OneJustice Blog

Bring life-changing legal help to Californians in need.

Camelot photographer & seeker of justice

The OneJustice network lost a lion of a supporter.

But Randy Silver’s passion for justice continues through the Veterans Clinics in his honor.

My heart is broken.

Julia Wilson with Randy and Anne Silver at the Opening Doors to Justice event, standing together.

A sweet moment together at the 2014 Opening Doors to Justice celebration.

There are simply no other words for it.

Last year, Randy Silver, my dear friend and a talented photographer, donated an original, signed print of President John F. Kennedy for the live auction at our Opening Doors to Justice event.  Randy was the official photographer to President Kennedy from 1961 to 1963, while he was serving in the U.S. Navy.  He took this photo of the President at the Press Association Dinner in Washington D.C. in May 1963. Over the years, he had only produced three prints – until last year, when he created the 4th and donated it to the OneJustice auction.

Randy and Anne, his wife of 35 years, were there in the audience as the bidding went fast and furious.  Just at the point when the next-to-last bidder dropped out, Randy graciously agreed to produce and sign a 5th print so that there could be two final winners.  Together, the prints raised $8,000 – and to Randy’s surprise and delight, I announced on the spot that we would use the funds to create two Randy Silver Justice Bus Clinics to bring life-changing legal help to veterans in rural California, in honor of Randy’s years of service in the Navy and his incredible personal commitment to justice.

If I could go back in time to that moment, I would also run over and give Randy a huge hug.  And oh, how I wish that I could.

Because, you see, Randy passed away unexpectedly in January, leaving an unimaginable hole in the OneJustice network – and in my heart.

Just six weeks after his death, a team of volunteers boarded the Justice Bus and traveled to Northern California.  Over two days, they staffed the Randy Silver Memorial Legal Clinics for veterans in Chico and Redding – serving 36 veterans and their family members.

Photo of President Kennedy smiling.

And now Randy’s beautiful print of JFK is back in our office.  When one of last year’s winners, honoree Erika Rottenberg, learned of Randy’s death, she decided to donate her print back to OneJustice to be part of our live auction again this year.  Once again we will use the funds raised to support another series of Randy Silver Justice Bus Clinics, bringing volunteers from urban areas to set up mobile pro bono clinics for veterans in isolated communities.  It is incredibly generous of Erika, and I think Randy would be so pleased.  I wish so much that I could tell him in-person, but instead I have to just trust that he knows, somehow.

“For me, it is not a matter of giving back; it’s a matter of just giving because it’s the right thing to do.”

Anne & Randy Silver at the 2014 event holding a sign that says "I'm with Julia"

Anne and Randy Silver at last year’s event.  This message brings me great joy.

This was Randy’s acceptance message when the San Mateo County Chapter of the NAACP presented him with their 2014 Distinguished Service Award for his many years of devoted volunteerism with the NAACP and many other causes.  He was an active volunteer with the NAACP, Second Harvest Food Bank, Relay for Life, and Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo.  He offered his photography skills pro bono to the Annual Cyril Magnin Awards, Red Cross, San Mateo Women’s Hall of Fame – and of course, OneJustice.

He had a quiet and deep-seated passion for justice and a commitment to serving others.  He earned  a JD from Boalt School of Law, but knew mid-way through that the law was not his life’s work.  Instead, he began working as a social worker in Napa County and found a true calling in helping people work through the challenges and problems of life.  He obtained his Masters in Psychology at Chapman College, which launched a long and successful private practice  as a psychotherapist.

A third generation photographer, Randy created his first print on his 9th birthday, in his mother’s darkroom, and continued with photography his entire life.  This included teaching throughout the Peninsula, organizing national and international trips for groups of beginning photographers, and the production of three books that showcase his particular area of expertise – infrared photography.

Randy and Anne Silver at the 2013 Opening Doors to Justice event.

Randy and Anne attending the 2013 Opening Doors to Justice event.

