Introducing our 2022 Champions of Justice

We are so excited to honor our 2022 Champions of Justice at Opening Doors to Justice on May 24th! Each of these partners has demonstrated amazing leadership in expanding access to justice throughout California. Their work has made it possible for families to be safe in their homes, get medical care, and access financial support during the pandemic. Read below to learn more about these amazing honorees!

Latham & Watkins LLP

by Ted Bantle, Associate

Please tell us a bit about Latham & Watkins’ commitment to public service. How does the firm approach public service and pro bono?

Giving back in the communities in which we live and work is a fundamental component of the culture of Latham and Watkins. This takes many forms including volunteering in the community, fundraising and providing legal services to those without the means to pay.  In 2021 our professional staff and lawyers contributed more than 175,000 hours of pro bono legal services to the communities we are a part of.

Can you tell us about your personal thoughts on social justice – including the firm’s work?  What moves you or makes you proud?

It is my personal belief that social justice and the promotion of equal rights, opportunity, and treatment should be reflected in our lives day in and day out. While there are many forms this can take, it always excites me to see the willingness of my Latham & Watkins’ colleagues to take on matters beyond their specific commercial practice areas. In doing so, we can use our individual skillsets, leverage resources and collaborate with others to gain the expertise we need to provide the best possible legal services to our pro bono clients.

What is the best part of your job?

The best parts of my job include the diversity of commercial and pro bono work that I am able to engage in as well as the people, within our firm and externally, both at clients and with pro bono partner organizations that I liaise with on a regular basis.  Furthermore, as Latham’s OneJustice liaison it has been wonderful to witness to past volunteers becoming coaches and mentors to current and prospective volunteers, transferring institutional knowledge and also building excitement with respect to OneJustice’s programs.

The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

by Kelsey Atkinson, Renters Small Claims Project Attorney

Can you describe LAFLA’s partnership with One Justice? Why is the partnership important?

LAFLA and One Justice partner on the Small Claims Back Rent Tool Kit and the Back Rent Small Claims Working Group. This partnership arose in 2021 to respond to procedures created by state law that allow landlords to sue tenants in small claims court for rent tenants could not pay during the COVID-19 pandemic. LAFLA and One Justice’s partnership in this area is important because it brings together advocates from across California to discuss and adapt to these new laws. Additionally, the Back Rent Tool Kit provided trainings and clinic materials to help LSPs quickly train volunteers and plan clinics to assist tenants sued for COVID-19 rental debt.

Can you share some personal thoughts on social justice – including the organization’s work?  What moves you or makes you proud?

For me personally, social justice includes addressing systemic injustice on an individual level for clients as well as working in partnership with impacted communities and community organizations in a movement for progressive social change. I am proud to be a part of LAFLA because it’s commitment to social justice is apparent in the way it responds to the needs of its clients by providing holistic legal services and how LAFLA collaborates with community partners and coalitions to raise up the voices of its clients and their communities.

What is the best part of your job?

Helping clients feel empowered, knowledgeable, and confident in their ability to defend themselves in small claims court.

 

LinkedIn Corporation

by Jon Adams, Director, Legal – Product & Privacy

Please tell us a bit about LinkedIn’s commitment to public service. How does the company approach public service and pro bono?
LinkedIn has a long-standing dedication to public service, with many parts of our company focused on doing good work in the world. Within the LinkedIn legal and public policy team, we encourage everyone to engage in pro bono volunteer efforts–we view it as being a critical part of who we are as a legal and public policy team–and we have departmental goals each year to help challenge us to give back more to the community each year. The Legal and Public Policy team’s Pro Bono Committee consists of employees across seniority levels, teams, and offices, and works hard to source opportunities to help in various ways, ranging from volunteer legal services to volunteering with food banks and other service organizations.
Can you tell us about your personal thoughts on public service – including the company’s work? What moves you or makes you proud?
Public service, especially pro bono legal services, is incredibly important. Particularly for those of us who are fortunate enough to work in the tech space in the Bay Area, we have an obligation to help out others, particularly those who are structurally disadvantaged. I’m proud of the pro bono and volunteer work that LinkedIn has poured in over the years, because I know that we have had a direct impact on countless lives, from Dreamers to asylum seekers, from those in need of food security to people looking to get back on their feet after personal tragedies.

