OneJustice Blog

Bring life-changing legal help to Californians in need.

Category Archives: The OneJustice Network

The best way to find yourself…

Is to lose yourself in the service of others…Happy National Volunteer Week!

Mahatma Gandhi once said that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others,” and we couldn’t agree more! Over the past year, 766 volunteers have brought help, hope, and justice to over 1,200 Californians around the state. These volunteers traveled all over California, and with just a few hours, they changed many lives.

This National Volunteer Week, we express our deepest gratitude with a slideshow of your photos! A million thanks to all of the outstanding volunteers who made this work possible this past year! You will always be a part of the OneJustice network!

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Without volunteers like you, hundreds of Californians would not have access to legal help. You make all the difference to them and to OneJustice! Thank you for making justice accessible!

They deserve an equal opportunity to life…

University of San Francisco School of Law students tell us what pro bono means to them. 

Last month, six law students traveled on a two-day Justice Bus trip to Fresno to provide free legal help with the expungement process, which helps individuals clean their criminal records and opens doors to opportunities that their records previously prevented. Thanks to the hard work of these law students and the advice of expert attorney volunteers, 31 individuals received legal assistance. A big shout out to our partners, Ciummo and Associates, the Fresno Vet Center, and University of San Francisco School of Law for bringing help, hope, and justice to the Fresno area!

Check out what these amazing students had to say about pro bono!

University of San Francisco School of Law students give their own personal quotes on why pro bono matters to them.

Thank you all for taking the time to talk with us! You make all the difference!

Meet our newest team member!

New Pro Bono Justice Program Associate, Dulce Sanchez, joins the OneJustice team.

We’re excited to introduce you to Dulce, our newest team member in the Los Angeles office! She is currently working on pro bono naturalization work in Los Angeles and on the IMPACT LA and SoCal Justice Bus projects. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Dulce!

We’re pretty nosy here, so we forced her to sit down and answer a series of questions before she leaves for the next clinic!


IMAGE: Dulce Sanchez, Pro Bono Justice Program Associate in the Los Angeles office.

Dulce Sanchez, Pro Bono Justice Program Associate in the Los Angeles office.

Welcome, Dulce! Tell us, what drew you to the work of OneJustice?

As a person interested in applying to law school and in working with underserved groups and populations, I was most drawn to OneJustice’s mission. OneJustice’s push for expanding legal access in rural communities via the Justice Bus and legal clinics, aligned perfectly with my own personal and professional interests. Working with OneJustice simply seemed like (and continues to be) a perfect fit!

We’re happy to hear that we’re a match! What will you be responsible for at OneJustice – and what do you hope to achieve?

At OneJustice, I will work closely with my colleagues to implement and expand pro bono naturalization and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)/DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) work through community outreach, through the Justice Bus, and in a collaborative effort with other community partners. Ultimately our goal is to reach out to hard-to-reach populations in Los Angeles County and neighboring counties to expand immigrant integration efforts and to provide the hard-to-reach populations education on the citizenship process.

Sounds like great work ahead! What were you up to before coming to OneJustice? 

Before joining OneJustice, I studied sociology and government at Smith College. Though Smith College is located in Western Massachusetts, I interned and volunteered at different nonprofits in Los Angeles during my summer breaks. Among those organizations are the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and Town Hall Los Angeles. Upon graduating, I moved back to LA and worked with Town Hall Los Angeles as Program Coordinator.

I am very fortunate to join such a supportive, driven, and energetic staff…I am looking forward to working with everyone at OneJustice and with the vast communities OneJustice serves!

We’re excited to have you on the team! Last question, what is something quirky about you? 

I LOVE Hello Kitty! Perhaps a little too much… I also like buying Hello Kitty items from the countries I’ve visited. I’m considering learning Japanese and flying to Japan on the Hello Kitty airplane!

Thank you so much, Dulce, for answering all of our questions! Welcome to the OneJustice team!

It’s never too late for a fresh start…

Over 100 individuals receive free legal help in Los Angeles!

IMAGE: Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the John M. Langston Bar Association volunteer attorneys at the Fresh Start Legal Clinic in Los Angeles.

Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the John M. Langston Bar Association volunteer attorneys at the Fresh Start Legal Clinic in Los Angeles.

On Saturday, March 19, 2016, OneJustice, in partnership with Jenesse Center Legal Advisory CommitteeAlternate Public Defender, Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Californians for Safety and JusticeICE out of LAIMPACT LA, the John M. Langston Bar Association, Legal Aid Foundation of Los AngelesLos Angeles Public DefenderNeighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, A New Way of Life Reentry ProjectOne LA I.A.F., and other Los Angeles-based community organizations helped give Angelenos a Fresh Start.

