Sarah O’Neill is one of Legal Aid of Nebraska’s newest staff attorneys. She is involved with the Housing Justice Project, which works to represent low-income Nebraskans to demand protection of foreclosure and eviction rights, to insure low-income housing is safe and habitable, and to develop new community-based efforts to help low-income families access affordable housing.
What brought you to Legal Aid?
“The passion I witnessed from the Housing Justice Project team—nearly every day for the past two years in my previous position with the Volunteer Lawyers Project and before, while I was a clinic student in law school—drew me to Legal Aid of Nebraska. Having the opportunity to work near and partner with Legal Aid of Nebraska attorneys for years made me realize I had to be one of them.”
What do you find most compelling about the Housing Justice Project?
“The Legal Aid of Nebraska Housing Justice Project team is made up of the leading tenant defense experts in the state. I knew I wanted to continue to dedicate my career to preventing homelessness, protecting the rights of the unhoused, and fighting for the human right to safe, affordable housing. I joined this team to learn from the best and be part of the solution to the housing crisis through direct representation of low-income Nebraskans.”
Where did you complete your law degree?
“University of Nebraska College of Law”
What did you imagine yourself doing with your degree?
“I applied for and graduated from law school with the same goal: helping people. I want to expand access to justice and am proud that I have not wavered from that goal. I look forward to continuing on this path to “make equal justice happen” at Legal Aid of Nebraska.”
Who has inspired you the most in your career/legal journey?
“There are too many folks to count. I am fortunate enough to know some of the most amazing public interest attorneys and pro bono attorneys who just get it, who understand that the system we work within was not created for the people we represent but that while we are working to make vital systemic change, we must also be zealous advocates right now.”
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
“I love a long walk, reading and people watching at coffee shops, going to the movies, traveling, and watching too much TV with my cat, Poppy, on my lap.”