OneJustice Blog

Bring life-changing legal help to Californians in need.

Tag Archives: DACA

Helping others who cannot help themselves

Join us as we honor Suk Lee at this year’s Opening Doors to Justice event!

We’re about a month away from this year’s annual event! Each year, the OneJustice network meets to honor extraordinary individuals who are committed to advancing access to justice and have brought help, hope, and justice to individuals in need. Last week, we introduced you to Chris Schneider, now we’d love you to meet Suk Lee — Senior Counsel at Electronic Arts Inc., who is also one of our honorees this year!

We asked Suk to tell us more about himself and what justice means to him. Please join us in welcoming our second honoree, Suk!


Suk Lee_Honoree ImageThank you for joining us, Suk! Tell us, what does “justice” mean to you?

I think “justice” means helping others who cannot help themselves. As lawyers, we are especially qualified to provide that help. I believe that we have an inherent duty to use our skill set for pro bono service. As an in-house lawyer for almost 10 years, I’ve always had an interest in pro bono work, but wasn’t sure how or where to start. I’ve served as co-chair of the Pro Bono Committee for ACC-SFBA (San Francisco Bay Area’s Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel) for the past three years, helping to coordinate (and participating in) pro bono opportunities for Bay Area in-house attorneys. It has been a professionally and personally fulfilling experience helping those with limited means and working with wonderful organizations, like OneJustice.

Folks like you really make pro bono opportunities possible — we can’t thank you enough! What is one particularly rewarding experience you have been involved with?

In 2015, I participated in two Justice Bus events, the first to Greenfield in Monterey County and the second to Modesto. For both trips, we assisted applicants with their DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and citizenship papers. Getting on a bus and visiting a rural community was a new experience for me. I grew up in urban areas, and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to a farming community. I was amazed at how something as simple as helping someone complete an application form could have a significant impact on people’s lives. This was an important part of their ability to work and support their families. It was particularly meaningful to me, because I vividly recall my parents going through the citizenship process when I was 11 years old.

We couldn’t agree more! Just one document has the ability to transform someone’s life. Now, tell us more about how you became involved with OneJustice?

In 2014, I attended the Opening Doors to Justice event, and Julia Wilson’s words about the disparity in legal services in rural communities stuck with me. Later that year, my colleague Pamela Ostroff and I started an initiative to make pro bono an integral part of Electronic Arts culture and identity, and a Justice Bus trip was an ideal pro bono opportunity to kick off our initiative. Because volunteers were not required to be attorneys, all members of the Electronic Arts legal department were able to participate and contribute. The great first pro bono experience inspired participants to volunteer again. We had our third Justice Bus trip in May 2016, with many repeat volunteers. I expect that Justice Bus trips will become a regular part of Electronic Arts’ pro bono activities.

IMAGE: Suk Lee and Justin Aragon, with their client at the Greenfield Immigration Justice Bus clinic.

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

That’s wonderful to hear — and we’re very excited about EA’s upcoming Justice Bus trip to Tracy! Last but not least, who is your favorite social justice hero and why?

My heroes are all the volunteers who take the plunge for the first time to do pro bono work. There is a certain amount of anxiety and apprehension you have to overcome to go outside of your comfort zone, both literally and figuratively. Often, you are helping in a substantive area of law that is outside of your field of expertise or training. I admire and appreciate those that make the commitment to pro bono, and in doing so, inspire others to get involved.

Thank you, Suk, for your commitment to bringing justice to those who need it most!

Folks, remember to mark your calendars for this year’s event!

IMAGE: 2016 Opening Doors to Justice event on June 23, 2016 at The Julia Morgan Ballroom in downtown San Francisco.

DACA has helped me in ways I’ll never forget

DreamSF Fellow tells us about his time at OneJustice and his experience as a DACA recipient.

