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.

May 2021 Clinic Highlights

In May 2021, OneJustice partnered with our legal aid and pro bono partners to plan three virtual immigration clinics where community members can access free immigration consultations and legal assistance with Adjustment of Status and Naturalization applications. We appreciate working with our legal aid, community, and pro bono partners to ensure immigrant communities have access to free legal assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • On May 7th, OneJustice, Jenesse Center, and the Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCo) partnered for a virtual IMPACT LA Immigration Clinic. We were able to provide legal assistance to seven people who are survivors of domestic violence. All 7 community members left the virtual legal clinic with referrals for additional legal assistance, mental health services, and social services. We appreciate our stellar pro bono partners at O’Melveny & Myers and Kaiser Permanente.
  • On May 14th, OneJustice and Social Justice Collaborative (SJC) partnered for the Justice Bus Network to provide legal assistance for asylees with fill out the Adjustment of Status application. We were able to provide legal assistance to 13 community members thanks to the incredible pro bono partnership of Morrison & Forester LLP.
  • On May 20th, OneJustice and the Immigration Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA) of Sonoma County collaborated for a virtual Naturalization legal clinic. We were able to assist eight community members in Sonoma County complete their applications for naturalization. We are grateful for our pro bono partners at Morrison Foerster, Baker & McKenzie, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Southwestern School of Law.

Champion of Justice – Lawyaw

OneJustice is pleased to announce Lawyaw as one of it’s amazing Champions of Justice at our 2021 Opening Doors to Justice event on June 24, 2021.

Lawyaw is receiving the honor due to their dedication to increasing access to pro bono represtentation, as well as for their commitment to making their innovative products and projects accessible to all legal aid nonprofits during COVID-19 and after. Learn more about our honoree below:

About:

Lawyaw delivers easy-to-use document automation, eSign, remote intake, and knowledge management solutions for solo, small and mid-size legal practices in a web-based platform accessible from anywhere.

Fun Facts:

  • Origin of the name: The company name is something that generates a lot of discussion and varied reactions. In the northeast, people think we’re making a reference to saying “lawyer” with a Boston accent. In the southeast, people ask if we’re riffing on Law Y’all. The actual origin is Law + Yaw, as in “pitch and yaw” for those of you who are familiar with helicopters and airplanes. Pitch is the degree of vertical direction and yaw is the horizontal axis. The idea of combining them is that the company is reorienting the practice of law.
  • Milestones: In October 2020, a Lawyaw user produced the 1 millionth legal document drafted inside the platform. It took more than 4 years of work to reach 1 million documents. In about 6 months, we’ve already reached 1.4 million documents, so if the rate of growth continues, we’ll get to 2 million in about 12-13 months total.
  • Users: Lawyaw has users in more than 37 states at this point. The largest concentration of our users is in California.

 

ABA Day 2021 – Staff Perspectives

This month OneJustice participated in the 2021 virtual ABA Day, where we had the opportunity to lead lobbying and advocacy efforts to increase support for civil legal aid.

Six OneJustice staff members participated virtually and spoke with elected leaders in Washington, led by our amazing colleague Dana Marquez-Richardson! Follow this link to read about some of their experiences!

Bruno Huizar, Program Manager

I am grateful to have the opportunity to (virtually) join hundreds of legal professionals across the country to educate elected officials in Washington D.C. about the importance of legal aid for the American Bar Association (ABA) Digital Conference: Advocacy for Justice. Every year, OneJustice joins hundreds of lawyers, law students, and legal professionals to educate Members of Congress and advocate for increasing funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), which funds civil legal aid organizations across the country. OneJustice will continue to advocate for increasing LSC funding so our legal aid partners can continue to provide critical legal services to people navigating legal crisises throughout California.

Miguel Martinez, Program Associate

ABA was an incredible experience. This was my first time participating and I was pleased to meet several congressmen and share with them the importance of securing funding for LSC’s. A highlight from ABA day was meeting Congressman Ted Lieu from the 33rd district. He was very friendly and gave us his support to secure funding for LSC’s. Securing funding for LSC is very important, especially in these times when low income Americans are discouraged from seeking legal aid due to not having the ability to afford one. I look forward to participating again in the future.

Ariella Morrison, Senior Staff Attorney*

Policy advocacy is essential to transforming our civil legal aid system. I loved participating in this year’s ABA Day for the first time. I learned so much and left the virtual lobby visits feeling really energized about the work we do. I feel hopeful that Congress will address the dramatic increase in the need for civil legal aid caused by the overwhelmingly devastating pandemic through the supplemental funding requests we made on behalf of the Legal Services Corporation.

Gracia Berrios, Program Coordinator

This was my first time being part of ABA day and I absolutely loved it! Being part of a group that is advocating to congress for critical funding on behalf of low income communities was really important to me. Hoping we are able to see good change this year for legal aid funding.

* Admitted to practice in Michigan, not admitted in California.

Employee Spotlight – Ariella Morrison

This month’s Employee Spotlight features Ariella Morrison, Senior Staff Attorney*. 

Can you tell us about your role at OneJustice?

My work spans all three of our major program areas: Healthy Nonprofits, Pro Bono Justice, and most recently, Californians for Legal Aid. I am particularly excited about our new “Conflict Resolution within Legal Aid Teams” workshops, as well as our Access to Asylum Project in collaboration with Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, Central American Resource Center – LA, and brilliant student and immigration attorney volunteers.

Can you tell us about the impact COVID has had on managing virtual training programs? What is the most challenging aspect of virtual OCA?

A silver lining of going 100% virtual is being able to convene folks from all over the state and [for the first time] outside of CA without anyone having to fly or deal with traffic. The most challenging aspect is figuring out ways to creatively keep participants engaged despite Zoom fatigue.

