The following is a summary of my interview with Valerie Brown Lescroart from Alameda County Bar Association (ACBA), a customer that DeepNet is proud to serve and support!
Alan: Who is the ACBA?
Valerie: Alameda County Bar Association is a professional membership organization for attorneys in the Bay Area. We provide education credits for attorneys so they can meet the state bar requirements, and we offer all of those for free. Our sister program, Legal Access Alameda. We run with the courts to provide attorneys to folks who can't afford them in criminal matters when there's conflicts with the public defender's office. So it's folks that don't qualify for free legal aid but can no way afford 200, $400 an hour for an attorney. We are a mix of attorneys and non attorneys. And one of the things that we're proud about today is the diversity on our board and our membership, because a diverse board and membership help represent the needs of our community.
Alan: How does ACBA create Impact within the community?
Valerie: I think that creating impact for the CBA is twofold. It's really nurturing and creating a generation of attorneys that are thoughtful and educated and passionate about the work that they do. And then the second part is connecting those attorneys with low income folks that need their services. Attorneys can give money to legal access. Alameda But really, the thing that we need and want from them is their time, because attorneys can serve in a way that other people can't. Social impact is also important to our team. When we hear stories from the clients that have been helped, that feels great because there are so many stories and we can only help such a small fraction of those people. But what really feels great about this job is to create a change in the lives of the public that we are serving. That could look like helping a survivor of domestic abuse find housing. That could mean helping a grandmother get guardianship of her grandson. Legally, that could mean helping somebody file for bankruptcy to clear their credit and to get a fresh start on their life. Those are the kinds of things that that feel really wonderful.
Alan: How does DeepNet support ACBA?
Valerie: One of the challenges of being a nonprofit is that the Alameda County Bar Association can't afford to have an on site tech team. And one of the great things about DeepNet is that whenever we're having a problem connecting with our members, connecting with the public, if there's something going wonky on our website, if there's something going wrong on our computers that we can't seem to fix, we just shoot off a message and DeepNet is right on it to respond to our issues. This helps us create an impact in our community because that means we're not down for hours on end. We love when we can partner with corporations and organizations that have values driven missions. And so when we can marry those two, it's a happy moment for everyone!