They all work at OneJustice now!
Yep, in addition to their expertise in fundraising, impact evaluation, pro bono design, and nonprofit management, our staff have some pretty quirky skill sets! We recently added new folks to the team, and we’re excited to introduce them to you.
We sat down with them and asked them to share a little something about themselves, including:
- What drew you to OneJustice’s vision, mission, and strategies?
- Tell us a bit about your position at OneJustice and what you hope to achieve?
- What was your path in coming to OneJustice?
- And please tell us something about yourself that not everyone might know.
(The drum roll please………)
Aaron Chandler, Senior Manager of Donor Relations (San Francisco)
My mother is a public interest attorney, and I’ve been involved with volunteering, organizing, fundraising and leadership for racial, economic, environmental and social justice for 15 years. In this time, I’ve seen the profoundly positive impact that access to justice can have in the lives of people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to receive legal assistance.
Here at OneJustice, I’m engaging our committed supporters–without which we couldn’t have gotten to where we are now–as well as prospective supporters, by working with our staff, Board, Advisory Board and Strategy Council members to tell the story of OneJustice’s impact on individuals and the legal aid sector as a whole, and to build a culture of philanthropy at OneJustice. In addition, I plan our annual gala, Opening Doors to Justice, and assist with refining the communications strategies that allow us to reach our stakeholders in the most meaningful ways.
My background has primarily been in fundraising — I really enjoy making connections between potential supporters, and impactful organizations doing meaningful grassroots and systems-change work. Prior to OneJustice, I was managing the fundraising at a human services organization in the East Bay, as well as at a national economic justice organization. I’m from Seattle originally, and went to college in Massachusetts. Eventually I moved to San Francisco three-and-a-half years ago, when I took on the role of Executive Director at a community-based HIV/AIDS organization, turned it around and guided its merger with another local HIV/AIDS agency.
I enjoy traveling, (good) coffee, baking sweet desserts, (sometimes) running, and enjoying the fact that the East Bay — where I live — is consistently warmer and sunnier than San Francisco.
Omar Corona, Pro Bono Justice Program Associate (Los Angeles)
I value OneJustice’s commitment to transforming the civic legal aid system in California by leveraging the resources of the private and non-profit sectors in order to better serve the most vulnerable. I also appreciate that working at OneJustice allows me to apply my skills in a way that positively impacts those most disenfranchised by our legal system.
I am especially interested in the exposure to the legal aid landscape in California that working at OneJustice affords me since I hope to pursue a career in public interest law.
Since joining OneJustice, I have been able to work on a variety of projects. First, I am part of the team behind the Pro Bono Training Institute which allows me to develop the training modules that we use to train volunteers for IMPACT LA and JusticeBus clinics. I’m also involved with IMPACT LA and the Southern California Immigration Capacity-Building project, which is in its early stages of development. Some of my overarching goals in working at OneJustice are to gain a better understanding of what can be done to narrow the legal aid gap in our state both through pro bono work as well as policy changes. Some more project-specific goals of mine are to: increase the number of volunteers that access the resources available through the Pro Bono Training Institute as well as contribute to the growth and expansion of IMPACT LA clinics.
Prior to joining the OneJustice team, I served as a Fellow with the City and County of San Francisco where I was able to exercise my passion for public service and gain tremendous insight into the mechanisms of local government. My interest in legal aid stems from my experience with assisting self-represented litigants in the Superior Court of Los Angeles as an undergrad, primarily with eviction defense and family law.
In addition to legal aid work, I have also been involved in policy advocacy and research around environmental protection and sustainability. I have found many parallels between my work in legal aid and environmental protection. These parallels have made me realize the importance of promoting equity and ensuring fair access to resources. I earned my B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies from UCLA.
As a SoCal native, I really enjoy swimming in the outdoors and after a recent trip to the island of Barbados, I’ve come to enjoy cliff diving (although my parents aren’t too fond of it yet)! I also really love to eat spicy food and as a Vegan, I especially enjoy cooking my own and learning new recipes. However, I also very much enjoy visiting and trying different vegan-friendly restaurants!
