Pro Bono Assignments07/19/16
When I applied for summer associate positions, Quarles & Brady's dedication to pro bono work was one of the many reasons I wanted to work here. After spending two months here, it is already clear that the firm's attorneys truly value their pro bono work, and they are eager to get the summer associates involved in their pro bono cases. One of my favorite experiences this summer was attending a hearing in juvenile court for a pro bono client. I really enjoyed meeting the client and seeing how grateful she was to have an outstanding attorney helping her during a difficult time in her life.
The work has been gratifying—knowing that we may be helping to take one more problem off the shoulders of these individuals who already have so much else to bear. Quarles fully supports the pro bono opportunities its attorneys choose to take on, and it has been evident this summer that the firm—while providing high-quality legal representation for its clients—still wants to insure that others in the community receive the legal services they desperately need.
I worked on a really interesting pro bono case with facts similar to those from Making a Murderer. The attorneys on the case were happy to let me be extremely involved, and I got to go with them to court almost two hours away. Even though I'm not interested in practicing criminal law, it was awesome to work on such an exciting murder case and to potentially play a small role in freeing a wrongfully convicted prisoner.
Pro bono assignments have exposed me to the diverse and meaningful work that the attorneys take on to better the Madison community. The projects have been challenging and interesting, and I appreciate the hard work that goes into our pro bono representation.
I really appreciate that Quarles treats pro bono assignments just like other assignments. I know multiple attorneys who had major pro bono cases in their first few years as a associates. Not only are they a great way to give back to the community, they are also a great way to gain experience in court or an area outside your practice group.
As part of my pro bono work this summer, I have joined a few other associates who regularly volunteer at the Wheeler Mission, which sits just one block from Quarles & Brady’s Indianapolis office. Wheeler is a non-denominational Christian, social services organization that provides goods and services to the homeless in central Indiana. