Sonja Ebron: Facilitating Equal Access to Justice Resources
Hi everyone, Spiffy here, your one and only interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth. For my last interview of the week, I’m thrilled to be talking to Sonja Ebron, an entrepreneur working to make the world a better place through her work with Courtroom5, an organization where she is the CEO. Are you ready to be enlightened?
Spiffy: Hey Sonja, welcome to the blog! What is the challenge that Courtroom5 is addressing?
Sonja: Thanks for having me, Spiffy. To answer your question, most people in court can’t afford a lawyer to represent them, but the people who've brought them to court have lawyers. That’s what Courtroom5 helps with.
Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?
Sonja: I was sued and needed to defend myself in court, but I couldn’t afford a lawyer. The other side’s lawyer easily defeated me when I represented myself.
Spiffy: That must have been tough. Tell me a little more about how Courtroom5 is working towards a more equitable world.
Sonja: Well, Spiffy, our democracy works better when everyone has access to justice and the ability to be heard in court.
Spiffy: You’re absolutely right! Now, is there a recent milestone or successful initiative you want to share? I’d also love to know the impact it has on your community.
Sonja: Courtroom5 now allows lawyers to offer their services piecemeal to people who can't afford to hire them for the entire case. This means many more people will have the help they need to represent themselves in court.
Spiffy: Before I let you go, please share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from it? I’m always interested to learn how entrepreneurs deal with the inevitable bumps.
Sonja: There were many days when we didn't know how we'd pay the bills for Courtroom5. But somehow the money always arrived in time. Then there were many product ideas that didn't pan out the way we expected. I've learned that failure happens only when you quit trying.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Sonja—it’s been an honor!
Sonja is a PhD electrical engineer and former college professor with a background in utilities and artificial intelligence. She has represented herself in court for many years. As Courtroom5’s CEO, Sonja has made it her personal mission to empower people to represent themselves effectively in court. (First published on the Ladderworks website on April 8, 2022.)
© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Corner here.