Dear friends,

I am writing with exciting news and a request. A few months ago, I took a risk by taking a job with a small, start-up, scrappy legal aid nonprofit called Open Door Legal. The office is run out of a former beauty parlor in San Francisco’s poorest neighborhood, the Bayview. We’re near the city’s biggest housing project, Hunter’s Point. We have 5 full-time staff members and we share office space with the Salvation Army.

We are the only legal aid office in the entire zip code, and we are doing something that’s never been done before — attempting to offer universal access to legal help for everyone who lives in the zip code, regardless of issue. WE JUST GOT SELECTED BY GOOGLE AS ONE OF THE “10 MOST INNOVATIVE NONPROFITS IN THE BAY AREA.” They’re going to give a half-million dollar grant to four of these ten organizations — the four who get the most votes. So I’m writing to ask you to VOTE FOR US, and to tell all your kids/friends/kids’ friends to do so too! Anyone with internet access can vote! Vote by clicking


It doesn’t cost money! It doesn’t steal your email address or spam you or virus you or make you sign up for a Macy’s Gold Plus Super Sultan Executive Platinum Lifetime Membership Club Elite Hertz Plutonium card! You just click on that link, click “Vote” to vote for Open Door Legal, and help us win a grant!

I’m one of only two full-time staff attorneys. I don’t have my own office. I work off of a laptop in a shared space about the size of an RV. I’m in court almost every day helping my clients – who otherwise wouldn’t have an attorney – fight for freedom from violence, fight to keep their homes, fight to keep their kids, and fight for housing that isn’t infested with rats, roaches, and black mold. I’ve been learning how to negotiate with people who are angry to find out that the person they were suing now has a lawyer. I’ve been learning how family court is different from housing court, and how to counsel my own clients who are used to being ignored and trampled on.

I love my job. This is why I went to law school. More specifically, this is why I took the Gates Public Service Law Scholarship to go to the University of Washington; and what I dreamt about someday doing, back when I worked as a teacher in a village in Honduras with Bilingual Education for Central America. I’m so, so, so, incredibly proud of my little organization for getting this huge honor.

There: vote for us again!

Read a story about one of my clients!