How long have you volunteered with MCVLP?
I have volunteered for the MCVLP since first moving back to Huntsville to practice in early 2009.
Why do you volunteer?
I volunteer because all people deserve equal access to justice or to the law. I find that in private practice it can be easy to find yourself focused on billables. Volunteering with the VLP reminds me that the law is intended for all people, not just those that have the means to pay for access to it.
What is your most memorable volunteering experience?
My most memorable volunteering experience is when I represented “Ms. Lucille” who had a daughter who had a habit of having children and then abandoning them. Ms. Lucille travelled the country and found her grandchildren, then adopted them to ensure they had a roof over their head, a shirt on their back, and an education. She came to me to adopt two grandchildren. She was one of the sweetest and most genuine people I’ve ever met, and I was lucky to get the opportunity to help her and to get to know her. To think about all she went through to protect her grandchildren is pretty amazing!
What advice can you give attorneys thinking about volunteering with MCVLP?
The advice is simple: DO IT. Almost every lawyer I know worked extremely hard to get to this point in their career, but I think we have also been fortunate. The VLP is one easy way to use the degree and education you have for those who are less fortunate or who haven’t had the opportunities we’ve had. Pay attention to the newsletters and see if there’s some way you can help. While it’s not always easy balancing these cases with your paying clients, the work is worth the effort and is so rewarding!