And now Randy’s generosity will live on.  We will once again auction his original print of JFK – which sadly we now know must be the last signed edition.  His art will once again bring much-needed assistance to veterans facing pressing legal problems.  And I will try to find solace in the fact that in this way, Randy is still giving back – still making great things happen in the world – and that those of us left behind can continue on, in his name and taking inspiration from his life.

For Randy was a man of palpable integrity.  He cared deeply about the people around him and was effortlessly generous with his time, talents, and energy.   He died as he lived, with great dignity, and he will be sorely missed by all of us who had the great joy of knowing him.

Congratulations Executive Fellows

Fellows follow in footsteps of success

Celebrating the 100th Executive Fellowship graduate and the entire 2014-2015 cohort
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Early this week, OneJustice staff and this year’s Executive Fellows met for a two day retreat. Fellows presented their Capstone projects and celebrated the end of their 10-month training in skills such as  effective fundraising, marketing, communications, strategic planning, program evaluation, and board development.

Graduates follow in the footsteps of 5 years’ worth of success from the cohorts that came before them. Each participant comes away from the program with a skill set that equips them to transform the legal services sector and ensure justice for all.

To commemorate the 5th anniversary of the OneJustice Executive Fellowship, we are honored to celebrate Martin Tannenbaum and Claire Solot in this year’s Opening Doors to Justice event! Both Claire and Martin are leaders in the development of the program, and we thank them for their vision and amazing dedication in building the next generation of civil service nonprofit leaders. Won’t you join us on:

Thursday, June 25th 

6-9 pm

The Julia Morgan Ballroom (downtown SF)

*Tickets and auction items are now available

We are also excited to celebrate the graduation of its 100th Fellow (James Zahradka, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley), and we look forward to continue to serve legal service leaders for years to come! Congratulations, Fellows!

Exec Fellows Graduation Picture raising their hands and holding their certificates

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To learn more about this Fellowship and how you can become a part of it, please visit:

One-Justice.org/Fellowship

OneJustice Executive Fellowship from OneJustice on Vimeo.

 

Their words…

Will inspire you, too.

Our very own legal fellow tells us what motivates her to do this work each and every day.

We are excited to announce a new project sponsored by Fenwick & West LLP (and our 2015 Exclusive event sponsor), spearheaded by our very own Renée Schomp, Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow.  We asked Renée to share with all of you this wonderful new project she’ll be tackling next year!

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“Because of this legal clinic, I will continue on and not stop for any reason.”

Guest blog post by Renée Schomp, Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow

As a social justice attorney, one of my greatest sources of ongoing inspiration is the words of my clients. At a recent immigration clinic one of my clients wrote a note that said, “This clinic has changed my life. It has given me a lot of emotional support to know that I am not alone. Because of this [legal] clinic, I will continue on and not stop for any reason. I will make my dreams come true – for myself and to prove to all the good people that helped me today that it is not a waste of [their] time. Thank you to all the volunteers … from the bottom of my heart.”

To be honest, some days I could really use a bit of inspiration such as these words. This is because the need for legal services is so incredibly overwhelming–particularly among the rural immigrant population with whom I commonly work—and the resources for low-income clients so sparse, that I often find myself fighting what feels like an unwinnable battle.

To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, California has the largest immigrant population in the fifty states (10.3 million) and currently houses over 3 million undocumented immigrants, nearly 700,000 of whom are children and youth under age 24. In November 2014, the Obama Administration sought to improve the lives of over 5 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. through an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. In California alone, over 1.5 million undocumented immigrants would be eligible for at least temporary relief through these programs. At the moment, however, their implementation has been temporarily halted by a preliminary injunction.

OneJustice develops innovative programs to serve immigrants in rural California

All that said, I have another source of inspiration and that is working for an organization that finds innovative ways to progress when progress seems impossible.

