Southwestern Alumna Helps Bring OneJustice to So Cal
Cynthia Luna '10 is one of two attorneys bringing the services of OneJustice to Southern California. Formerly called Public Interest Clearinghouse, OneJustice is a nonprofit legal services program that has a mission to increase access to legal help for underserved Californians by building infrastructure and partnerships in the legal community. OneJustice also gives nonprofit leaders the skills they need to most effectively run their organizations. As a result, some of the state's most vulnerable residents can get the legal help necessary to meet their essential needs.
The organization's main office is in San Francisco. Luna is part of OneJustice's expansion into Southern California. As an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow, Luna will work with local public interest legal services and pro bono attorneys. She will also be leading the annual Justice Bus® trip, where a group of law students volunteer in collaboration with OneJustice to serve a rural California community. Luna wants to expand the Justice Bus® program to include more area law schools. In her position, she will also help provide support to the SoCal Pro Bono Managers.
Luna credits Southwestern for opening doors to public interest law. "Having the opportunity to apply my legal knowledge outside of the classroom by providing essential legal services to clients in need was the most important aspect of my law school experience that helped me prepare for my work with OneJustice," she said.
When she was a Southwestern student, Luna was a law clerk and legal extern for the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law; HIV & AIDS Legal Services Alliance (HALSA); the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, Major Crimes and Preliminary Hearing Units; and Southwestern's Children's Rights Clinic. After graduation, she volunteered with Neighborhood Legal Services in Pacoima.
"Cynthia always showed passion and dedication for public interest as a law student, and I am excited to see her working with OneJustice as a lawyer as they expand to Southern California," said Professor Laura Cohen, Director of the Street Law Clinic and Community Outreach. "I know she has experience from participating in the program herself that will be beneficial to the program and to recruit and inspire law student volunteers to participate with her. I am looking forward to working with her closely to plan our programs for this year." Professor Cohen said that more information will be shared soon about the dates and details for the 2011-2012 Justice Bus® trip.
Luna looks forward paying forward what she learned in law school while serving local communities. "It's exciting to have a chance to work with Southwestern students and the legal services organizations that I volunteered with while I was a law student," she said. "And to work alongside these organizations to ensure that legal help is delivered to those clients in need in rural areas of California. The goal is to eventually reach all counties and all outlying areas in Southern California."