The Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) is pleased to spotlight Jubilee Menzies of Andrus Anderson as our Volunteer of the Month for July 2014. Menzies began volunteering with JDC in 2011 with the Consumer
Project, which provides legal advice, assistance and limited or full-scope representation to low-income consumers facing debt collection and related issues.
After graduating from law school in 2010, Menzies looked for volunteer opportunities and chose JDC because it seemed to “provide in-depth training for its projects and has a well-rounded network of attorneys from varied backgrounds.” She specifically chose the Consumer Project since it offered direct client contact and opportunities for limited scope representation.
Menzies says of volunteering, “It’s rewarding to use my legal skills to contribute to something beyond myself, whether it is the local community as a whole, the financial bottom line of a particular family, or the ability of a low-income resident to feel a little less stress in their daily life.”
One memorable case involved a client sued by a third-party debt buyer of credit card debt. The client,
an immigrant from Latin America, had worked hard to purchase a home in the Bayview in the 1980s. Most recently, she had only been able to find part-time work and was struggling to support both herself and her disabled adult son, and make her mortgage payments. Menzies took the case for full scope representation and obtained a dismissal. When she gave the client the good news, the client thanked her
profusely. Menzies remarked, “My client’s gratitude reminded me how important it is to give someone a hand when you can.”
While she has volunteered much of her life, “Volunteering in the legal community gives me the opportunity to use my legal skills in new ways, to learn about areas of law beyond those I practice in regularly, and to demystify the legal system a little bit for members of underserved populations.” She also finds that the clients are immensely grateful. For Menzies, whose practice focuses on antitrust matters, one challenge of volunteering is dealing with an unfamiliar area of law, while knowing that her ability to understand that law has a real impact on someone else. At the same time, this pressure inspires her to do her best.
Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Menzies moved to the Bay Area in the late 1990’s and considers it home.
She loves the comparatively relaxed culture, access to the outdoors, and active lifestyle.
When not working, she loves to spend time outdoors and recently took a backpacking trip to the Lost Creek Wilderness in Colorado.
Get involved: If you would like more information on JDC’s Consumer Project, email email@example.com.