Volunteer attorneys with client at a Justice Bus immigration assistance legal clinic in Greenfield, CA

Volunteer attorneys with client at Justice Bus immigration assistance legal clinic in Greenfield, CA

OneJustice’s award-winning Justice Bus Project and Rural Justice Collaborative programs provide as many as eight legal clinics per month in rural and isolated California communities throughout the state–where we serve clients who would likely otherwise receive no assistance at all. Our clinics leverage the talent of teams of attorney and law student volunteers from urban regions such as the Bay Area and Los Angeles to assist rural-based clients with a wide range of civil legal needs, including those related to DACA, citizenship and general immigration.

In September 2015, I will begin a new project focused solely on serving immigrants in three rural counties with a particularly high number of undocumented immigrants and a dearth of legal services–San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced Counties. About 115,000 undocumented immigrants live in these three counties alone, and poverty density is high.

This project is being made possible through the support of an Equal Justice Works fellowship sponsored by the law firm Fenwick & West LLP.  The project will build a network of pro bono attorneys to provide full-scope representation to immigrants living in these rural counties. This project will be a part of the continued expansion and growth of the Bay Area Rural Justice Collaborative project, part of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCo) IMPACT initiative and a collaboration of legal services organizations and law firms that strives to increase access to legal services in isolated communities through free limited scope legal clinics staffed by pro bono attorneys.

This Central Valley immigration project builds upon OneJustice’s already-existing work with Immigration Legal Resource Center (ILRC) on the Immigration Pro Bono Network, which was developed as a means of creating a universally-employed training and certification program regarding DACA for pro bono volunteers. Through this program, we have been collecting and analyzing data from our DACA clinics in order to gauge the efficiency and effectiveness of pro bono volunteers. Beginning in the fall of 2014, the Immigration Pro Bono Network also responded to the expanded DACA and DAPA programs by holding multiple convenings of stakeholders in the legal field interested in developing an effective, wide-reaching pro bono response to these new immigration programs.

This summer, you can help OneJustice help immigrants in rural California

Brother and sister at a Justice Bus immigration assistance legal clinic in South Lake Tahoe, CA

Brother and sister at a Justice Bus immigration assistance legal clinic in South Lake Tahoe, CA

The funds raised at our annual Opening Doors to Justice event on June 25 will be 100% allocated to make the Immigration Pro Bono Network a reality. When we achieve our goal of raising $50,000 in one evening, OneJustice attorneys will be able to provide regional training, support, and coordination to deploy private sector volunteers in the Bay Area and Los Angeles – two of the highest areas of need in the state. In addition, OneJustice will develop a pilot project serving three high need rural counties — Merced, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin — with local clinics and virtual connections to urban volunteers.

Won’t you join us? 

Donate Button

P.S. Check out this neat clip of Renée!

Renée Schomp talking with Univision news reporter about the need for immigration relief. To watch the full video, please visit: [pending link]

Renée Schomp talking with Univision news reporter about the need for immigration relief. To watch the full video, please visit: here

Have you met this consultant, educator, and philanthropist?

Celebrate Martin Tannenbaum with us

For his incredible work in strengthening the legal services sector

Martin Tannenbaum, consultant, educator, and philanthropist, honoree of this year's Opening Doors to Justice eventEvery year, the OneJustice network gathers at our Opening Doors to Justice event to celebrate three individuals whose outstanding accomplishments have truly moved the needle on legal services, pro bono, and access to justice. Won’t you join us this year on:

Thursday, June 25th 

6-9 pm

Julia Morgan Ballroom (downtown SF)

*Tickets and auction items are now available

We are so pleased to be honoring Martin Tannenbaum – Consultant, Educator, Philanthropist, and a wonderful partner of OneJustice. Martin has been a leader in transforming the civil legal aid system through the development of OneJustice’s Executive Fellowship, which is now in its 5th year, and next month, will graduate the 100th Fellow. Please welcome our third honoree, Martin Tannenbaum!

