A Great Day of Pro Bono with Justice Bus and Salesforce Legal Teams
Salesforce Legal department members made two separate Justice Bus trips recently. The Justice Bus Project, organized by OneJustice, takes teams of law department volunteers to rural and isolated communities in California and sets up free clinics where low-income veterans, vulnerable seniors, children with disabilities, low-wage workers, immigrant youth, and families can receive much needed legal assistance.
On March 8, 2018, Justice Bus Riders traveled to Petaluma, where Salesforce teamed up with Morrison & Foerster LLP, McDowell Family Resource Center, and IIBA for a citizenship clinic. Volunteers provided 17 underserved Californians information about their immigration options. Clients were very appreciative of the advice and assistance volunteers offered. “I am an undocumented student, and my DACA status is going to expire in six months,” one client said, “The last couple of months have been nerve-wracking trying to figure out if I will be able to renew my application or if I would lose my job and financial aid in school”
On April 10, 2018, Salesforce Legal department volunteers climbed aboard the Justice Bus for a second trip, this time partnering with Squire Patton Boggs to set up a criminal record remedies (“expungement”) clinic in Stockton. The volunteers assisted 13 individuals who were seeking “expungement” of past convictions to improve their employment opportunities. By the end of the day, clinic participants had prepared a total of 58 petitions and provided an estimated $87,000 in free legal services! After the clinic, one client explained the circumstances that led her to the clinic and expressed her gratitude for the services volunteers provided, “I have three kids. When their father died, I had to choose my drugs, or my kids. I chose my kids—now I am a mother, I work, I go to church, have been clean and sober for three and a half years! This clinic was very helpful to me. The people were very understanding.”
In reflecting upon their experiences, volunteers found the day both eye-opening and rewarding. Valerie Camacho, an Executive Assistant, in the Law Department at Salesforce who made the trip to Stockton said, “We had the full support of OneJustice and the team of public defenders to assist us with the process. It was rewarding to see the immediate and positive [effect] we had on our clients at the conclusion of each appointment.”
Alan Priest, a Salesforce attorney who also traveled to Stockton, commented, “I was extremely grateful to have this opportunity to serve a community which otherwise might not have the access or funds to secure representation.”
“The Justice Bus was great,” said Nicole Gorney, a senior paralegal and a Petaluma Justice Bus Rider, “[W]e had a full day assisting clients with DACA renewals and naturalization applications. It was super impressive to me to see how [OneJustice] run[s] a ‘clinic on wheels’ and it was a great experience to collaborate with OneJustice and Morrison & Foerster. I hope to go again soon and really love the way we can all come together to serve clients in need of legal services. Our Volunteer Time Off (VTO) is one of my favorite things about working at Salesforce, and I love having the support from Salesforce in our commitment to pro bono work.”
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