What is the best part of your job?

I get to work with wonderful people to solve challenging problems (and have an impact) every day. It doesn’t get much better than that!

OneJustice’s Efforts to Proactively Combat Homelessness Across California

In the midst of the immense pain caused by the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Californians are now at an increased risk of homelessness and/or financial ruin.  Six of the ten cities in the country with the highest unhoused population are located in California, with 740,000 renters owing their landlords approximately $3.5 billion in back rent as of February 2022.  Low-income tenants across the state who live paycheck to paycheck are at significant risk of losing their housing and many face potentially crippling debt from unpaid rental payments. 

For the countless families facing back rent claims, their primary defense lies in their ability to represent themselves in court.  Without attorneys present or adequate legal assistance, this challenge may seem insurmountable for many, particularly given that a potential judgment against them could result in debt that could harm their financial security and future housing.  New laws allowed landlords to sue in Small Claims Court for amounts far greater than $10,000–amounts that could destroy a family’s financial future and opportunity to be housed. OneJustice’s Homelessness Prevention Project team focused on those tenants struggling to pay rent during COVID and who would be susceptible to Small Claims lawsuits. 

OneJustice’s Small Claims/Back Rent Project equips Legal Services Organizations (LSOs) with the tools and resources to aid our community members in building the best possible defense to remain financially stable. The toolkit was downloaded 139 times by legal aid organizations, Small Claims Bench Officers, Self Help Centers, law schools, and community-based organizations, and was downloaded from 53 different cities across California. OneJustice expanded its work in this area to include a Court Watch program.

“Our newly launched Court Watch project trains volunteers to observe hearings in Small Claims Court and gather data on how local courts are administering new procedures and applying the law in Small Claims Court.  Court Watch aims to increase our understanding of critical issues, including judicial behavior, the implementation of new civil procedures in court proceedings, and the divide between cases on record and laws in action”, said Andrea Rice, Homelessness Prevention AmeriCorps VISTA, OneJustice. 

OneJustice plans to identify patterns in court hearings and share the results with LSOs in order for the LSOs to best prepare their clients for the new challenges they face in their Small Claims hearings. Starting this summer, the Court Watch team will work with pro bono volunteers and law school students to collect their observations from courthouses throughout the state and share their information. Additionally, this pro bono project will compile critical data for OneJustice to create necessary materials for LSOs based on the needs identified.  

Legal aid programs and other community-based organizations serve as first responders to many low-income tenants who are at risk of homelessness as well as clients who already had to leave their homes. OneJustice’s toolkit and Court Watch program is allowing legal aid programs and other organizations to better serve their clients who are facing these issues.

Introducing OneJustice’s Newest Board Members!

Sirena Castillo, Partner and Pro Bono Director, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

What made you interested in becoming a member of the OneJustice Board of Directors?

I was drawn to OneJustice because of their mission to support legal aid across the entire state of California.  I appreciate OneJustice’s mission of supporting the work of organizations providing a wide range of legal services and believe that it is so important to have a functioning back bone to support the good work of so many wonderful organizations across the state.

What is your professional role and how do you hope to use your perspective in your work with OneJustice?

I am a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and I also serve as the firm’s Director of Pro Bono.  As Manatt’s director of pro bono, I manage firm pro bono matters and develops the firm’s pro bono and community partnerships nationwide. I also maintains my own active docket of pro bono cases focused on immigration matters.  I’ll bring the perspective of an active attorney engaged in pro bono work as well as someone who manages others engaged in pro bono work, and also bring a perspective of what we do on a national basis.

What would you like to accomplish as a Board member?

I am excited to help shape this new phase for OneJustice.  The pandemic has really forced organizations to pivot and reevaluate the way that they provide services and OneJustice is no exception.

