Since childhood, I’ve seen the barriers that keep people from what’s rightfully theirs. Now I get to help these people fight back.
“I was born and raised near Bayview. Growing up, I was the only person in my family who was fluent in English; my parents both emigrated from southern China. I remember one time, they got a letter saying they were entitled to a rebate, but the company made it so complicated to understand that they didn’t think it was worth pursuing.
Since then, I have always communicated on behalf of them whenever we needed to fill out paperwork or deal with finances. I want to make sure that my parents and everyone else in comparable situations get what they’re entitled to, even if the system makes it hard for them.
I thought my experiences were normal until I got to college. That’s when I realized how unjust these barriers were. I decided to go to law school so I could help people like my parents.
Initially, I wasn’t interested in legal aid because it felt too small. Justice for all only works if everyone has access to it, but I didn’t think that was how legal aid organizations operated. Open Door Legal proved me wrong.
Now, I’m a litigation attorney here. I help my clients navigate small claims cases, with the hope that I am both empowering them and demystifying the legal process. Since childhood, I’ve seen the barriers that keep people from what’s rightfully theirs. Now I get to help these people fight back.”
Photography © Jona Bocari