Welcome New Access to Justice Board Members – Part 1
Please join us in welcoming the three newest members to the Access to Justice Board! We’re thrilled to have Michelle Lucas from the Sexual Violence Legal Services of the YWCA, Judge David Keenan with the King County Superior Court, and Judge Frederick Corbit from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Washington. The wealth of experience and perspective that each brings to the Board will be valuable assets as the Board embarks on the next few years. We sat down with Michelle, Judge Keenan and Judge Corbit to learn a little more about their experience and what inspires them to do equity and justice work. Check out Michelle’s responses below and find Judge Keenan’s and Judge Corbit’s responses in Part 2 and Part 3 of this series.
Michelle Lucas – Staff Attorney, Sexual Violence Legal Service of the YWCA
Michelle Lucas is a Staff Attorney at Sexual Violence Legal Services of the YWCA where she provides civil legal assistance to survivors of sexual assault. She clerked for Judge Michael Downes of the Snohomish County Superior Court, and prior to that worked in social services with the City of Seattle and Solid Ground, focusing on seniors and people with disabilities. Michelle spent several years as a volunteer domestic violence victim advocate with the Seattle Police Department Victim Support Team, and is a current volunteer with KCBA’s Neighborhood Legal Clinics. Michelle received her Juris Doctorate from Seattle University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington.
Question: Can you share a little about your background and what led you to become a Board member?
Michelle: I’ve always enjoyed helping people and worked in social services for several years before becoming a lawyer. I ultimately decided to go to law school so I could be a more effective advocate for the underserved populations that I worked with, and when I found out about the opportunity to join the Access to Justice Board, it seemed like an amazing next step to keep working towards that goal.
Question: What role do you see yourself playing on the Board? Or said another way, what do you hope to bring to the Board?
Michelle: I really hope that my direct service background in both social work and law can help bring an informed perspective about how policy changes play out on the ground level. I also am excited to be a voice for smaller legal aid organizations that are part of the Alliance that do incredible work but are less visible than some of the larger providers.
Question: What are you looking forward to during your time on the Board?
Michelle: I’m so excited with all of the people I’ve met so far who do amazing work and are so dedicated to helping people and addressing systemic problems with our legal services delivery. I know that I will continue to meet hard working and passionate people who are focused on improving the ways that we help people.
Question: Any final thoughts that you’d like to leave us with?
Michelle: In the few months that I’ve been participating in Board activities and duties, I’ve been so impressed by people’s dedication, thoughtfulness, and problem-solving ideas. I am really looking forward to being part of a creative team that cares so much about the important goal of making sure that everyone has access to legal services and other supports the community provides.
For a full list of Access to Justice Board members, including bios and contact information, visit our roster.