Tell us about yourself – interesting facts or what do you like to do for fun? 

I have two young children and I love traveling with my family (really looking forward to be able to do that more!) and cooking.  I’m a pop culture junkie and I’m almost always listening to a podcast.

 

Andrea Fitanides, Pro Bono Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

What made you interested in becoming a member of the OneJustice Board of Directors?

I’ve have the good fortune of working with OneJustice for years.  First, as a support center when I was an attorney at a legal services organization, and then in my experiences on the law firm side through partnering on pro bono projects, the quarterly statewide pro bono forum, and the annual conference that OneJustice runs, among other projects. The statewide footprint of the organization was compelling to me both because my job involves work across California, and because OneJustice offers a way to provide support to the network of legal services organizations serving those in need through the state, including in rural areas. My experiences with OneJustice have always impressed me, particularly because of the professionalism of the staff and their genuine passion for access to justice issues.

What is your professional role and how do you hope to use your perspective in your work with OneJustice?

I am Pro Bono Counsel at Morgan Lewis, so I have the good fortune of working on access to justice issues on a daily basis in my role.  I hope to bring my experiences working on closing the justice gap, both at a large firm and previously at a legal services organization, to help inform the best way to support OneJustice’s mission moving forward.

What would you like to accomplish as a Board member?

In my work I have seen both the incredible dedication of legal services across the state to try to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, as well as the challenges of serving millions of low-income Californians with inadequate legal services resources.  In my Board role, I hope to help move the needle on transforming the legal aid system, and to think creatively about how to best leverage existing resources (as well as expand existing resources) to address the significant justice gap in our system.

Tell us about yourself – interesting facts or what do you like to do for fun?

An unusual fact about me is that I grew up in a one-room cabin, without electricity, in the Sierra Nevada Foothills and I was homeschooled until my sophomore year of high school.

 

 

Spotlight on Andrea Rice and OneJustice’s Court Watch Project

 

My name is Andrea Rice and I have been a Homelessness Prevention AmeriCorps VISTA since October. I am pleased to be part of OneJustice’s Homelessness Prevention Team working to strengthen the capacity of the legal sector’s efforts to alleviate poverty and prevent homelessness. 

In 2020, families scrambled to pay their rent and avoid eviction. Single mothers had to balance caring for their children while maintaining a stable income, and tenants were at risk with limited legal resources and information about their rights. As we enter 2022, Californians continue to face an unprecedented housing crisis and are prone to lawsuits for rent owed during the pandemic. I want to make a difference by helping vulnerable populations, and OneJustice is giving me the opportunity to respond comprehensively in alleviating homelessness. 

Our Court Watch Project is one strategy for assisting legal services organizations (LSOs) with addressing the challenges faced by low-income tenants defending small claims actions. The Court Watch Project’s goal is to observe small claims back rent hearings and gather data that will inform LSOs. Recent laws enacted in response to the pandemic, and in recognition of the income lost by working Californians, are complex and force tenants facing back rent claims to defend themselves in small claims courts without legal representation. As part of our first phase of Court Watch, our team has observed several hearings. Our observations will be compiled and shared with LSOs to inform and prepare their small claims legal clinics and know your rights materials. 

I had the opportunity to visit small claims hearings and saw the challenges facing tenants. In the hearings, it was typical to see defendants show up without any guidance or necessary evidence to represent themselves. It was rare to see translated know your rights materials or interpreter services. It was common for plaintiffs and defendants to misunderstand their service notice or the roll call process, and as result of their confusion, have their cases dismissed and rescheduled. These are only a few scenarios that reveal the challenges the legal aid community needs to be aware of so that they can best deploy their resources accordingly. 

