you, Joe, for your years of participation in the Justice Bus Project – we look forward to many more years of working together to bring life-changing legal help to those in need!