OneJustice Blog

Bring life-changing legal help to Californians in need.

Tag Archives: Justice

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.

Look what you’ve done over the past year…

You brought justice to 1,383 Californians! Wow!

As we kick off this season of gratitude, we wanted to share with you the tremendous impact you made this past year. Volunteers, donors, and partners like you brought free legal assistance to over 1,000 individuals in need, and we couldn’t be more grateful!

Final 2015 Report Back Infographic (with map pins)

Spread the word! This holiday seasonthe OneJustice Board of Directors will match every gift, dollar-for-dollar. That’s right, that means twice as much justice for veterans, vulnerable seniors, and low-income children and youth. You are our justice heroes – and you make the work possible. Donate now!

Lieutenant Joseph Rocha Reporting for Pro Bono Duty

This Veterans Day, we would like to introduce you to Justice Bus Rider and Marine, Joseph Rocha. 

At OneJustice, we really love our volunteers, and every so often, we like to feature one of them on our blog. This month, we’re excited to feature Joseph Rocha!

As an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, Joseph Rocha is no stranger to public service. Since beginning law school at the University of San Francisco in 2013, Rocha has traveled more than 800 miles with the Justice Bus, participating in four clinics in some of the most far-flung regions of California! We really can’t thank our volunteers enough for traveling so far and bringing justice where it’s needed most!

Join us in welcoming Joseph on this Veterans Day!


Photo: Joseph Rocha, Lieutenant and Justice Bus Rider Alumni.

Joseph Rocha, Lieutenant and Justice Bus Rider Alumnus.

Thank you so much for joining us, Joseph! Tell us, what made you want to attend law school?

From a very early age, there have been moments of great challenge where I have felt alone, and was resolved to believe that justice would somehow play out in the end. This drove me to seek a career in public service, dedicated to the promise of justice.

We love your commitment to public service! Why did you volunteer with the Justice Bus Project?

I volunteered for the Justice Bus Project, because I wanted to find a way to spend Spring Break involved in community service. I was midway through my second semester of my first year of law school and craved practical experience and interactions with clients; with Justice Bus Project, I found both. My first Justice Bus experience built me back up after the impact of the first year of law school, reminding me of the tremendously powerful endgame of working for clients which fuels my aspirations to be a lawyer.

Photo: Joseph Rocha with his USF School of Law colleagues at last year's Expungement Justice Bus clinic in Kelseyville, CA.

Joseph Rocha with USF School of Law colleagues at last year’s Expungement Justice Bus clinic in Kelseyville, CA.

We’re honored to hear that the Justice Bus Project gave you such a great experience! During your time at the clinics, were there any client interactions that were particularly impactful?

The most impactful aspect of the Justice Bus clinic for me was meeting those in need where they live and work. The nature of driving through the regions and neighborhoods that they live and work in, including an overnight stay, provides you with the opportunity to truly reflect on and appreciate the lives of our clients. Next, was the trust with which the clients shared the most intimate and challenging aspects of their lives with you. It was this experience that reinforced in me the role in the justice system I aspire to as an attorney.

We couldn’t agree with you more, Joseph. Justice Bus Riders, like you, make all the difference for distant communities in need! Thank you for all your help! Tell us, how do you hope to use your degree after graduating?

My most immediate goal, as an officer in the Marine Corps contracted as an attorney, is to contribute to upholding the integrity of the Corps and dedicate myself to the sons and daughters of our Nation. I deeply believe in the ability and duty of attorneys to uphold and defend our core values as a nation both through legal counsel and trial representation.

We can’t wait to hear about your work once you become an attorney! Last question, who is your favorite social justice hero?

Ms. Malala Yousafzai: her selflessness, ability to forgive, relentlessness and positive attitude moves and inspires me profoundly.

Thank you so much for your serving our nation and for bringing justice where it’s needed most, Joseph! You’re truly inspiring!

This Veterans Day, serve those who have served by making a charitable contribution to the Veterans Legal Aid Fund. Thank you!


The Justice Bus Project takes teams of attorney and law student volunteers from urban areas to set up free legal clinics for low-income Californians living in rural and isolated communities.  These clinics provide life-changing legal assistance to low-income veterans, vulnerable seniors, children with disabilities, low-wage workers, immigrant youth, and families.

Justice is what love looks like in public

OneJustice’s Board Chair Max Ochoa tells us about his love for justice.

We’re so excited to feature our Board Chair Max Ochoa this week! Max has served on our Board of Directors for over 7 years. Under Max’s leadership, our Board won the 2013 Prudential Leadership Award for Exceptional Nonprofit Boards, an award that honors the innovative and transformative work that nonprofit boards are doing to help position their organizations for success.

Thanks to his guidance and the incredible work and support of our Board of Directors, OneJustice can continue our commitment to equal access to high-quality civil legal aid. We asked Max to share with us a little bit about himself and what justice means to him.

Please join us in welcoming Max!


Photo: Max Ochoa, OneJustice Board of Directors Chair.

Max Ochoa, OneJustice Board of Directors Chair.

Thank you for joining us, Max! Tell us about yourself. How did you become involved with the organization?

I am the General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer for Turn Inc., an advertising technology company based in Redwood City, CA. I’m also the proud father of two great kids, Catherine and Alex, and the lucky spouse to my wife, Julie.

I have been a proud member of the OneJustice Board since 2008. When I joined, I was a decade out of law school and had spent several years as in-house counsel for small technology companies. Working for small tech companies is great, but it isn’t always easy to find pro bono opportunities. I had been heavily involved in pro bono efforts at my law firm prior to going in-house, and I sorely missed the opportunity to serve.

Tell us why do you support OneJustice? Why is this organization important to you? 

I joined OneJustice because I believe in the mission of increasing access to justice for California’s underserved. When poor, underprivileged, and disenfranchised people need the protection of the legal system, too often they are left to fend for themselves, with predictably unfair and life-shaking results. OneJustice works to ensure timely, free access to a lawyer whose help can make all the difference. That work is as important today as ever.

Max, we can’t thank you enough for your leadership — you inspire us! Why does justice matter? What is it?  Why is it a part of our name? 

Justice is fairness, justice is equal treatment under the law, justice is timely and affordable access to legal aid, justice is looking out for the oppressed. As Dr. Cornel West has observed, justice is what love looks like in public.

Photo: From left to right: Kathryn Fritz, OneJustice Board Chair Max Ochoa, Claire Solot, Martin Tannenbaum, and OneJustice Chief Executive Officer Julia Wilson at this year's Opening Doors to Justice event.

From left to right: Kathryn Fritz, OneJustice Board Chair Max Ochoa, Claire Solot, Martin Tannenbaum, and OneJustice Chief Executive Officer Julia Wilson at this year’s Opening Doors to Justice event.

For OneJustice, the mission is furthered by strengthening the legal system’s ability to deliver life-changing legal services when and where they are needed. We do this by training the leaders of legal services organizations throughout the state, making them more effective. We do it by putting attorneys where they are needed via efforts like the Justice Bus Project. And we’ll continue to do so by innovating and deploying talent, people, and technology where it’s needed most.

OneJustice fills a need in my life, in your life, and in the life of a just society. I’m proud to serve OneJustice and to support its work with my time and my money.  Join us.

Thank you so much, Max, for your leadership! 


This fall, the OneJustice Board of Directors has challenged our network to raise $50,000 before December 31st. Join us by making a donation today, and your gift will be matched by the Board, dollar-for-dollar, up to $50,000! That’s right – together we can bring $100,000 of free legal assistance to Californians in need!

 

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