Former Litigation Attorney
I saw a lot of poverty and economic depression growing up in Ohio. Now that I am a lawyer, I’m able to see how much this experience has influenced me. I want to use my law degree to help low-income communities and to ensure that people, like my clients, get the treatment they deserve.
“I’m from a small town in Ohio right outside of Cleveland. It’s part of the Rust Belt, a pretty low-income area in general. The poverty there has a different feel than the poverty in San Francisco, though a lot of the underlying causes are similar: racial segregation, white flight, old factory jobs that left.
After a while, though, I wanted to get out and see different parts of the country. I went to law school in New York but was eager for another change. That’s when I found Open Door Legal’s website. Their goal of creating universal access to representation drew me in. Now, as a litigation attorney, I’m helping them achieve that goal. I had worked in legal aid before, mostly doing immigration work, but I had never worked for a place that tackled so many different areas of law. I had to learn how to work with a greater variety of cases and clients.
One of my clients was injured in a car accident several years ago. The injuries he sustained made him unable to continue his job in construction. He’s been trying to get his insurance company to pay for his healthcare costs since. Last week, he got the full judgment from small claims court– $10,000! That’s huge; it’s about two-thirds of his annual income. After years, he finally got the compensation he deserved.
Working on this case reminded me why I went to law school. I saw a lot of poverty and economic depression growing up in Ohio. Now that I am a lawyer, I’m able to see how much this experience has influenced me. I want to use my law degree to help low-income communities and to ensure that people, like my client, get the treatment they deserve.”
Photography © Jona Bocari