The existing hardships from the pandemic are glaring, and low-income communities are at a further disadvantage with limited financial and legal resources. As a response to these challenges and to support the legal aid sector, one of the projects I worked on was developing the Tenant’s Next Steps Form, which provides a list of specific evidence a tenant can provide in their hearing and is available in 12 different languages. The form was added to our Small Claims Back Rent Toolkit, which was created to assist LSOs in preparing tenants for their small claims court hearings. This is one of several tools we developed that will enhance the work of LSOs and empower tenants to defend themselves

Though the effects of the pandemic are placing hardships on low-income tenants, we are optimistic the Court Watch Project alongside the Small Claims Back Rent Toolkit will provide LSOs with resources to deploy and use to prepare tenants for their day in court, ultimately preventing homelessness and mitigating the risk of financial ruin. We look forward to collaborating with volunteers and the legal aid community to bridge the gap and lessen the hardships facing low-income tenants. If you would like to know more about our Court Watch Project you may reach Bruno Huizar, Program Manager at bhuizar@one-justice.org. For inquiries regarding the Toolkit you may contact Miguel Martinez, Program Manager, at mmartinez@one-justice.org

Andrea Rice

Homelessness Prevention Americorp VISTA

4 Ways Recent Legislative Wins Impact Legal Aid

The Californians for Legal Aid program at OneJustice focuses on public policy education and advocacy to help transform the legal aid system. Throughout the year, the team works on an assortment of policy initiatives that impacts legal aid and the low-income Californians it serves in a variety of ways. Read below for four recent legislative wins that will strengthen the legal aid system and provide critical support to low-income communities in California.

Eligibility Expansion for Free Legal Services

Starting January 2022, more low-income Californians will have access to receiving free legal assistance from nonprofit legal aid organizations funded by the State Bar of California through the Interest on Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA) system. The passage of SB 498 increases the qualifying poverty level to 200% from 125% AND exempts veterans disability benefits from household income. These long overdue changes mean that more Californians who should qualify for legal aid will be eligible for free legal services. 

Remote Court Appearances

The passage of SB 241 centers the needs of low-income litigants by allowing for remote court appearances after expiration of the COVID-19 Emergency Order. In addition to reducing the courts’ tremendous case backlog, remote proceedings increase access to justice by making it more accessible for both advocates and working families to attend their hearings. A true collective win for the legal aid community!

$600M Considered for Legal Services Corporation Funding

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is the largest funder of civil legal aid in the country — its grantees served more than 1.8 million people in 2019, helping them with family law, domestic violence, housing, fraud, and other legal problems. Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 funding allocated $465 million to LSC. 

In April 2021, OneJustice staff members attended virtual meetings with Members of Congress to advocate on behalf of robust LSC funding for FY 2022 . In recent years we have seen steady increases on this funding, proving how impactful this advocacy is. Here’s the latest: 

  • The House of Representatives agreed to legislation in July that includes $600 million for LSC in FY 2022. 
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee has proposed legislation that provides $515 million for LSC. 
  • The Biden Administration has requested $600 million for LSC. 

OneJustice will continue to monitor FY 2022 fundings progress.

$50M increase in Equal Access Fund

Each year, the Equal Access Fund (EAF) provides funding to about 100 nonprofit organizations that provide legal services to low-income Californians — including the unhoused community, people with disabilities, and victims of elder abuse and domestic violence. Legal aid saw another victory in California’s state budget for Fiscal Year 2022: the EAF benefitted from a $50 million increase, for a total of $70 million, as well as a promise for future base year funding of $40 million.

To learn more about other California state victories sign up for updates from the Legal Aid Association of California here.

Sign up for Californians for Legal Aid to stay up to date on policy initiatives and to receive advocacy alerts.

New Employee Spotlight

 

Mariah Davenport, Rural Justice AmeriCorps VISTA

Why I Work at OneJustice

I am a systems and service designer dedicated to building systems that actually work for the people they are meant to serve. My mind works as a translator, finding meeting points for collaboration among various fields of interest including arts, nonprofits, business, education, & social justice reform. I work for OneJustice because I want to assist in creating more efficient accessibility to help small-businesses and underserved communities thrive in for-profit markets.

