A few missed payments on a credit card bill or a student loan can bring consumers into a legal system that seems overwhelming. Volunteer lawyers through VLJ’s Consumer Law Program help to relieve some of the pressure felt by these consumers. This month, we highlight the work of Rob Nussbaum of Saiber LLC. Rob’s practice at Saiber has centered on civil litigation including collection work, construction litigation, and personal injury defense work. That experience in civil litigation made Rob a natural fit for VLJ’s Consumer Law Program.
Paralegals are an integral part of the practice of law. The American Bar Association recognizes that paralegals can enhance lawyers’ abilities to offer paid and pro bono services. That is also true of the role of paralegals as volunteers with VLJ, including longtime Consumer Law Clinic volunteer Maryann McGrath. Maryann is a paralegal at AT&T, currently focusing on domestic and international corporate governance. Maryann has volunteered with the Consumer Law Clinic every month for the past 5 years.
In an area of law dominated by creditors and debt collection agencies with years of experience in court procedures, it’s easy to see how not just clients but even attorneys unfamiliar with the litigation process might lack confidence. But as Richard Dennis can report, even the most basic advice and assistance can make an enormous difference for low-income debtors who feel confused and powerless. Richard worked for AT&T for 17 years, first handling corporate matters including mergers and acquisitions, and then working in the company’s global operations legal team. He is also a long-time volunteer at VLJ’s Consumer Law Clinic
At VLJ, we celebrate pro bono work every day, but in honor of the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Week (October 23rd to 29th), we have planned a wide variety of events for attorneys and clients. The goals of the celebration include recruiting more pro bono volunteers and increasing legal services to poor and vulnerable people, mobilizing community support for pro bono, fostering collaborative relationships, and recognizing the pro bono efforts of America’s lawyers. Click through to see some events that we have planned.