At the newly created Fresh Start Legal Clinic, South LA residents completed applications for the Traffic Ticket Amnesty program, which allows individuals with unpaid fines on traffic and non-traffic infraction tickets to get a reduction of up to 80% of the amount owed to the court or collections agency. Clients also filled out applications for Proposition 47, a program that changes low-level crimes from potential felonies to misdemeanors.

Having a suspended driver’s license or felony criminal record can be a barrier to employment that keeps individuals and families trapped in an endless cycle of poverty. Without the ability to work and earn a living, families are forced to make difficult decisions about housing, transportation, and other life necessities. Traffic Ticket Amnesty and Proposition 47 programs can help end this cycle. Both programs are crucial to bettering individuals’ lives. Participants in these time-limited programs are able to improve their employment prospects, regain driver’s licenses, remove immigration barriers, and reduce old debts all through a brief application and short post-clinic process.

IMAGE: Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the John M. Langston Bar Association volunteer attorneys hard at work at the Fresh Start Legal Clinic in Los Angeles.

Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the John M. Langston Bar Association volunteer attorneys hard at work at the Fresh Start Legal Clinic in Los Angeles.

At the clinic, about 70 volunteers helped over 100 South Los Angeles community members with Proposition 47 reclassification and Traffic Ticket Amnesty. Volunteer attorneys helped clients with the support of community organizations. Thanks to the Fresh Start Legal Clinic, South LA residents face fewer barriers to success in their futures.

“[The clinic was] extremely helpful and it helps people to achieve what they always wanted to do,” said one client.

Thank you to our wonderful partners, supporters, and volunteers for making this clinic a reality!

For more information about Proposition 47, please visit http://myprop47.org/.

To learn more about Traffic Ticket Amnesty, please visit http://www.backontheroadca.org/.

Do you know where to find the best Vermont cheddar sliders in town?

At our 2016 Opening Doors to Justice awards ceremony, of course!

Mark your calendars today for June 23, 2016, from 6-9 pm, at the lovely Julia Morgan Ballroom in downtown SF.  Stay tuned for more information and see you this summer!

IMAGE: Save the Date: Opening Doors to Justice event is on June 23, 2016. Join us in honoring two champions of justice: Suk Lee, Senior Counsel at Electronic Arts Inc. and Chris Schneider, Fresno Attorney and former Executive Director at Central California Legal Services, Inc.

 For sponsorship opportunities and all other event inquiries, please contact

Arbour Decker, Director of External Relations, at adecker@one-justice.org

Happy International Women’s Day!

Transforming the civil legal aid system…

Through pro bono innovation

Here, at OneJustice, we believe that pro bono work brings help, hope, and justice to thousands of Californians each year. Pro bono work holds the power to transform the civil legal aid system and create equal access to legal help across the state. It inspires smiles and makes all the difference for an individual in need – heck tons of individuals! So today, we’d like to take a moment to update you on the tremendous pro bono innovations the network made last year plus give you a sneak peek at what’s in store for this year!

IMAGE: Volunteer attorney holding sign that says, "Working with DAPA applicants pursuing higher education brings help, hope, and justice."2015 Pro Bono Innovations with Impact:

Developed a Replicable, Highly-Efficient Model for Pro Bono Engagement in Immigration Assistance: OneJustice developed a toolkit that empowers organizations throughout the state to develop their own pro bono-driven clinics to help immigrants apply for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program. The toolkit was created based on data collected by OneJustice at clinics around the state and features workshop models that OneJustice itself vetted through its Justice Bus and Bay Area Rural Justice Collaborative projects.

Transformed the Way Nonprofits Train Pro Bono Attorneys: OneJustice helped initiate the Pro Bono Training Institute, a project that develops highly-interactive online trainings that empower attorneys around the state to help low-income communities. By using a collaborative model in which multiple legal aid organizations around the state help create each training, OneJustice, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County reduced the burden on individual organizations to create pro bono trainings and created a more efficient community response to the training needs of pro bono attorneys. In just the second half of 2015, the Training Institute created trainings in more than 18 subject areas!

Innovated Assistance to Rural Veterans with Criminal Records: Working with local partners around the state, OneJustice identified a particular need among rural veterans for assistance with criminal record expungements. Responding to that need, OneJustice organized 9 veterans-focused Justice Bus trips to rural communities and helped 23 individuals petition for record clearances, paving the way to expanded access to employment opportunities and other benefits.

