Note: Each summer, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences.
Name: Ronald ‘Chino’ Betita
Position: Law Clerk
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Born in the Philippines).
About Chino: Chino is a second-year student at the Creighton University School of Law. He has an undergraduate degree from Gonzaga University in English with a minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership. Chino was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada when he was 2 years old. After graduating college, Chino joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a service organization dedicated to serving the poor and marginalized by providing volunteers to various community organizations and groups. He served as a “volun-teacher” at an inner city school in south St. Louis. Afterwards, Chino returned to Vancouver where he worked as a special needs teacher’s assistant at an elementary school and a support worker at a homeless shelter. Having fallen in love with the Midwest’s sense of community, Chino returned to the region to attend Creighton for law school.
Why Appleseed?: “My interest in public interest law comes from my desire to serve others and the community that I am a part of. My passion to serve has been guided by my experiences doing volunteer work. In college, I was part of a sophomore service group that would volunteer and raise money for established agencies. The year I was a member, our group started a nonprofit, after-school program at an elementary school in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Spokane (Washington). We took on the challenge of building and managing a new after-school program from scratch. We raised $54,000 for the school with the goal of not only funding the program for its first year, but for subsequent years.
“Having had past experiences serving others at the interpersonal level, I’ve always wanted to get a sense of what it takes to advocate for change at the governmental level. I believe that Appleseed gave me the opportunity to gain more experience in policy-related work. Constitutional law was my favorite first-year law class, and Appleseed has allowed me to go beyond merely reciting the ‘prima facie case’ or determining what level of scrutiny will be used – Appleseed has allowed me to explore the various issues facing the lives of many Nebraskans.
“I also like Appleseed’s community-oriented focus. One of the values of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps was community, and one of the ways this was implemented was having its volunteers live amongst the people whom they served. Similarly, through its community organizing and outreach, Appleseed definitely seeks to unite Nebraskans for the cause of building a better Nebraska.”
Future Plans: “I know want to go into public interest law, and I want to work for a nonprofit like Appleseed or perform legal services for indigent clients and low-income communities. Whatever I am called to do as a future lawyer, I hope to continue to serve others and the community that I am a part of.”