July 2020 Volunteer of the Month- Jessica Ornsby

Jessica Ornsby is the founder of A+O Law Group, a firm in Washington DC that specializes in various areas of civil law. Jessica began volunteering with MVLS in 2017 and has since accepted eight family law cases, primarily custody, and all in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. As a volunteer in our Judicare program, Jessica takes on some of the more complex family law matters and recently successfully handled a particularly challenging case on MVLS’ behalf.

Read on to hear why Jessica volunteers:

  • Why do you choose to volunteer with MVLS?

After law school I worked at a large law firm and my favorite assignments were the family law pro bono cases. While all legal work is equally important, I was particularly touched by the families I worked with. When I decided to start my practice and to focus primarily on family law matters it was important to me that a portion of my time be dedicated to pro bono family law cases.       

  • Do you have any stand out stories?

Each of my MVLS cases have tugged at my heart in some way. One of my favorite cases involved a client who had lost custody of her daughter after litigating pro se against her ex who was represented. During my representation I had the pleasure of meeting the client’s church family and extended family who travelled near and far to support her on the day of trial. It was a reminder of how far-reaching the impact of MVLS is. 

  • What is your favorite part about volunteering with MVLS?

My favorite part about volunteering with MVLS is knowing that for each client represented, there is one fewer litigant having to navigate his or her case alone. Oftentimes the clients have previously been counted out simply due to a lack of resources but feel more empowered by the end of the representation. There are fantastic resources and mentors provided by MVLS as well, which helps me feel confident that each client is getting excellent representation. 

  • Why should other attorneys do pro bono?

I strongly believe that everyone should take advantage of opportunities to serve. As attorneys we are in a position to give back in a unique and invaluable way. No one else can provide the services we offer so we should each seriously consider the positive impact we can have on our respective communities simply by giving a portion of our time.

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