Can you describe how the content of OCA has changed to pivot to address the pandemic? What have the members of the cohort described as the most challenging aspect of providing legal services during this time? 

Each organization faces both unique and overlapping challenges as a result of the pandemic. I try to provide as much space as possible for the participants to learn from each other since they all have so much to share. Curriculum-wise the main change has been teaching content and facilitating discussions through a lens of remote/virtual services provision. 

Can you provide an overview of the intention/ reasoning behind starting the Immigration Services Providers convenings? What will the convenings cover, what was most needed in the survey we put out?

The Nonprofit Management Convenings for Immigration Legal Services is responsive to the unique nonprofit management challenges immigration legal services organizations face, many of which of course non-immigration organizations face as well. Having a sector-specific space is impactful for peer learning and participants’ relationship-building with each other. Immigration legal services organizations face specific nonprofit management challenges coming out of the Trump era (as well as under the Biden administration) and with constantly changing policies and fluctuating funding. I’m looking forward to the May 14 Session on “Recruitment, Retention, and Burn-Out Prevention.” We have a special speaker joining us for this topic — our former CEO, Julia Wilson

What would you say is the most important project/task/role you or OneJustice has taken on to support LSO’s during the pandemic?

I think our convening work has been really important since the spaces we cultivate for CA’s civil legal aid and pro bono community are an antidote to the pandemic’s isolating repercussions, as well as a general tendency for organizations to work in silo. I think we’ve provided meaningful spaces for folks to connect. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I feel grateful for my supportive and thoughtful colleagues, and especially for our ongoing work together making OneJustice (and hopefully CA’s civil legal aid system) a more inclusive and equitable place to work.

* Admitted to practice in Michigan, not admitted in California.

Staff Perspective

by Gail Quan, OneJustice Director

As someone who could be viewed as an example of the ”model minority”—child of Asian immigrants and raised in a working-class community in East Los Angeles who attended a top-rated college and became a lawyer—the recent attention to violence against Asian Americans reminds me that the creation of an equitable society remains a distant dream. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the economic and racial inequities of our society and resulted in the continued othering of Asian Americans.

Violence against Asian Americans is not new to me. The recent incidents remind me of the too numerous acts of violence committed against my family—my sister ran for her life when a man pointed a gun at her and threatened to shoot her if she didn’t get into his car; my father was knifed when he was mugged; and my grandfather died from injuries he sustained when he was assaulted and pushed down a flight of stairs.

The fascination with the “exoticism” of Asian women is also not new to me. Men introducing themselves and expressing an interest in visiting Tokyo became such a common occurrence that I learned it was easier to walk away and not mention that I was Chinese.

And the fear of being harmed during this pandemic because I am Asian is not new to me either. As stories of attacks and harassment against Asian Americans increased during shelter in place, I had a disturbing encounter that was frightening enough to make me develop a new routine that I still follow. I no longer leave my home alone without my partner knowing where I am going and without texting him that I arrived safely. I also always text him to let him know when he should expect me home or ask that he pick me up. Prior to the pandemic, I never took such steps. I used to feel safe in my neighborhood.

Despite the violence and its reminder of the long history of harm against people of color, I remain hopeful that this moment in time will bring us closer to a united society where all people regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ableness and religion are treated equitably, and that I and everyone else impacted by the violence in our country will again feel safe outside our homes. The support the Asian community has received from other organizations such as Black Lives Matter and the NAACP demonstrate that Asian Americans are not alone in standing against the violence they face. And this gives me hope.

As Inaugural Poet Amanda Gordon wrote:
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew,
That even as we hurt, we hoped,
That even as we tired, we tried.
That we’ll forever be tied together.
victorious,
Not because we will never again know
defeat,
But because we will never again sow
division.

OneJustice has compiled a list of resources dedicated to supporting the communities most affected, reporting on continued racialized violence, and teaching bystander intervention strategies:

Resources:
Advancing Justice-Atlanta has a donations page for the Georgia shooting victims and their families:
https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/support-georgias-asian-american-community/

Advancing Justice- Atlanta’s community response statement:
https://www.advancingjustice-atlanta.org/aaajcommunitystatement

Stop AAPI Hate is collecting data on hate incidents; the website has a reporting form available in 11 languages and also has reports and other resources available:
https://stopaapihate.org/

Stop AAPI Hate’s fiscal sponsor is the Bay Area nonprofit civil rights organization, Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA):
https://caasf.org/

Advancing Justice-LA are providing assistance to people directly impacted by discrimination in housing, employment, consumer contracts, as well as other matters:
https://advancingjustice-la.org/anti-asian-discrimination

The California Asian Pacific American Bar Association has been holding a series of webinars on APAs and hate. Recordings for the first 2 events and links to register for future events are available:
https://cal-apaba.wildapricot.org/APAs-vs-Hate

Hollaback! has bystander intervention trainings (they have specific ones addressing anti-Asian harassment but also many other types, including addressing gender harassment and police sponsored violence and anti-Black harassment), and also guides and other helpful resources:
https://www.ihollaback.org/harassmenttraining/

Oakland Chinatown Coalition brings together cultural organizations to advocate for neighborhood improvement projects and community engagement. (NBC News):
https://www.facebook.com/chinatowncoalition/

Donate to The AAPI Community Fund, which benefits a growing list of organizations, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta; CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities; Center for Pan Asian Community Services and Oakland Chinatown Ambassadors Program:
https://www.gofundme.com/c/act/stop-aapi-hate

Support the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA), which promotes the mental health and well being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities:
https://www.naapimha.org/