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Martin, Opening Doors to Justice event is less than a month a way and we can’t wait to honor you on June 25th! Tell us – why are you involved with increasing access to justice?

Even though most people probably think I’m a privileged white male – which I guess, on some level, I am – I have a very different sense of myself. I grew up as a gay Jew in Utah – as a double-outsider. And add to that, my parents also grew up Jewish in Utah.  So I learned at an early age to love and respect those who didn’t fit in – which meant a wide range of people – the economically challenged, the foreigner, and the less-abled.

Also, since I had experienced the tyranny of the majority (both growing up and during some pretty ugly ballot initiatives), it was clear that the courts – not public opinion – were THE place for change and fairness. And so I was naturally drawn to legal organizations because they focus on the judicial system – and they welcomed me in.

Initially, my volunteering and philanthropy focused on LGBT rights. Given what we’ve accomplished in the last 30 years, it was clearly a wise investment. In California and several other states, I am now protected in the workplace and was even able to marry the man of my dreams, Alex Ingersoll. This was all unimaginable when I was in my 20’s.

And there are still many with justice still denied – not just many in the LGBT community, but also those without sufficient financial resources, health challenges or an unclear path to citizenship. The work must continue until every person secures equal justice under the law – it’s what this country was founded upon – it’s what we owe ourselves, our children, and our children’s children.

We couldn’t agree more! Martin, could you share with us how you became involved with OneJustice?

Over 7 years ago, I had the great good luck to meet Claire Solot and Julia Wilson. They had this idea about creating a program for leaders within the legal services sector – one that would provide these leaders with the knowledge, skills and support to enhance their work, stabilize and build their own organizations, and change the legal services sector.  (And I had the background and knowledge to develop the curriculum and guide the program in the early years.)

And so, we built a program together, the OneJustice Executive Fellowship, which next month will graduate its 100th fellow – all able and willing to create meaningful change – to serve more clients and provide better services and to build more sustainable organizations. I have had the distinct honor of meeting and working with each of these Fellows.  Nothing is more rewarding than seeing their growth and accomplishments.  What a gift!

Absolutely! What’s your favorite part of being a member of the OneJustice network?

I know this is hard to imagine, but there are still people – even friends and colleagues of mine – who don’t know about OneJustice and the incredible work that we do to create impactful nonprofits and to enhance the legal services sector. I love to explain our work and watch faces light up.  Most want to learn more, and get involved.  It’s such leveraged, important work.  I’m very proud to be part of the OneJustice family.

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About the OneJustice Executive Fellowship: OneJustice trains current executives and the next generation of nonprofit leaders through our management training program. OneJustice’s Executive Fellowship program is a 10-month comprehensive program that brings legal aid leaders new business skills.

A leader in pro bono delivery

Join us as we celebrate Kathryn Fritz

Managing Partner at Fenwick and West LLP and one of our event honorees!

Headshot of Kathryn Fritz, Managing Partner of Fenwick & West LLPEvery year, the OneJustice network gathers at our Opening Doors to Justice event to celebrate three individuals whose outstanding accomplishments have moved the needle on legal services, pro bono, and access to justice. Won’t you join us this year on:

Thursday, June 25th 

6-9 pm

Julia Morgan Ballroom (downtown SF)

*Tickets and auction items are now available

We are incredibly honored to be recognizing Kate Fritz for her work in mobilizing the private sector to bring legal help to those in need. With Kate’s leadership, in 2013, Fenwick & West contributed over 11,000 hours in pro bono services, valued at over $5 million in legal services. The firm 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. Please welcome our second honoree, Kathryn Fritz, Managing Partner at Fenwick & West LLP!

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Why have you committed your time and energy to working on increasing access to civil legal services and access to justice?

