Greetings and salutations! We’re back with another look at our talented Legal Eagles. This week, we’re going to check out our Family Law experts, along with our Domestic Violence Community Legal Services Project (DVCLS).
NAME: Su Sie Ju
TITLE: NW Legal Clinic Supervisor
WHERE ARE YOU FROM? I was born in Elizabeth City, NC, and grew up in Virginia Beach, VA.
HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK FOR BFTC? I was a summer law clerk at Bread for the City (when it was known by its former, longer name, Bread for the City and Zacchaeus Free Clinic). I was interested in gaining experience in providing civil legal services and intrigued that Bread for the City’s legal clinic was part of a larger organization that provided a range of services under one roof. I was lucky enough that after I had completed a post-law school fellowship, a family law attorney position opened at Bread for the City, and I was hired to fill the job in September 2000.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT WORKING FOR BREAD, OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WORK HERE? I am, of course, inspired by Bread for the City’s mission and the work we do to fulfill that mission. But one thing that brings me back to Bread for the City everyday with a smile on my face are the people who work and volunteer here. Bread for the City attracts people who are not only deeply committed to helping our fellow community members in need with dignity and respect but are also just a pleasure to work with. We are like one big family, and whenever I step through the doors of Bread for the City, I know I have the support of my colleagues within and outside of the Legal Clinic. I enjoy a sense of peace when I come to work, which is amazing given the highly challenging and stressful situations that often confront us and our clients.
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO TRAVEL AND WHY? Anyplace with good food. Why? Because I love to eat (especially when someone else prepares the meal)!
NAME: Allison Miles-Lee
TITLE: Bilingual family law/public benefits staff attorney
WHERE ARE YOU FROM? Alexandria, VA
HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK FOR BFTC? After college, I taught in the South Bronx for three years through the NYC Teaching Fellows program and got my Master’s in bilingual education. I wanted to do more to address the pressing problems that my students’ families faced, though, so I decided to go into public interest law. I knew I wanted to return to the DC metro area after law school in Chicago. I’d heard great things about Bread and, fortunately, a position opened at just the right time!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT WORKING FOR BREAD, OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WORK HERE? I love that Bread provides holistic services to help the whole family and client, not just legal services. This is exactly what I dreamed about for my kids’ families while teaching in NYC. I can represent a domestic violence survivor obtain a Civil Protection Order, and also help navigate the TANF and food stamps application process. I can also get her signed up as a medical and dental patient, get her enrolled in our once monthly food program, and have her meet with a social worker here to discuss any other resources she needs. It’s wonderful to be able to provide so many services under the same roof, especially for clients who are struggling with legal challenges.
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO TRAVEL AND WHY? I went to Taiwan to visit my husband’s extended family a few years ago, and we enjoyed his grandmother’s home cooking, the amazing street food and bustling cities. We would go back more often if it wasn’t so far away!
NAME: Vanessa Batters-Thompson
TITLE: Staff Attorney, Child Support Community Legal Services Project
WHERE ARE YOU FROM? I was born in New Jersey.
HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK FOR BFTC? Bread for the City’s Legal Clinic started the Child Support Community Legal Services Project just as I wrapped up an academic fellowship in GW Law’s family law clinic. At the clinic, I worked on a number of child support and paternity cases, and I found them particularly compelling for a number of reasons. When I heard about my position, I jumped at the opportunity.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT WORKING FOR BREAD, OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WORK HERE? The other staff! Folks at Bread are creative, talented and caring. Also, Bread people share a wonderful sense of humor. (And we are modest….)
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO TRAVEL AND WHY? Guernsey in the British Channel Islands. My mother is from the island, and we spent some great summers there as kids.
Thanks, family law team! Now let’s check out the DVCLS!
NAME: Tracy Davis
TITLE: SE Legal Clinic Supervisor
WHERE ARE YOU FROM? Winnipeg, CANADA!!!
HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK FOR BFTC? I applied for different jobs over the years, being repeatedly denied, until they couldn’t refuse me anymore.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT WORKING FOR BREAD, OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WORK HERE? The amazing clients and staff; that our clients have such a central role in our organization and determining the services we provide; and that most days, I can wear whatever shoes I want to wear.
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO TRAVEL AND WHY? Canada. Because I miss home and I love to eat poutine. What’s poutine, you ask? See here.
NAME: Julia Saladino
TITLE: Staff Attorney
WHERE ARE YOU FROM? New Orleans, Louisiana
HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK FOR BFTC? Before joining Bread, I was a law clerk for a domestic violence judge at D.C. Superior Court. I found the job posting on idealist.org for the Staff Attorney position at Bread for the City for the Domestic Violence Community Legal Services Project and applied.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT WORKING FOR BREAD, OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WORK HERE? I’m inspired everyday by the strength and resilience of my clients who are navigating the court system.
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO TRAVEL AND WHY? I haven’t traveled enough to appropriately answer this question, but I love being on the beach.
Thanks so much, ladies. Be sure to tune in next time!