2016 Goals for Innovating Pro Bono:IMAGE: Volunteer attorney holding sign that says, "TIME makes all the difference."

Make Bay Area Pro Bono Attorneys Available to Rural Immigrants Using Technology: OneJustice will commence a new project that connects immigrants in Stanislaus, San Joaquin, and Merced counties with pro bono attorneys in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Using technology, the project aims to expand the level of assistance provided to rural immigrants beyond the limited-scope assistance they are most typically offered. The project, named Rural Immigrant Connect, will provide 15 rural immigrants with ongoing representation from Bay Area-based pro bono attorneys.

Implement a Highly-Effective Pro Bono “Hub” System for LA County’s Nationalization Efforts: OneJustice will serve as the pro bono coordinating entity for an ambitious, collaborative effort in Los Angeles County to assist immigrants in applying for U.S. citizenship. To ensure efficient and effective utilization of pro bono attorneys, OneJustice will develop an innovative, uniform pro bono training and will train and assist partners organize pro bono-staffed clinics.

CROPPED Edited_VeteransDevelop and Test a Sustainable Model to Bring Consistent Legal Help to Rural Veterans: In an effort to move beyond the model of providing ad hoc clinical assistance to veterans in rural counties, OneJustice will test a multi-clinic response to the needs of veterans in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in partnership with Pepperdine University School of Law. Drawing from legal needs assessments, OneJustice will fashion and execute at least five clinics staffed by Pepperdine Law students that assist more than 75 veterans in need of legal assistance.

Tons of great work ahead! Keep tuned for more awesome updates!

Pro bono makes the world a better place

Morrison & Foerster LLP and Yahoo! Inc. attorneys tell us why pro bono matters!

To start the year, volunteer attorneys from Morrison & Foerster LLP and Yahoo! Inc. traveled to Modesto on the Justice Bus to provide legal assistance with Naturalization and DACA applications. These amazing volunteers served 30 clients at the clinic! A big thank you to our volunteers and community partners, El Concilio and the Social Justice Collaborative, for bringing justice where it’s needed most!

Check out why these attorneys believe pro bono matters:

Image: Morrison & Foerster LLP and Yahoo! Inc. attorneys' quotes on why pro bono matters to them.

Thank you all for taking time to talk with us! Your time brings help, hope, and justice to Californians in need!

Award season is not over yet!

Please join us in welcoming our 2016 Opening Doors to Justice honorees!

It’s that time of year again! Each year, the OneJustice network comes together to celebrate individuals whose work and accomplishments have transformed the civil legal aid system for Californians in need. Join us this year in honoring two incredible leaders in our sector, and be sure to mark your calendars today:

2016 Opening Doors to Justice
Thursday, June 23, 2016| 6 – 9pm
Julia Morgan Ballroom
465 California St, San Francisco, CA 94104

And now to announce the 2016 honorees! Envelopes, please…..

2016 ODJ Honorees3

Suk Lee is a leader in the pro bono community in more ways than one. As the senior counsel of Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), Suk has spearheaded EA’s pro bono efforts by engaging its in-house legal department to participate in OneJustice’s Justice Bus Project and by bringing vital legal help to Californians in need. Suk currently holds the position of Co-Chair of the Bay Area Pro Bono Committee of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). In this role, Suk leads the committee in encouraging its members to engage in pro bono activities by identifying, promoting, partnering, and facilitating opportunities for in-house counsel. Being a Justice Bus Rider himself, Suk understands the power of pro bono, and is exceptionally committed to leveraging legal resources to bring justice where it’s needed most. Thank you so much, Suk!

Chris Schneider has devoted his entire legal career to advocating for rural communities in the Central Valley. Chris’s civil rights career started in the 1970s, where he joined forces with César Chávez and the United Farm Workers (UFW) to protect the rights of agricultural workers. For the past 22 years, Chris served as the executive director of Central California Legal Services, Inc. (CCLS) until his recent retirement in 2015. A recipient of the State Bar of California’s Loren Miller Legal Services Award and a graduate of OneJustice’s Executive Fellowship Program, Chris truly exemplifies what it means to be a champion of justice. Thank you so much, Chris!

Stay tuned…We’ll be sitting down with each honoree to chat about their work soon. Looking forward to seeing you all at the event!

We love you!

OneJustice 2016 Valentine's Day Card_RGB

“I am amazed that people like me can be empowered with the knowledge that we have rights. I was brought to this country when I was young, and to be told that I am worthless because I don’t have a piece of paper is a hopeless feeling. But because of people like you, I can now be proud.”

– Justice Bus client from an immigration clinic in Contra Costa County

On this day of love and friendship, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for supporting OneJustice and for bringing justice where it’s needed most.

We ❤ you! 

the OneJustice Board, Advisory Board, and staff

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