I’ve always viewed service not only to our clients but to our broader community as a core part of being a lawyer. Sometimes we lose sight of just how essential our service is in providing access to justice, but it’s critical that we do not forget, and so critical that we remember what an essential part every member of the legal profession has to play. Philosophically, those ideas are what drew me to the study of law and those same themes have drawn me into pro bono work. It’s both gratifying and deeply humbling to be able to serve those who don’t have easy access to the privilege we take for granted and whose voices often go unheard.  The need is so great and the legal profession has a unique ability to make a difference.  On a more personal note, I’m also very motivated by my two teenage sons and the desire to help make our community one that ensures fairness and protection  for everyone. Community engagement is tremendously powerful, and we all have meaningful contributions to make, but we must act.

What is one particularly rewarding experience you have had in your work on these issues?

Every pro bono case that I have worked on has changed my life: they could not help but do that. But three cases stand out. In two cases I was able to help secure political asylum for clients whose lives were in grave danger in their home countries – one because of his religious beliefs and another because he was a gay man who was HIV positive.  In a third case,  we obtained reversal of the death penalty  for our client. It is hard not to be changed fundamentally by these experiences.

In addition to my personal pro bono work, in my role as Managing Partner of Fenwick & West, I’ve also made it an important part of my focus to promote the firm’s pro bono commitment. Not only do our attorneys and staff devote thousands of hours every year to pro bono work, but we support fellows and organizations (such as OneJustice) who in turn go out and engage even more people to do this work.

What is your favorite part of being a member of the OneJustice network?

How can I name just one?  The Justice Bus project  is just one example of the inspired and innovative way that OneJustice enables the expansion of pro bono work. We have made several trips to serve clients in rural areas, including Napa and Yolo counties, and each time our bus has been oversubscribed. It’s our most popular pro bono opportunity for our attorneys and summer associates (and the client in-house teams that we sometimes partner with on the trips). They come back so energized and engaged. The Justice Bus is a great opportunity to have a personal impact and make a difference in the lives of those you’re helping. We’re also proud of the work being done through the Rural Justice Collaborative which is expanding access to legal services in rural and isolated communities throughout the Bay Area. The group supports the role of pro bono attorneys in the delivery of legal services to the poor, including innovative collaborations between law firms and legal services organizations. We’re also looking forward to working with OneJustice as you host our upcoming Equal Justice Works Fellow, Renee Schomp, and extend the reach of the Justice Bus project even further.

Thank you, Kate, for your commitment to bringing pro bono assistance to Californians in need. We cannot wait to celebrate your achievements next month! 

Happy 2nd Bday to Rural Justice Collaborative!

Join us as we celebrate 2 fantastic years…

Of bringing vital legal services to communities in need in the Bay Area.
Birthday cake with Happy 2 Year Anniversary RJC

2 years ago, under the leadership 0f Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCo) and Cooley LLP, the Bay Area Rural Justice Collaborative IMPACT (Involving More Pro Bono Attorneys in Our Communities Together) project was born. The Bay Area Rural Justice Collaborative, a collaboration of legal services organizations and law firms, strives to increase access to legal services in isolated communities through free limited scope legal clinics staffed by pro bono attorneys.

Since 2013, the Rural Justice Collaborative has served 425 clients through 53 mobile legal clinics ran by 227 Bay Area pro bono attorneys. We couldn’t be more thankful for the support of our donors, legal services and law firm partners, and volunteer attorneys for making each and one of these clinics possible. Here’s to many more!

Rural Justice Collaborative by the numbers: 

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Thank you to our legal services, nonprofit, law firms and corporate partners for making all of this possible! You are all amazing!

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Interested in learning more about the Rural Justice Collaborative? 

For more information about the Rural Justice Collaborative or becoming involved, please contact Lauren Roberts at lroberts@one-justice.org

Lauren RobertsLauren 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.

