From which law school did you graduate?
Northeastern University School of Law
Tell us about your regular practice area. Where do you practice and what do you do? What do you love most about your job?
I recently went from being a trial attorney- mostly as a criminal defense attorney- to working with both Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and Legal Aid of North Carolina as the Pro Bono Specialist. The thing I love most about my job is that I get to meet and interact with all types of people all day long- from dedicated and hardworking volunteers at firms to all of my amazing colleagues to the clients we work so hard to empower and assist. To be able to do what I love while working for organizations that do important work that I truly care about is an absolute honor. I can genuinely say I love going to work every day!
What is your favorite pro bono experience?
I recently attended a housing clinic with volunteers from local firms and banks working alongside Legal Aid attorneys to represent clients facing eviction. It was so good to talk directly to clients again, which has always been the foundation of my legal practice and also to watch the volunteers flourish by stepping bravely outside of their comfort zones to lend a helping hand.
Tell us about your experience with the Pro Bono Resource Center projects.
I’ve been working hand in hand with the folks at the Pro Bono Resource Center as CCLA works to revamp its Driver’s License Restoration Project. And I even got to grab coffee with Sylvia and Anh when they came to Charlotte- we had a rollicking good time and it was so good to meet in person!
How has pro bono volunteerism enriched your career? How has it enriched you personally and professionally?
It’s not only enriched my career, it’s the whole basis for my career. I went to law school to fulfill a genuine desire to use the law as a force of change for good in the world. It’s important to me to be proud of what I do and to use my privilege to fight injustice. Pro bono work enriches my career on a daily basis, in every way.
Of what moment(s) from your pro bono work are you proudest?
I think I am proudest of my decision to leave the work I have been doing since I graduated from law school and to branch into something new, where the work I do impacts individuals but also more broadly the community and the causes I hold dear. I’m a big believer in stepping outside of our comfort zones to test the limits of what we can achieve.
What advice would you give attorneys who have not yet provided any pro bono service?
Pro bono work benefits our clients but it benefits us as attorneys too. Challenge yourself to take that leap and do something that you have never tried before. There are so many areas of law, and most of us never have contact with areas outside of our practices. Dare yourself to try something new and different that you never would have imagined yourself doing, and you just might learn something new and find a passion project while you’re at it.