We’re excited to have Miguel, our DreamSF Fellow and Communications Intern, give us an inside view on his current work and his goals for the future before he leaves OneJustice. We have been so fortunate to have had Miguel on the OneJustice Team, and he will be sorely missed! So before he leaves, we wanted to pick his brain one last time!

Join us in bidding Miguel a heartfelt farewell!


Thank you so much, Miguel, for joining us for this quick Q&A! Tell us about your work at OneJustice, why did you choose OneJustice as your host site?

IMAGE: Miguel Castillo, DreamSF Fellow and Communications Intern at OneJustice.

Miguel Castillo, DreamSF Fellow and Communications Intern at OneJustice.

For my DreamSF Fellowship, I chose to work for OneJustice, because I believe in the work and the change OneJustice is so bold to take on. Since September of 2015, I have helped out the Pro Bono Justice Program (PBJ) and the Development and Communications team. For the PBJ program, I helped with outreach for upcoming Justice Bus Project and Rural Justice Collaborative clinics and clinic logistics like, signing up clients, making sure they have the right paperwork for the clinic, and translating legal documents into Spanish. During clinics, I would help greet and sit clients down with a pro bono volunteer as well as interpret in Spanish for clients.

In my role with the Development and Communications team, I used my graphic design skills to help with the creation of the upcoming new website and interactive clinic map, plus I designed flyers and a brochure for OneJustice. In addition, I would take professional pictures at clinics for communication purposes and would help with social media.

We’re so grateful to have had a Fellow like you — you’ve been a crucial part of our team over the past months! Can you explain to folks what the DreamSF Fellowship is? How has it helped you with your career goals?

The DreamSF Fellowship is a paid internship exclusively for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. Fellows get placed at a nonprofit organization in San Francisco serving the immigrant community. By training and preparing DACA recipients, the DreamSF Fellowship serves as a gateway to the professional workforce. It has provided me with professional work experience and skills that will help me with my career goals. It has also given me a wide network of people that I can reach out to and count on. The Fellowship has given me hope that I can succeed in a world that is not always welcoming. It is important that programs like the DreamSF Fellowship continue to serve and empower underprivileged communities and provide opportunities to youth.

It definitely sounds like Fellowships such as the DreamSF Fellowship are opening doors for individuals! Tell us how DACA has helped you on your journey towards achieving your goals.

I immigrated to the United States when I was three years old and grew up in Santa Barbara, CA. My family decided to come to the US due to economic hardship and lack of opportunity in their home country. Before DACA, I was limited and barred from most opportunities that people would not think twice about. For example, DACA allowed me to get an Identification Card, a Driver’s License, and allowed me to obtain a job — all things that most people my age have access to. If I could summarize DACA with one word, it would be opportunity. It has allowed me to travel, go to college, and feel somewhat normal in society. I now have more control over my life and where I would like to go and who I would like to become.

IMAGE: Miguel presenting a proposal for the creation of an Undocumented/AB540 Student Resource Center to the Board of Associated Students at San Francisco State University.

Miguel presenting a proposal for the creation of an Undocumented/AB540 Student Resource Center to the Board of Associated Students at San Francisco State University.

Although DACA is an amazing opportunity and achievement, it is not enough. Families are still getting torn apart and getting abused and taken advantage of in the workforce. Due to my immigration status, I have become a big activist in my community for Immigrant rights. As a result of my activism and advocacy for immigrants, I have been at the forefront of establishing an Undocumented/AB540 Student Resource Center at San Francisco State University. The Resource Center will provide resources to over 650 students at the University who identify as Undocumented or AB540. Currently, there is a resource gap that undocumented students face while at school. This population of students do not have access to Federal Student Aid, loans, and most scholarships, and do not have access to a central location where they can receive help with resources they do qualify for. The creation of this resource at San Francisco State University is one of my biggest dreams and goals.

Sounds like great work ahead — we can’t wait to hear about what you do in the near future! How would you say free legal services have helped DACA applicants?

