Julia Ishiyama

Julia Ishiyama

Class of 2009
Second Year Law Student at Stanford Law School

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your pro bono work at Stanford Law?
A: As a first-year, I did pro bono work at Stanford’s Social Security Disability Project (SSDP) to help provide homeless and at-risk clients access to their Social Security benefits. As a second-year student, I plan to work with Stanford’s Housing Pro Bono Project, which helps low-income East Palo Alto renters resolve landlord disputes – whether the client is facing eviction, habitability issues, discriminatory behavior, illegal increases in rent, or other housing problems.

Q: Where did you volunteer while you were a student at Castilleja?
A: My primary volunteer activity was spent working with children in my old kindergarten classroom at Walter Hayes Elementary School. Since Palo Alto public schools operated on a different schedule than Castilleja, I spent my breaks reading stories to students, preparing and running educational activities, and helping administer state-mandated assessments. In high school, I served as a member of Congresswoman Anna Eshoo’s Student Advisory Board where I researched and drafted policy recommendations for a year-end report presented to the Congresswoman, including on how to incentivize HPV vaccination.

Q: How do you feel your education at Castilleja prepared you for your future?
A: Seven years of all-girls education gave me an incredible appreciation for how rare and wonderful it is to have strong female voices in every classroom, female leads in every play, and women running (student) government. As a result, my focus in law school is on issues of gender equity and removing real-world barriers to the kind of female excellence I was surrounded by at Castilleja. To that end, I spent the summer of 2017 interning at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. I am the president of Stanford Lawyering for Reproductive Justice and serve on the board of Women of Stanford Law. This summer, I’ll be at a law firm where I hope to work on Title IX litigation—advocating for survivors of campus sexual assault.

Q: As you know, we are undertaking an effort to increase enrollment to provide more educational opportunities for girls and young women. Are there any comments you’d like to share about this effort?
A: Castilleja’s investment in its students pays dividends in this community every day. I think seeking the opportunity to double down on your commitment to Palo Alto by populating it with more young women dedicated to service while responsibly managing growth deserves fair consideration by the people of Palo Alto.