Electronic Arts Inc.’s Associate General Counsel tells us about her experience aboard the Justice Bus.
Before we start, we just want to thank all our volunteers from Electronic Arts Inc. and Covington & Burling LLP for bringing life-changing legal assistance to 18 clients in Modesto this past November! Because of their hard work, these clients are more informed about their immigration options and many are ready to submit their applications! Volunteers like these really make all the difference for Californians in need.
Now, please welcome this month’s featured Justice Bus Rider, Kyuli Oh!
Kyuli Oh, Associate General Counsel at Electronic Arts Inc.
Welcome, Kyuli! Tell us about yourself. What type of law do you practice and why are immigration issues like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) important to you?
I’m the Associate General Counsel at Electronic Arts Inc. with responsibility over all corporate matters, including securities, M&A, and corporate governance. I’ve got 2 young boys (ages 5 and 2), who keep me busy. I came to the US when I was 4 years old and became a naturalized citizen, so I identify with the immigrants that we help on the Justice Bus. I was lucky to have had legal status and to become a naturalized citizen.
Thank you so much for giving us a sneak peek into your life! Why does pro bono matter to you and what motivates you to do pro bono work?
Living and working in Silicon Valley, there’s so much wealth around you. It’s easy to lose perspective. Doing pro bono work helps me realize that my problems do not compare to those truly struggling – people worried about deportation, unemployment, having enough money to pay rent and buy groceries.
Kyuli and EA and Fenwick & West LLP attorneys at the Justice Bus clinic in Greenfield, CA.
We couldn’t agree more! Pro bono really makes the difference for low-income individuals everyday. Why do you participate in the Justice Bus model of pro bono?
They make it so easy for you – you get on the bus; they provide breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner; they train you; they provide expert advisors to answer all your questions and review your work; and it’s a one-day commitment. There are no excuses not to do this!
We’re happy to hear the process was so easy for you! During your time at the Justice Bus Clinic, which client story resonated with you the most?
My first client was a berry picker in the Salinas Valley. I helped him with his naturalization application and his fee waiver request since the $680 fee was a true hardship for him and his family. He had 2 young kids, who were close in age to my 2 boys. I remember speaking to him about his income and his assets and I was stunned. It was really humbling to think about how hard it must be for his family to live at that level and why it was so important that we helped him that day.
It’s amazing how being a parent can be the shared common experience among people of different backgrounds! Final question, who is your favorite social justice hero and why?
Oprah – my mom learned English watching the Oprah show. Oprah was the first African American person she “knew”. Later in her life, my mom branched out of her Korean community and became involved in a racially diverse church and became very close friends with an African American woman from church. I think Oprah had that impact on so many women and I think that opened the door for more acceptance.
Thank you for joining us, Kyuli! This work is possible thanks to volunteers, like you!