What is your regular practice area: Where do you work? What do you love most about your job?
I practice primarily in family law with a significant amount of appellate work, some district court criminal and some special proceedings. I am self-employed. Emily Sutton Dezio, P.A. I love those moments when I am able to assist a family in finding a resolution that serves their needs. Family law is tough and doesn’t have to be antagonistic.
What is your most recent pro bono experience?
I have been representing a father in the Courts of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians attempting to reconcile with his children since 2019. We finally received a successful result and commend my client for having patience. I have recently represented a business owner whose business was shuttered due to COVID modifying his support obligations to manageable amounts. I recently accepted a pro-bono appeal for an equitable distribution judgment. If I had endless amounts of money, I would open a pro bono civil appellate non-profit. There are so many people who deserve to challenge district court decisions but are simply unable due to the cost of that type of work.
How has engaging in pro bono legal service enriched your career, or enriched you personally or professionally?
I believe in community service. Volunteerism strengthens the community around me. When I volunteer, I find that investment in my community makes a difference. Personally, I enjoy being a service to those that cannot afford it. They are more appreciative and understanding of your time.
Of what moment(s) from your pro bono work are you the most proud?
Each of my pro bono experiences brings proud feelings, however, I am most proud of being in a position in my career to accept a pro bono appellate case.
What advice would you give someone who has not yet provided any pro bono work? Always find a time to give back – we really have one life to live – and a life of service is better lived.