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 am based in Greensboro, NC and take cases in Guilford, Forsyth, Surry, and Stokes counties. I practice exclusively family law. I love most the day in and day out contact and effect I have on my clients’ lives. They come to me when they are going through one of the most traumatic times of their life and I am the one here to take the stress load off their back and let them focus on their home life while I take care of the legal issues.
What is your most recent pro bono experience?
I was trained as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for Guilford County in winter 2019 and the past year and a half I was the volunteer GAL for a teenager who was placed in foster care almost four years ago. She was adopted today (09-30-2020) and we just had the best conversation last night not knowing that today was going to be the day of her adoption. We went through some challenging times since my appointment and to know that I have been there for her and that she trusts me is something I know I will continue to hold near my heart.
How has engaging in pro bono legal service enriched your career, or enriched you personally or professionally?
I think as a family law attorney, sometimes the days are very hard emotionally and professionally. Burnout is also extremely prevalent in this area. Through my pro bono work, I have been able to separate the moments of stress, frustration, and exhaustion from my own little world and see the bigger picture. Even if I am working on a pro bono project outside of my regular practice area, it not only helps give me a break from the emotional toll of family law but helps me see a different part of our community that I can assist with my legal background.
Of what moment(s) from your pro bono work are you the most proud?
I am most proud of my work with the NC Justice Center’s Power of Attorney (POA) clinics for immigrants. I come from a family of immigrants from India and I am first generation East Indian American. I found that work was so important for various families and individuals for obvious reasons. I felt that if my giving 4-6 hours of my Saturday to make a few families sleep easier at night and feel that their children will be taken care of in the event of deportation was a very small amount of time in the greater scheme of things. I loved meeting the different families, learning about their backgrounds, cultures, and their legal concerns and fears. I am also very proud of my pro bono work with the Guilford County Guardian ad Litem program. Looking out for some of the most vulnerable children in my community is something that not everyone can do and I take this role very seriously. Being the voice for a child who may feel the whole world is against them or feel that they have been completely taken away from the life they know is something I will never take lightly. I care for “my” kids that I’m appointed to speak for and know we’ve created a lasting relationship for life.
What advice would you give someone who has not yet provided any pro bono work?
I encourage any attorney, new or seasoned, to get out of their comfort zone. Try to participate in one of the Justice Center’s clinics as a starting point. If those are too uncomfortable at first, then contact your local Legal Aid of NC office and let them know you would be willing to take on a pro bono case in your practice area. Pro bono work will not only enrich your professional career, but it has the potential to change someone’s life. Any time given to a pro bono case or client or caller may seem like 0.1 billable hour but that 6 minutes could change the trajectory of someone’s life path