Peter James, Senior Manager of Impact Evaluation (San Francisco)
When I first moved to California, I was talking to someone at a legal aid organization and they said, “You should check out OneJustice”. Since then, OneJustice has always been on my radar as a well-respected and innovative organization. So when the opportunity came to start a new strand of work at an organization with such deep roots in the legal services community, I jumped at the chance.
My core responsibility at One Justice is to build impact evaluation capacity at OneJustice. This means helping my colleagues to understand impact evaluation as a discipline and implement evaluations across the wide range of programs that they manage. We will then use what we have learned from our own work to support legal services organizations to evaluate their own services. Over time, we want to support the legal aid community to develop a high-quality evidence-base for planning and designing services as well as demonstrating the impact and value of programs.
I’m originally from the U.K. and started my career as a research consultant. I then joined the Impact Evaluation team at Citizens Advice, a nationwide network of community advice services. This experience first sparked my passion for legal services and my interest in using research methods to study how services can best be planned, designed and delivered. After moving to the U.S., I worked in the research office at the Judicial Council of California, which provided an insight into the operation of the legal system at the state level. Working at OneJustice means I can bring together these different threads to focus on the legal aid community in California.
I like to make up games, and now that we have a 15-month-old son, my repertoire of peek-a-boo-inspired routines has become wider than I would have ever imagined.
Lea Volk, Healthy Nonprofits Program Associate (San Francisco)
I was drawn to OneJustice because of its cohesive and comprehensive approach to transforming the legal aid system and aiding social change in California. The multifaceted work of OneJustice resonates with my multitude of passions I often struggle to juggle, including social justice advocacy, community empowerment, civil rights law, and the ongoing fight for justice and equality. Through this innovative organization, I feel capable of being a part of both the micro and macro components required to efficiently and successfully create progressive change and bring healing to disenfranchised communities.
As the Healthy Nonprofit Program Associate, I handle the logistics for our Executive Fellowship Program and for our annual Public Interest/ Public Service Day while assisting with consulting and technical assistance for legal services organizations. I aim to provide smooth and detailed production to these two programs as well as look for ways to improve outreach and program evaluations. As someone who loves video production and editing, I would like to also create and/or increase our video media for documentation of our wonderful work, overall outreach purposes, and to spruce up our webinar trainings.
Before joining OneJustice, I worked as a Student Activist Coordinator for Amnesty International USA where I had the opportunity of educating, training, and organizing high school and college Amnesty student groups. While working with Amnesty International, I graduated from San Francisco State University in 2015 where I received a Bachelor of Arts in both Sociology and Latina/Latino Studies with a minor in Race and Resistance Studies. While a student of SFSU, I spent my time out of the classroom fully involved in student and community activism. I co-founded a successful student organization that worked to create a statewide network of students and educators fighting the privatization and commodification of public higher education, called the Student Union of San Francisco, which operated as a local under the California Student Union (CASU). It was through these years of grassroots organizing that I found my love for direct action planning, coalition building, and creating a network of politicized activists and advocates.
While in transit to and from work I may appear rather composed and calm yet, I have angsty punk and 90’s Riot Grrrl music blaring in my head phones. I also have an inability to refuse rhythm which often leads to me dancing to terrible music, dancing while I eat, and awkwardly trying to air drum as I walk.
Alexis Payne, Law Clerk (San Francisco)
I met attorneys from OneJustice while responding to the travel ban at SFO Airport in late January. I was impressed with their innovative techniques as well as their dedication to the organization’s mission of making legal aid accessible to all. As someone who has a passion for social justice and hopes to work in corporate law, I appreciate that they mobilize corporate attorneys to bring life-changing legal help to low-income Californians.
My time at OneJustice is spent tracking important cases, helping to build networks of pro bono and legal aid attorneys, and developing a cultural humility training for pro bono volunteers. During my externship, I hope to further explore the role that BigLaw plays in bringing legal help to those in need. I am also excited to learn more about how using innovative techniques rooted in cultural humility can improve client outcomes.
I am currently a 2L at Berkeley Law. I worked at OneJustice this summer as a Law Clerk. Prior to starting law school, I worked to help meet the basic needs of houseless individuals in my community. I have also mentored young adults, started programs at local libraries, and raised awareness about racial and economic justice.
I love doing improv – I helped start the Boalt Improv Group at Berkeley Law last year. I also enjoy throwing dinner parties, spontaneous dancing, and camping.