 

 

A serial legal services entrepreneur

Join us as we celebrate Claire Solot

For her work advancing justice and bringing training to legal services leaders

Claire Solot, Managing Director of Bigglesworth Family Foundation, head shotEvery year, the OneJustice network gathers at our Opening Doors to Justice event to celebrate three individuals whose outstanding accomplishments have truly moved the needle on legal services, pro bono, and access to justice. Won’t you join us this year on:

Thursday, June 25th 

6-9 pm

Julia Morgan Ballroom (downtown SF)

*Tickets and auction items are now available

We are so excited to be honoring Claire Solot, Managing Director of Bigglesworth Family Foundation, this summer. In 2009, Claire approached OneJustice with the idea for a comprehensive nonprofit management training for legal services leaders, and the result of that conversation – the Executive Fellowship – is now in its 5th year and next month will graduate the 100th Fellow. Please welcome our first honoree, Claire Solot!

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Claire, we can’t wait to honor you on June 25th! Please tell us, why have you committed your time and energy to working on increasing access to justice? 

Twenty-five years ago as a law student extern in the Family Law Department of the San Francisco Superior Court, I had the opportunity to see first hand both the value of and need for civil legal services.  Following my career as a litigator, I joined the philanthropic sector in 2000.  While working on a “safety net” grants portfolio, I started to wonder why legal services were not regularly included in this category.  As a result in 2008, we launched our first legal services grants portfolio.  Working with these grantees for the past eight years, I am more convinced than ever that civil legal aid is a critical part of the solution to breaking the cycle of poverty.

From working on these issues, what is one particularly rewarding experience you have encountered? 

Bringing together the OneJustice Fellows Advisory Board in 2009 to start vetting the need for a training program for legal services leaders was an amazing experience.  In a matter of months, we were able to assemble a “dream team” of diverse leaders, which included: legal aid executive directors, law firm partners, pro bono coordinators, state bar representatives, a non-profit consultant and a funder.  In less than 9 months, we went from a mere concept to a fully operating program.

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Executive Fellowship?

Every time I hear a Fellow share the value of the program, I get shivers.  It is amazing to know that by creating and supporting this program, we not only help these individuals in their roles, we help the organizations they work for and the communities they serve.  As we graduate our 100th Fellow, I know we have developed an important resource for the legal aid community. As we field requests from alumni, law students and out of state practitioners for more offerings, I know that the current Fellows program is just the first piece of this puzzle.

You really are building a powerful civil justice puzzle. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Perhaps I am a serial “non-profit program legal service entrepreneur,” as last fall I assembled a new team comprised of funders from a wide variety of sectors, including: community foundations, private foundations, law firms, crowd-source funders, government and individuals.  Together, we have launched the Bay Area Legal Services Funders Network.

Thank you, Claire, for your dedication to excellence, and your outstanding contributions to ensuring justice for those in need! We are honored to partner with you, and we are thrilled to be recognizing your achievements this summer! 

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About the OneJustice Executive Fellowship: OneJustice trains current executives and the next generation of nonprofit leaders through our management training program. OneJustice’s Executive Fellowship is a 10-month comprehensive program that brings legal aid leaders new business skills.

Where can you find a dim sum enthusiast and an avid knitter?

A: At OneJustice, of course!

Join OneJustice as we welcome our newest staff members, Amy and Anh!

Recently, OneJustice expanded both its Los Angeles and San Francisco offices with two new team members, Amy Kaizuka and Anh Van. Amy is our new Senior Staff Attorney in Los Angeles and Anh is our new Development Associate in the San Francisco office. We are so excited to embark on this adventure with them, and thought you all would like to get to know them too!

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Welcome Amy! Now tell us, what drew you to the work of OneJustice? 

I was drawn to the organization’s mission to increase access to legal help for underserved Californians and its dedication to closing the justice gap. And I love the focus on collaboration and community building, through the unique role that OneJustice plays in developing partnerships and supporting a broad network of legal services nonprofits, law schools, law firms, corporations, and individual volunteers.

Photo of Amy Kaizuka in her office, seated at her desk with a computer screen behind her

Amy Kaizuka, Senior Staff Attorney, will be overseeing pro bono projects in SoCal.

As the Senior Staff Attorney, what will your role be at OneJustice?