Professional Background

My degree in Arts Management taught me extensively about non-profit management, running a business with little to no funding, and managing individuals in creative / independent fields or professions. More recently, I earned my certification in User Experience Design which allows me to incorporate human-centered development and testing into operational programming for organizations.

In 2017 I developed a business model that operates on the premise of sustainable economic renewal for small towns and local communities. Since then, I have been running a non-profit collective that puts those ideologies into practice with local businesses and creative freelancers around NYC & Brooklyn.

I Really Love

Skateboarding is my first and one true love. When I’m not working on professional development, you can catch me at your local skatepark or an empty parking lot. Other than that, I love painting, reading, and nerding out on topics surrounding neurobiology & physics.

 

Andrea Rice, Homelessness Prevention Americorp VISTA

Why I Work at OneJustice

My interest in working for OneJustice stems from my passion to defend human rights for all. My undergraduate career solidified a strong desire to work in the legal realm after facing the reality of the lack of resources and voices speaking up for the underserved. I chose to work at OneJustice because they refuse to engage in the accepted blindness that contributes to oppression and injustice. Marginalized and disadvantaged people groups in the United States are not as rare as we would like to think they are. I am looking forward to gaining hands-on experience before law school with OneJustice’s Homelessness Prevention efforts and learning more about the tangible ways we can improve the legal system. My position will primarily focus on enhancing legal service organizations’ ability to offer accessible services to clients in communities they are already familiar with for a more holistic approach to tackling poverty and homelessness. I am grateful to work for a place like OneJustice because of its unwavering commitment to those in need, while strengthening capacity for the nonprofit sector.
 Professional Background

I recently graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara California with a degree in History. I value history because it is a lens to observe real-world situations, and it provides the necessary context for contemporary issues in society. During my undergrad, I took it upon myself to round out my education by seeking opportunities that would expose me to different people and perspectives. I secured a position with the Center for Public Justice in Washington DC, where I had the incredible opportunity to study the roles and responsibilities of government, institutions, and citizens. I dove deeply into what it means to ensure equal representation, and how to change the polarizing attitudes that have historically inhibited justice for all.  I also had the chance to study abroad the following semester in China and India. I navigated the consequences of imperialism and saw firsthand the human rights violations Muslims experienced in both countries. After these experiences, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in human rights law and bring such issues to light. I intend to begin law school in the fall of ‘22 and am looking forward to applying the knowledge I’ve acquired through OneJustice to my legal career.

I Really Love

I love all things adventurous. I have swum with sharks in open water 3 times and would do it again in a heartbeat! Some of my favorite activities include hiking, travel (when possible), and playing with my big puppy.

Madeline Valdez, Communications Americorp VISTA

Why I work at OneJustice

OneJustice’s dedication to increasing accessibility and equity within our legal system first drew me to the position.  They possess a profound commitment to equipping marginalized individuals with the accessible and innovative legal resources necessary to combat a myriad of pertinent issues.  I plan on pursuing a career in law and am excited to work with an organization dedicated to ensuring equitable conditions for the most vulnerable members of our community.  My position focusses on communications, where I hope to expand OneJustice’s reach and engage with a diverse range of individuals.

Professional Background

I’m a Political Science major with an emphasis on Political Theory and a minor in Philosophy.  I’m fascinated by the ways the law shapes our political landscape and its varying applications.  

Over the past few years, I’ve participated in direct service with my city’s mutual aid coalition and indirect service at various nonprofits where I’ve focused on fundraising, research, and community outreach.  Most recently, I’ve conducted research and worked towards environmental justice as a part of a global extern cohort at National Geographic.  I previously served as a Summer AmeriCorps member with Beat the Streets New England, where I worked in communications and outreach.  I’m looking forward to integrating my professional skills through this position and further developing my passion for community engagement.

Fun Facts

Growing up in the PNW, I love being outside as much as possible and hiking with my two dogs.  I also enjoy fashion and thrifting, baking, making cringe inducing TikToks, and almost exclusively listening to Frank Ocean and Taylor Swift.

