The spam musubi Shannon Clark receives from a friend who owns a Japanese grocery store is one of the highlights of her day. She would eat all three at once, licking her fingers with a satisfied smile.
Eating spam musubi shouldn’t be that unusual except Shannon lives in Chicago where it’s almost a delicacy. So when Shannon eats, she eats with gusto, satisfying her taste buds and nostalgia.
“I love Chicago, but Hawaii is where my loyalty and heart remain,” says Shannon, a Hawaii-born wahine who found her niche in the city as a data privacy lawyer. “My family has been in Hawaii for a long time. Hawaii always feels like home.”
Shannon donating to Legal Aid Society was like eating spam musubi – it satisfied her passion to help the less advantaged and brought back memories of the summer of 1994 when she interned as a law clerk while a student at the Indiana University School of Law.
“Having worked with Legal Aid, I have confidence in their mission,” says Shannon. “I have a lot of respect for the staff because what they do takes a lot of commitment. The people I worked with were dedicated and good at what they were doing."
With the immersive clerkship, Shannon gained valuable experience learning from lawyer mentors and paralegals, going to court, dealing with the practical aspect of client needs, and developing her research skills. Of course, she was also happy to be back in Hawaii with family and friends.
“I see a big need especially because of COVID and so many people being out of work,” she says about the current pandemic. “One of the experiences I had when I worked with Legal Aid was the work with housing and Social Security benefits. And because COVID has unfortunately shifted the imbalance a little more, there would be an even more pressing need.”
Shannon meets this need by donating to different charities every year, especially choosing to support organizations that provide legal services to the underserved.
“Every little bit helps. And collectively, we can make a difference.”
Many families need legal services and do not have the financial means to access justice. Join Shannon and the rest of us in helping them recover from the effects of the pandemic.