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July 2019

SU2J currently offers legal assistance with family law, minor guardianship, housing, consumer protection, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and wills / advanced directives. Although Step Up to Justice has been open fewer than three years, the impact that the organization and its volunteers have had on the community is significant. Thank you for helping change lives!
3,006 Applicants Served    |    988 Client Clinics    |    190 Volunteer Attorneys

January 1, 2017 - August 31, 2019
Women’s Foundation Award
Thank you to the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona for awarding SU2J a $40,000 unrestricted grant. Funds will be used to provide free civil legal services to the most vulnerable and marginalized in our community. SU2J is grateful for the generous support of the WFSA. We look forward to partnering to increase income and assets for women and girls in Pima County.
Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch Competition
SU2J has been selected as one of fifteen non-profit organizations to participate in SVP’s Fast Pitch Competition this year. Leaders from the selected organizations will receive training and mentoring over two months from volunteer business, marketing and coaching professionals on how to succinctly and powerfully “tell their story.”

The program culminates in a Fast Pitch competition:  a high energy, rapid-fire presentation during which seven on-stage finalists, in just three minutes each, share their mission, vision and impact with judges and an audience of 500.

The Fast Pitch showcase will be held on November 7, 2019, at the Leo Rich Theater at the Tucson Convention Center.
AZ Bar Foundation Top 50 Awards
Step Up to Justice (SU2J) is pleased to announce that three of its volunteer attorneys – each representing a separate area of expertise – have been recognized by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education on their 2019 list of Top 50 Pro Bono Attorneys in Arizona. 

Kristy Clairmont, of Family Law Legal Consulting, PLLC, volunteered countless hours at SU2J’s Superior Court Clinic and in-house family law clinics, spent nearly 100 hours securing safety for a victim of domestic violence and her children, and worked with a team to revamp Pima County family law forms. 

Merle Joy Turchik, of Turchik Law Firm, PC, offered employment advice at SU2J’s Federal Court Clinic and represented SU2J clients at administrative hearings in both employment discrimination and wrongful termination. 

Angela Moore, of Moore, Masunas & Moore, PLLC, advised SU2J clients in wills, probate, and estate matters, and served at in-house clinics, often at the last minute.
Step Up - Stand Out Awards 
The awards, given quarterly, honor volunteers for their commitment to serving the needs of our clients and recognize that their efforts have lifted our neighbors out of poverty and changed lives forever.
SU2J is proud to announce that the recipients of the Summer 2019 awards are Jim Whitehill and the law firm of Liberty, Audette & Manzi, PC. Jim was among the very first to join SU2J’s roster of volunteers. He is a frequent participant in SU2J’s HOME clinic where he assists clients with landlord/tenant issues.
The lawyers and staff of Liberty, Audette & Manzi, PC have been tireless supporters of SU2J, participating in family law clinics in our office and at the Superior Court Self-Service Center. They have accepted some of the most complex cases seen by the organization for direct representation and have even found time to encourage others to support SU2J by volunteering and by participating in SU2J’s Tax Credit Campaign.
SU2J is excited to honor Jim Whitehill, Pam Liberty, Lauren Audette, and Jennifer Manzi. Their awards will be presented at a very special event in November.

Join SU2J for the “Justice for Kids” Concert – a benefit for Step Up to Justice on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2019, from 4 to 6 pm at 119 E. Toole Avenue. There will be side-by-side Kid and Adult Venues. Kids-Only Concert will be at Playformance, featuring Bruce Phillips (must be 5 years or older to attend; supervised by Playformance staff; limited to 65 kids – so RSVP to reserve your place). Adults Concert will be at Borderlands Brewing Company, featuring Mr. Michael P., The Hey, Bucko! Duo, and other special guests. 

Adults:  No cost for admission (donations accepted).  Kids:  Per family, first child is $25, second child is $10. 

Food will be available for purchase at Borderlands food trucks.  To RSVP, please email Michele Mirto at
FREE CLE for SU2J Volunteers:  Trauma-Informed Lawyering
Please join SU2J and the University of Arizona College of Law's Innovation for Justice Program on Monday, October 28th from 12:00-1:15 pm as we welcome Jamie Beck to Tucson. Jamie is the President and Managing Attorney of Free to Thrive, a San Diego based non-profit organization that empowers survivors of all forms of human trafficking in their journey to becoming thrivers. 
This training will provide an overview of the impact of trauma on our clients, cases and ourselves. Jaime will then provide tools for working with clients in a trauma-informed manner to avoid re-traumatization, and to have the best outcome in your cases.  She will also discuss vicarious-trauma and how to identify and address it when it happens to you. 
For more information and to register for the CLE please email Michele Mirto at
Graciela Rodarte is the receptionist and intake specialist at Step Up to Justice. She is currently a student at the University of Arizona. Gracie will receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in Law with a minor in Spanish in May of 2020. Gracie comes to Step Up to Justice having interned with both the International Rescue Committee and the Colibri Human Rights Center. Gracie is committed to utilizing her Spanish language skills to help low-income families navigate a complicated legal system. Gracie plans to attend law school and one day hopes to practice immigration law. 
Briana Hoyos is the RENT Leader at Step Up to Justice. As part of her work with SU2J Briana coordinates community opportunities for tenant education, identifies stakeholders who interface with tenants and recruits and trains volunteer attonreys to participate in the RENT program. Briana received her Bachelor of Arts in Law degree from the University of Arizona in May 2019. Briana interned with the U of A Debate Series and volunteered with the International Rescue Committee where she utilized her Spanish language skills to facilitate meetings between attorneys and clients. In addition to her superior language abilities, Briana brings exceptional technology skills, event planning and public speaking experience to her position with SU2J.

RENT Volunteers Needed
SU2J is partnering with the James E. Rogers College of Law’s Innovation for Justice Program to bring tenant workshops to Pima County residents. The project, known as RENT provides information regarding renters’ rights and responsibilities, and how to be prepared for events that can lead to eviction. The workshops are one hour in length and require a volunteer attorney to deliver a 30-minute presentation.  The workshops are presented at a variety of community locations across Tucson.
Participating in the RENT project is an easy volunteer opportunity. No prior housing experience is required. If you have an hour to help, we’d love to have you join this project to help stabilize housing in Pima County. For more information, please contact Michele Mirto at

Please Consider Supporting SU2J’s Tax Credit Campaign
You have all been wonderful supporters of Step Up to Justice since our launch in 2017. With your support, the little non-profit-that-could has now delivered nearly $3.5 million in free civil legal assistance to over 3,000 low-income members of our community. Protection from domestic violence, legal guardianship over children, end-of-life planning, consumer protection, and now (at long last!) much needed legal help for tenants facing eviction.

The efforts of our volunteers change lives. THANK YOU for supporting our work. If you are looking for a place to direct your charitable tax dollars, I hope you will consider Step Up to Justice. Every dollar comes back to you when you file your return. It's like a magical, charitable boomerang. 
2019 donations can be made up until April 15, 2020.
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Step Up to Justice
320 N. Commerce Park Loop, Suite 100
Tucson, AZ  85745
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