Spotlight on New Board Member David Leeb


David Leeb

Box, Inc

What made you interested in becoming a member of the OneJustice Board of Directors?
When I look back over the course of my career, one of the accomplishments I’m most proud of is the work I did as a 3rd year law student in my school’s International Human Rights Law Clinic. My partner and I handled a case from start to finish, helping to obtain asylum for a young man who had fled his country as a teenager with no resources and had nowhere else to turn. I saw first hand how providing quality legal services to an individual at a critical point in their life could have a massively positive impact.

After graduating law school, I sought out opportunities to work with legal aid organizations but my career journey ultimately took me down a different path. When immigration issues took on a new level of urgency in January 2017, I established a pro bono program in the Box legal team. From there I became familiar with some of the great work OneJustice does (including as a clinic participant with the Box Legal team on the JusticeBus!).

What is your professional role and how do you hope to use your perspective in your work with OneJustice?
I’m General Counsel of Box, a Silicon Valley technology company. I’m also a Bay Area native (born and raised in San Jose!). I have over 20+ years of experience practicing law in the area and have strong ties to the Bay Area legal community (particularly to law firms and in house legal departments). I’ve also been fortunate to represent a number of boards over the years and have a strong understanding of how directors and good governance can add value to an organization. As a member of the OJ Board of Directors, I hope to draw on all of my experience to contribute to OJ’s success.

What would you like to accomplish as a Board member?
As a Board member, I’d like to help ensure OJ is set up for long-term success as an organization so that the OJ team can focus on the critical work of bringing legal help to those in need by transforming the legal aid system.

Tell us about yourself – interesting facts or what do you like to do for fun?
When I’m not working, you can usually find me hanging out with my family (wife, 2 teenagers and 2 dogs) at a local beach or park or exploring all the great things California has to offer.

 

Congratulations to our 2021 Executive Fellows Graduates!

 

OneJustice is pleased to announce the graduating class of 2021 Executive Fellows! A record 29 legal aid leaders joined us for our first completely virtual program, delving into topics including IT Best Practices, Inclusive Leadership, Revenue Models, and Innovation & Change Management. All of us at OneJustice wish you all the best in the year ahead! We hope your new skills and connections serve you and your organizations well.

 

Graduating Fellows:

Alfred A. Gallegos, Legal Director, Central California Legal Services, Inc.
Allison Marseille, Director of Operations, Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
Candi Mayes, Lead Attorney, Dependency Legal Services (Northern California)
Caroline Roberts, Executive Director, Oasis Legal Services
Claire Ramsey, Senior Staff Attorney, Justice in Aging
Cori Racela, Deputy Director, Western Center on Law & Poverty
Debra McKenzie, Director of Administration, Central California Legal Services
Dennis Smeal, Executive Director, Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers, Inc.
Elizabeth Logsdon, Managing Attorney, Disability Rights California
Estella Cisneros, Agricultural Worker Program Legal Director, California Rural Legal Assistance Inc.
Jackie Dai, Supervising Attorney, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County
Janay Eustace, Executive Director, California Youth Connection
Jason Schwarz, Executive Director, Contra Costa Senior Legal Services
Jessica Jewell, Rural Justice Unit Director, California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.
Kenan Arun, Director of Operations, The LGBT Asylum Project
Leigh Ferrin, Director of Litigation and Pro Bono, Public Law Center
Lorena SloManson, Development Director, Legal Aid Society of San Diego
Maisha Cole, Senior Staff Attorney, Child Care Law Center
Mariam Kelly, Managing Attorney, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
Phong Wong, Pro Bono Director, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
Rose Mukhar, Executive Director, Justice At Last, Inc.
Shakti Belway, Deputy Director, National Center for Youth Law
Stephen Knight, Executive Director, Worksafe
Suge Lee, Managing Attorney, Disability Rights California
Tessie Cross, Deputy Director of Operations, Inland Counties Legal Services
Tony Silvestri, Executive Director, Immigrants Rights Counsel
Tzung-lin Fu, Vice President of Legal Programs, Bet Tzedek Legal Services
Vivian Alatorre, Operations Manager, Legal Aid of Marin
Zabrina Aleguire, Co-Executive Director, East Bay Family Defenders

Feedback from the cohort included:
“I truly feel like I never want it to end. It was such a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn – both about nonprofit management and about myself as a leader. It truly is invaluable. I’ve already recommended others to apply for the next cohort. It also helped me navigate the process of building community among other nonprofit leaders through collaboration and shared experiences. I am forever grateful I was accepted into the fellowship.”

