This Veterans Day, we would like to introduce you to Justice Bus Rider and Marine, Joseph Rocha.
At OneJustice, we really love our volunteers, and every so often, we like to feature one of them on our blog. This month, we’re excited to feature Joseph Rocha!
As an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, Joseph Rocha is no stranger to public service. Since beginning law school at the University of San Francisco in 2013, Rocha has traveled more than 800 miles with the Justice Bus, participating in four clinics in some of the most far-flung regions of California! We really can’t thank our volunteers enough for traveling so far and bringing justice where it’s needed most!
Join us in welcoming Joseph on this Veterans Day!
Joseph Rocha, Lieutenant and Justice Bus Rider Alumnus.
Thank you so much for joining us, Joseph! Tell us, what made you want to attend law school?
From a very early age, there have been moments of great challenge where I have felt alone, and was resolved to believe that justice would somehow play out in the end. This drove me to seek a career in public service, dedicated to the promise of justice.
We love your commitment to public service! Why did you volunteer with the Justice Bus Project?
I volunteered for the Justice Bus Project, because I wanted to find a way to spend Spring Break involved in community service. I was midway through my second semester of my first year of law school and craved practical experience and interactions with clients; with Justice Bus Project, I found both. My first Justice Bus experience built me back up after the impact of the first year of law school, reminding me of the tremendously powerful endgame of working for clients which fuels my aspirations to be a lawyer.
Joseph Rocha with USF School of Law colleagues at last year’s Expungement Justice Bus clinic in Kelseyville, CA.
We’re honored to hear that the Justice Bus Project gave you such a great experience! During your time at the clinics, were there any client interactions that were particularly impactful?
The most impactful aspect of the Justice Bus clinic for me was meeting those in need where they live and work. The nature of driving through the regions and neighborhoods that they live and work in, including an overnight stay, provides you with the opportunity to truly reflect on and appreciate the lives of our clients. Next, was the trust with which the clients shared the most intimate and challenging aspects of their lives with you. It was this experience that reinforced in me the role in the justice system I aspire to as an attorney.
We couldn’t agree with you more, Joseph. Justice Bus Riders, like you, make all the difference for distant communities in need! Thank you for all your help! Tell us, how do you hope to use your degree after graduating?
My most immediate goal, as an officer in the Marine Corps contracted as an attorney, is to contribute to upholding the integrity of the Corps and dedicate myself to the sons and daughters of our Nation. I deeply believe in the ability and duty of attorneys to uphold and defend our core values as a nation both through legal counsel and trial representation.
We can’t wait to hear about your work once you become an attorney! Last question, who is your favorite social justice hero?
Ms. Malala Yousafzai: her selflessness, ability to forgive, relentlessness and positive attitude moves and inspires me profoundly.
Thank you so much for your serving our nation and for bringing justice where it’s needed most, Joseph! You’re truly inspiring!
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.