Legal forms and the English language can be obstacles for DACA-eligible people, but free legal services help this specific population with their applications, giving them access to new opportunities. With this new eligibility, DACA recipients can join the workforce and contribute to society, proving how the country can benefit from immigrants. I believe DACA will play in important role in immigration, because it is the start of something bigger, like immigration reform. 

We couldn’t agree more on the importance of programs like DACA and DAPA, and we are grateful for our partners, supporters, and volunteers for bringing justice to those who need it most.

Thank you so much for joining us today, Miguel! We will miss you! We know you will achieve everything you’ve set your mind to! 


To keep updated on Miguel’s current endeavors and projects, follow him on Behance, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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!

Justice Bus Rider Spotlight: Kyuli Oh

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!


Photo: Kyuli Oh, Associate General Counsel at Electronic Arts Inc.

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.

Photo: Kyuli and EA and Fenwick & West LLP attorneys at the Justice Bus clinic in Greenfield, CA.

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!

The Justice Bus: Bringing Legal Assistance from Silicon Valley to Bay Area Immigrants

FWD features recent Justice Bus trip to Vallejo.

Today, we are delighted to bring you a special guest blog post by FWD.us on their recent Justice Bus trip to Vallejo. FWD.us is an organization founded by world-class technologists such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Marissa Mayer to support comprehensive immigration reform and policies. A big thank you to Fenwick & West LLP and LinkedIn for joining us in bringing vital legal assistance where it’s needed most!

We can’t thank FWD.us enough for featuring our DreamSF Fellow, Miguel Castillo! Check out this amazing read!


JusticeBus_CoverPhoto1By: Katie Aragon, Silicon Valley Director of FWD.us, and Justice Bus Rider

Have you ever been on a “Justice Bus”? Well I have, last Wednesday, and it was awesome.

Because how else would you describe watching dozens of high powered lawyers and legal professionals from Silicon Valley and San Francisco law firms and companies help 23 hard-working members of our community become U.S. citizens, or apply for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)?

Yeah. Awesome.

The day-long trip, which sent the lawyers and legal professionals on a bus from Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and San Francisco over the Bay Bridge to Vallejo, CA, was organized by OneJustice, a statewide non-profit organization that brings life-changing legal help to those in need by transforming the civil legal aid system.

In many rural or low-income communities like Vallejo, legal need far outstrips supply. For example, in Solano County, there is on average ONE attorney for every 77 low-income individuals. Because our communities are safer and more secure when folks are protected under programs like DACA or are naturalized U.S. citizens, the work done by OneJustice and its partners, like the International Institute of the Bay Area, is incredibly important.

Photo: Fenwick & West LLP and LinkedIn attorney volunteers at the Justice Bus DACA and immigration clinic on September 30th in Vallejo.

Fenwick & West LLP and LinkedIn attorney volunteers at the Justice Bus DACA and immigration clinic on September 30th in Vallejo.

One of the highlights of the Justice Bus clinic was the building of bonds between communities. I met Miguel (featured above), a DACA beneficiary who is now able to give back to his community as a DreamSF Fellow at OneJustice, where he works with the organization’s Pro Bono Justice Program, and helps organize free mobile legal clinics. I also watched as Mike, a lawyer with Fenwick & West LLP, helped Armando*, an elderly Giants fan, fill out his citizenship application. Armando has been in the U.S. since the 1980s and is a fixture at his local church.

At the end of the day, we helped 23 Bay Area immigrants like Miguel and Armando apply for U.S. citizenship or DACA.

Meeting new friends like Miguel, who are so extraordinary but are only able to work today because of DACA, reminded me of the urgent need to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The immigration system today is deeply flawed, and our country will benefit economically and culturally from fixing it. That is why we look to Congress and the Senate to work with us to pass comprehensive immigration reform for families and businesses in 2017.

*Name changed for confidentiality


Original Article posted on FWD.us blog on 10/15/15; reposted here with the permission of FWD and Katie Aragon.

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