Housing Law Attorney
We went outside our roles as attorneys and just interacted with our clients as human beings.
“I got really involved in community service at UCLA. I was a director of a tutoring and mentoring project in inner-city elementary schools. Going there, I got the sense that wealthy people will be just fine. They’ll always have the resources they need.
That’s when I realized that less privileged communities are where I want to put my time and energy. That’s where people need my help.
Open Door Legal was a perfect fit for me. My previous organization was very traditional. We turned a lot of clients away and weren’t always the most effective, but that’s just how things were done.
When I discovered ODL, I finally found an organization that believed legal aid could be done differently. Now I’m the head of Open Door Legal’s housing team. I handle any and all housing cases on the tenant side: eviction defense, repair issues, cases with the Rent Board, etc.
More recently, we did an eviction case and fought on behalf of a family of three adult siblings who were being evicted for violating city health codes. We got super close with them and one Sunday, we helped one of the tenants clean her room so that it would be up to the city’s standard. We went outside our roles as attorneys and just interacted with our clients as human beings.
I took a break from cleaning and talked to one of the siblings. He told me, ‘It’s in times like these when you get a sense of who you have in your life and the kind of support you have. I feel like you’re the only ones we have right now.’”
Photography © Jona Bocari