Tell me about your regular practice area: Where do you practice and what do you do? What do you love most about your job?

I practice in workers’ compensation defense in Wilmington, NC with Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP.  Specifically, my work allows me the opportunity to help many small businesses navigate claims and maintain good working relationships with their employees.  While these claims do get contentious, and there is quite a bit of disagreement, the work teaches you how to communicate and relate with a diverse group of people.  I enjoy the technical legal analysis as much as I enjoy working with the people that make up my clients and opposing counsel.  I have learned that much of what I do has little to do with the law itself, and that this is where you can grow the most.

What is your most recent pro bono experience?

While not a specific “experience,” my most recent pro bono work is not what is considered conventional pro bono activity.  Given the current COVID-19 environment, I have spent much more time talking to other young attorneys about how to get into pro bono work.  I always felt that no matter how much I can do myself, if I can get others involved, I will be doing a greater service to our profession and the community.

How has engaging in pro bono legal service enriched your career, or enriched you personally or professionally?

Pro bono work naturally takes you back to the “why did I become a lawyer?” question.  I have learned that there are many people, groups, and businesses that need help, and that there is also much to be learned about life in helping others.  It is not unlike volunteering as a non-attorney – you get much more out of life if you spend time with people who genuinely need some help.

Of what moment(s) from your pro bono work are you the most proud?

Ideally, I have yet to do what I am most proud of.  I would like to say that it has been garnering interest of other young attorneys in doing pro bono work.  I think it is paramount that as advocates we use our knowledge to find the words that others cannot.

What advice would you give someone who has not yet provided any pro bono work?

Do not be afraid of not knowing what you are doing.  Pro bono work is an opportunity to learn and grow.  At a time in our country where divisiveness rules the headlines, I think that we have an opportunity to bridge gaps and show the value of community.