“It is very well balanced and covers many topics that a true leader needs to understand in a non profit world. It was a great opportunity to have conversations about these topics that we otherwise would not be able to have with folks in a public interest world occupying different leadership positions.”

Huge thank you to OneJustice Program Associate Miguel Martinez for all of his support and leadership throughout the Fellowship.

Thank you to the Bigglesworth Family Foundation and the Judicial Council for sponsoring this year’s Executive Fellowship Program!

Announcing Our 2021 Opening Doors to Justice Panel Speakers

We are thrilled to announce our two panelist speakers for our upcoming Opening Doors to Justice 2021 event, Associate Justice Goodwin H. Liu of the California Supreme Court, and Tirien Steinbach.

Moderated by Anand Upadhye, Host of The Modern Lawyer Podcast, our speakers will touch on topics relating to equity and inclusion, racial biases, retention and activism within the legal community.

Continue reading to learn more about our exceptional panelists:

Associate Justice Goodwin H. Liu

Justice Goodwin Liu is an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. Nominated by Governor Jerry Brown, Justice Liu was unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments and sworn into office on September 1, 2011. He was retained by the electorate in 2014. Before joining the state’s highest court, Justice Liu was Professor of Law and Associate Dean at the UC Berkeley School of Law. His primary areas of expertise are constitutional law, education law and policy, and diversity in the legal profession.

The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Justice Liu grew up in Sacramento, where he attended public schools. He went to Stanford University and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1991. He attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship and earned a masters degree in philosophy and physiology. Upon returning to the United States, he went to Washington D.C. to help launch the AmeriCorps national service program and worked for two years as a senior program officer at the Corporation for National Service.

Justice Liu graduated from Yale Law School in 1998, becoming the first in his family to earn a law degree. He clerked for Judge David Tatel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then worked as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. He went on to clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the October 2000 Term. From 2001 to 2003, he worked in the litigation practice of O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C.
Justice Liu continues to teach constitutional law as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Law Institute. He serves on the Council of the American Law Institute, on the Board of Directors of the James Irvine Foundation, and on the Yale University Council. He has previously served on the California Commission on Access to Justice, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Technology, and Law, the Board of Trustees of Stanford University, and the governing boards of the American Constitution Society, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Public Welfare Foundation.

Tirien Steinbach

 Tirien began her legal career as an Equal Justice Works fellow in capital appeals, and then received a Berkeley Law Foundation fellowship to develop the Clean Slate Clinic at the East Bay Community Law Center, which is the community-based clinical program for Berkeley Law School and one of the largest provider of free legal services and policy advocacy in Alameda County.

Tirien went on to serve as EBCLC’s director for 11 years, and expanded the clinic to include reentry, immigration, economic, consumer, and juvenile justice clinics.  In 2017. Tirien launched the Coalition for Equity and Inclusion in Law, a Bay Area cohort of law and policy organizations dedicated to advancing greater cultural equity, inclusion, and diversity in the sector.

For the last two years, Tirien served as the Chief Program Officer at the ACLU of Northern California, and in January 2021, she began a “self-care sabbatical” to rest, write, and consult. Tirien received her bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz and her law degree from U.C. Berkeley Law School.

 

 Our Opening Doors to Justice panel discussion will be moderated by long-time OneJustice Strategy Council member Anand Upadhye, Host of The Modern Lawyer Podcast. Anand regularly chats with giants in the American legal industry about the changes we are seeing in the practice of law, legal technology, and knowledge management.