Volunteer Lawyers for Justice is honored to recognize Tim Law as the February 2019 Volunteer of the Month for his work with our New Jersey Human Trafficking Victims’ Legal Assistance Program (Trafficking Program). Tim recognizes the pivotal role a skilled and dedicated attorney can play in changing the lives of human trafficking survivors with criminal records, and he exemplifies the zealous champion for survivors’ rights.
Tim is a Partner in the Philadelphia office of Reed Smith, where he represents corporations, non-profits, and universities in liability insurance coverage litigation, arbitration, and mediation. Despite his incredibly busy schedule, Tim makes sure to carve out time to do significant pro bono work. He continues to work with United Policyholders, is very involved with the Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program, and has done significant pro bono work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
About a year ago, Tim began to think about expanding his pro bono work even further. His research led him to identify sex workers as a vulnerable group that often lacked much-needed transformational legal counsel. He got connected to VLJ’s Trafficking Program, which provides holistic, wrap-around legal services to survivors on a variety of legal matters, including criminal record clearing, immigration assistance, family law assistance and driver’s license restoration. Tim immediately began volunteering, taking on a client, Ana, with five open warrant cases in NJ stemming from the charges she incurred while she was trafficked. Because NJ recognizes that Ana is a victim, not a criminal, Tim obtained recall of the warrants and dismissal of the underlying charges. Ana was so grateful that she told Tim that it was the best day of her life. “She was so scared that she would end up in jail, but instead, everything was dismissed and she was so thankful and relieved,” said Tim. He changed Ana’s life. Tim is now co-counseling with VLJ on yet another case for a human trafficking survivor.
Reflecting on his work with VLJ, Tim says: “VLJ is a wonderful supplement to my paying job. I spend ten percent of my practice on volunteering, but I derive seventy-five percent reward. Legal services are expensive and much needed for victims of human trafficking. It has been rewarding working with VLJ’s clients and gratifying to help them.” VLJ’s Managing Attorney, Jessica Kitson says of Tim, “He is exactly the kind of volunteer VLJ needs for this program. He takes his valuable legal skills and uses them to represent individuals who would otherwise be left to fend for themselves.” In the short time since he began volunteering with us, Tim has already changed the lives of our clients.