OneJustice welcomes four new summer law clerks in its San Francisco office.
Welcome back! This week, we are welcoming four law clerks to the OneJustice network. Each year, summer law clerks join the team to assist with current projects and apply the skills they’ve learned in law school. Today, we’re excited to introduce you to the other two summer law clerks, Kyle and Chris! Please join us in welcoming them!
Summer Law Clerk Kyle Edgerton will be helping with the new Rural Immigrant Connect project.
Welcome, Kyle! Tell us, what drew you to the work of OneJustice and what will you be responsible for at the organization?
One assumption underlying our adversarial legal system is that both parties make it through the courthouse doors. However, millions of people in California and beyond are prevented from vindicating their rights because of systemic barriers unrelated to the merits of their claims. The challenges of “access to justice” are diverse and dynamic, but OneJustice’s work with a large coalition of legal aid programs positions it to confront those challenges in innovative ways, to develop and workshop solutions, and to disseminate its models so all communities can thrive.
I know the unparalleled satisfaction – and hair-pulling frustration – of direct-service work. Partnering with OneJustice exposes me to a new dimension of legal aid and challenges me to reinvent myself as an agent of social change operating at a different layer of the problem.
I will be part of a team continuing to test and iterate OneJustice’s new Rural Immigrant Connect project, which uses virtual technology to bridge the gap between urban-based pro bono attorneys and the Central Valley youth who need immigration representation. The project is off to an exciting start, and we are working to expand its reach and improve its function.
Thinking big-picture, I want to work with all segments of the legal profession to create – and fulfill – opportunities for pro bono service. A disturbingly small share of California attorneys are currently pitching in to shoulder the heavy burden of legal aid needs, and I want to learn more about the barriers and bottlenecks that create this shortfall so I can help to remove them.
Can’t wait to hear about your upcoming work! What did you do before coming to OneJustice?
I just finished my first year at UC Davis School of Law (King Hall). Before starting law school, I was the Director of the Immigration Assistance Program at Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada for almost five years; That work was engaging, meaningful, and provided a great mix of direct service and some systemic work and advocacy. My journey toward becoming an attorney grew out of my growing recognition of how great the scope of unmet legal need is, and I am excited to mark OneJustice as a waypoint along that path.
We’re excited to be working with you too! And finally, tell us something quirky about you.
My son, Asher, will turn 2 in September 2016. I think I’ll lose major Dad Points if I don’t list him as my number-one hobby. Other recent hobbies include homebrewing, a weekly short story club, and trying to build up a bicycle from scratch. In college, I took the Flag Football course for eight semesters in a row. (Seriously.)
Summer Law Clerk Chris Gordon will be assisting with the Justice Bus Project.
And now, let’s welcome our last law clerk, Chris! Tell us, what drew you to OneJustice and what will you be doing here during the summer?
I was drawn to OneJustice’s focus on helping Californians in need by connecting rural communities with legal resources. Programs like the Justice Bus Project‘s expungement and housing clinics allow clients and their families to substantially improve their lives. Additionally, OneJustice’s commitment to forming lasting relationships with local organizations and communities is a major reason why I am excited to join this organization.
This summer, I will be working with Pro Bono Justice and the Justice Bus team to provide free legal services to underserved Californians; Groups such as California’s rural Asian Pacific Islander communities who are often not aware of beneficial legal programs or legal steps they may take. I hope to increase the availability of free legal resources within these communities.
Thank you for working on the Justice Bus Project — we look forward to hearing about your work! What did you do before coming to OneJustice?
I finished my first year of law school at the University of Michigan in May. Before attending law school, I volunteered as a teacher for homeless youth in Manila and worked as an educational consultant with students in Beijing.
Sounds like a great abroad experience! Last question: what is something quirky about you?
I attended a Cantonese elementary school here in San Francisco.
Thank you for joining us, Kyle & Chris — and welcome to the OneJustice network! We’re excited to have you all here this summer!
P.S. Missed our other two law clerks, Grant and Erika? Click here to meet them!