A one-on-one with Tori Simmons, a current Bay Area Legal Services Board member, volunteer and donor.
How did initially get involved with Bay Area Legal?
I took my first case with Bay Area Legal when I was a first-year lawyer. I represented a mother in her petition to become the guardian of her 18-year-old son who suffered from severe disabilities. It felt wonderful to help make a real difference in my client’s life and she was so appreciative! I fell in love with pro bono and have been taking cases with Bay Area ever since. I actually still represent the mother and assist with the preparation and filing of her annual guardianship reports. She is my longest-served client!
What do you enjoy most serving on the Board of Directors at Bay Area Legal?
I really enjoy getting to know the incredible staff at Bay Area Legal and learning about the diverse ways that they serve our clients. Everyone at Bay Area Legal is so passionate about their work and dedicated to providing top-notch services to each client. It is a constant source of inspiration for me.
Why do you think legal aid is essential?
The lack of affordable legal representation is a huge barrier to low-income and vulnerable populations. Access to representation for housing issues, fraud and abuse of seniors, and domestic violence can be the difference between homelessness and housing security, dignity and despair, and even life or death. Legal aid is a critical component of providing equal opportunities for everyone and building strong communities.
A fun fact about Tori?!
I have driven the same car (a used 1998 jeep I bought in high school) for 17 years. I’m not sure if there is a world record out there for this, but I have to be getting close.