As Senior Staff Attorney, I will be responsible for overseeing the work of the Pro Bono Justice program in southern California, which includes the Justice Bus Project, OneJustice’s signature project connecting urban pro bono attorneys to underserved rural and isolated communities; IMPACT LA, an innovative program connecting domestic violence survivors with pro bono attorneys for assistance with housing, immigration and public benefit matter; and the California Pro Bono Training Institute, a new project founded by the pro bono directors of OneJustice, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County aimed at developing an online library of accessible and engaging trainings relevant to pro bono work.

I wish to foster and grow the existing relationships OneJustice has with partners in the southern California area. I hope to develop new partnerships and work on expanding services throughout southern California, reaching out to communities and areas we do not currently reach.

Sounds like amazing work ahead! We can’t wait to hear about this new California Pro Bono Training Institute project in the upcoming months! So, before coming to OneJustice, what type of work did you do? 

Prior to joining OneJustice, I was a grant writer for the Venice Oceanarium, a local educational nonprofit. My previous experiences included working in San Francisco as Legal Services Director at California Lawyers for the Arts, where I oversaw the pro bono program and conducted outreach to pro bono attorneys, and working in D.C. as a staff attorney at the Board on Professional Responsibility, an arm of the D.C. Court of Appeals responsible for adjudicating cases of attorney misconduct and disability.

Wow – such diverse organizations! And finally, tells us something quirky about you?

I crochet and knit. I learned to crochet when I was little, making sweaters, scarves and hats for my teddy bears (this often involved crocheting directly onto the bears, in order to accommodate their ears). I taught myself to knit later. I love seeing yarn bombing or other crochet or knit public art projects, but I usually stick to things like scarves or blankets.

Thank you for your great answers, Amy!

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Hello Anh! Tells us a little about yourself! Where were you before OneJustice?

Anh Van, Development Associate, sitting at her desk with computer in front of her.

Anh Van, Development Associate, will be working with our donors and special events.

Before coming to OneJustice, I was searching for a career path that would enable me to make an impact. I wanted to find a work environment that would not only challenge me to do good but would also allow me to grow professionally. I would like to pursue an MBA degree in the distant future and the opportunity to be a part of the Development and Communications team is a great stepping stone towards my goal. I’m very fortunate to be apart of the OneJustice team and have the opportunity to work with people who share similar ideals and passion.

We are happy to have you with us! What will you be responsible for at OneJustice – and what do you hope to achieve?

My position as a Development Associate involves me managing our donor database, providing donor and corporate relations support and assisting with special events. Since joining the team, I’ve had immense support in learning about my role and responsibilities. Our Opening Doors to Justice event is coming up in about two months, so I’ve been able to not only learn about the event but also contribute to its planning and preparation. I look forward to not only being a key member to the Development and Communications team but to the OneJustice family and community as I learn more about my role.

That’s wonderful, glad it’s going well for you so far. We’re excited to see what is ahead for you! Tell us – what did you do before joining OneJustice? 

I graduated in 2013 from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Rhetoric. After graduation, I spent seven months abroad in Turkey and Hong Kong respectively. I’ve traveled quite a bit during my university days, going on three study abroad trips (London, Istanbul and Hong Kong) and an internship abroad in Singapore. Prior to coming to OneJustice, I interned at a local trade organization, a social media start-up as well as worked in the real estate industry.

Wow – those study abroad trips sound awesome! Finally, last question – what do you like to do in your spare time?

I really love exploring new sights and sounds. My first weekend back in the Bay Area, I spent all of Saturday at Golden Gate Park, going to the San Francisco’s King’s Day celebration, immersing myself in Dutch culture, and trying Dutch food. I also love furniture shopping, taking walks along Lake Merritt, eating dim sum, and driving along Pacific Coast Highway. I’m obsessed with cooking shows and singing competitions.

Thanks so much, Amy and Anh – we’re so happy to welcome you to the OneJustice team!

