San Diego Lawyer September/October 2020

Page 27

Service to Diversity Award

Service by a Public Attorney Award

Bhashini Weer asinghe

Rosalina Spencer Leon

Law Office of Bhashini Weerasinghe

Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc.

Why do you serve? I serve because it is needed and it makes me feel good to give back. There were those who came before me and who paved a path that made it easier for me when I started my journey and it is necessary

Why do you serve? I believe access to legal services for everyone is vital. Who inspires you to serve?

to continue to develop that path for those who are on this journey

Not everyone is in a position to help themselves and I’ve always

alongside me and those who come after me.

been drawn to amplifying those voices.

Who inspires you to serve?

What advice would you give others to inspire them to serve?

There are so many who inspire me, but the standouts in my mind

As a society, we could all benefit from having empathy toward

are my parents. No matter what was happening in their lives, they

others in our community.

always found a way to serve their community.

Your favorite quote?

What advice would you give others to inspire them to serve?

"No dejes para mañana lo que puedas hacer hoy."

Do what you can, when you can, for as many people as you can.

Don't leave for tomorrow what you can do today.

Keep your eyes open for opportunities to get involved and to give back. Life has an unspoken rule that the more you give back, the

Cherished advice?

more you get out of it.

Take each problem one step at a time.

Your favorite quote?

If you could magically change one thing about the world, what

“Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” It is often attributed to John Wooden or Winston Churchill. Whoever said it, I love it. In what ways does serving the wider community benefit the legal

would it be? Eliminate poverty. How can others make giving back part of their daily lives? Start small, in your own community.

profession? When you work with the wider community, you can help whatever cause you are getting involved with, help that cause grow by

The SDCBA’s Law Day theme this year is “Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy: The 19th Amendment at 100.” What does this

introducing it to your network, but also assist the community in

mean to you in your work and in your daily life?

seeing attorneys as more than a stereotype or a punch line in a joke.

This theme is important because the clients that I serve deserve to be heard and have been disproportionately unrepresented in our

The SDCBA’s Law Day theme this year is “Your Vote, Your Voice,

government.

Our Democracy: The 19th Amendment at 100.” What does this mean to you in your work and in your daily life? The right to vote is one I have always valued and exercised because in a democratic society, representation matters. While we have a long way to go to achieve parity and equality, to think that women were not able to vote 100 years ago and black men were not able to vote 150 years ago, shows that through protests and advocacy, culture and norms do change.

SAN DIEGO LAWYER

|

September/October 2020

27