Alicia Lewis promptly began volunteering with MVLS after joining our panel in August 2011 and has been a consistent volunteer, accepting 77 cases to date. She accepts mostly family law cases and has been able to resolve clients’ issues with no complaints from our clients. She has accepted at least one case for each fiscal year since she has begun volunteering (7 years consecutively). Alicia rarely turns away a case, closes cases without delay, and eagerly requests new client referrals. Additionally, she assists with our Limited English Proficiency (LEP) clients and takes cases with court dates that are quickly approaching. Alicia is an integral volunteer from our panel and we are so happy to have her as a part of Team MVLS. You can read more about Alicia’s interest in pro bono in her interview below.
1. Why do you choose to volunteer with MVLS?
I grew up the child of two parents that were in the military and I was heavily involved with the Girl Scouts. I was taught from a very young age to do for others and I have taken those teachings and embraced them as a part of my professional life. I have lived in Baltimore City for ten years and went to law school at the University of Baltimore. I have a love affair with Baltimore City and when I began to work as a solo attorney I wanted to focus my volunteer work in Baltimore City. MVLS was a natural fit to help me accomplish my goals to assist others not as fortunate in my community.
2. Do you have any stand out stories?
When I meet the people that I assist through MVLS I start off every appointment thanking them for the opportunity to help them with their legal issues. I find a lot of the people that I assist are not treated with the same respect, time and empathy as those individuals that have the money to pay their attorneys. I try to remedy that with every client I assist through MVLS through zealous legal representation and connecting them with resources and other organizations in our community.
I don’t really have one stand out story. I have had the privilege to assist a lot of individuals in the community through MVLS. Lately, I really have enjoyed assisting a lot of fathers in Baltimore City through MVLS because a lot of them have the incorrect assumption that only mothers get custody and are on the verge of giving up on themselves and their children.
3. What is your favorite part about volunteering with MVLS?
I enjoy helping MVLS because they are a beautifully ran organization that is set up to help connect attorneys with self-represented litigants in a very expeditious manner. MVLS has a lot of wonderful resources and training materials to help those attorneys that want to assist self-represented litigants. MVLS and its staff are always there to assist in any way that you may need when you are working with them as a volunteer attorney. I especially enjoy working with Staff member Tara Miles. For years she has been my go to contact person and she is always very friendly and professional.
4. Why should other attorneys do pro bono?
As attorneys we have access to information, resources and judicial tools that are not available for those people that cannot afford an attorney or are themselves pro se litigants. I often find the little things that I can do for the clients that I am connected with through MVLS not only help those clients with their legal issues; but help set them on a successful trajectory in their life. I feel that if it weren’t for certain circumstances in life any of us could easily be in the same position some of the clients that I meet are in their life; and for those reasons I have volunteered and will continue to volunteer for MVLS.