Unbuilding walls

How the Justice Bus breaks down walls of apathy and indifference.

One pro bono attorney’s journey from EA to Greenfield.

Justin Aragon, Ecommerce, Privacy, and Consumer Protection counsel for EA

Justin Aragon, Ecommerce, Privacy, and Consumer Protection Counsel for EA

There is someone we’d like you to meet: Justin Aragon, Ecommerce, Privacy and Consumer Protection Counsel at Electronic Arts (EA).

This past March, Justin joined a team of expert attorneys from Electronic Arts and Fenwick & West LLP on a Justice Bus trip to bring free legal help to youth and families in Greenfield.

We loved hearing about Justin’s experience from the trip so much, that we’re making him share it with all of you too!

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Let’s get started Justin! So, during the Justice Bus clinic, did any client story resonate with you? 

It’s difficult to pick just one story. I was struck by the fortitude of each young man and woman I met throughout the day – all high school graduates, all working below minimum-wage jobs to support their families, all struggling for greater opportunity. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) helps to provide this community a path to fair pay and the financial aid to further their education. It was a privilege to help these young men and women along this path, even in a small way.

EA attorneys, Suk Lee and Justin Aragon with their client at the Greenfield immigration Justice Bus clinic.

EA attorneys, Suk Lee and Justin Aragon, with their client at the Greenfield immigration Justice Bus clinic.

Their stories are really inspiring. Did you make any connections with any of the clients?

I met one young man, a farm worker like all the rest, who grew up in Mexicali, the town that borders Calexico where my father grew up and worked in the fields as a boy. I met another young man whose father had the same last name as me. When he saw my last name, he smiled and said “familia” and we all laughed.

That is a quite coincidence! Now, tell us – what would you say is your personal motivation to do pro bono work?

Getting a chance to work with the sort of people I met during the Justice Bus Clinic is what motivates me to do pro bono work – not just the young men and women I mention above, but the OneJustice staff and the volunteer immigration attorneys who supervised us. The Justice Bus Clinic was, hands down, the best clinic I’ve participated in – it was well organized, well trained, and well supervised. I’d recommend the Clinic to anyone.

Justin and EA attorneys at the Greenfield Immigration Justice Bus clinic.

Justin and EA attorneys at the Greenfield Immigration Justice Bus clinic.

Thank you Justin! We’re so thrilled to have you as an official “Justice Bus Rider”! Okay, final question: is there a fictional social justice hero you admire the most?

I just finished reading the Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin. In it, the central character, Shevek, goes around “unbuilding” walls – walls of apathy and indifference as much as injustice. I thought it was a poignant message, particularly when it seems, these days, that just a bit more empathy would go a long way. One of my favorite quotes: “You cannot buy the Revolution. You cannot make the Revolution. You can only be the Revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”

A huge thanks to our guest, Justin and all of the Greenfield clinic volunteers, who brought relief and much-needed help to rural areas like Greenfield.

Because of volunteers like Justin, the Justice Bus Project has served 147 youth and families with DACA and Immigration assistance throughout the state. 

Can you find yourself….

In our awesome volunteer slideshow?

Created just for you – as part of National Volunteer Week.

When you board the Justice Bus, volunteer at a mobile legal clinic, or give generously of your time and energy in any way,  you are making all the difference for those in need! You are coming to the rescue for children with disabilities who need special education services, low-income veterans encountering barriers to employment, isolated seniors facing serious medical problems, families at risk of losing their housing, and youth who are eligible for immigration relief. Thank you!

We are so tickled to be able to celebrate you during National Volunteer Week!

In fact, we love our volunteers so much that we made this slideshow featuring you and all the Justice Heroes. It shows you out there at clinics, on the ground, in the neediest communities – bringing justice where it is needed the most!

So toast yourself during National Volunteer Week.  You deserve it!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For ways to get involved, please contact Arbour Decker at adecker@one-justice.org

 

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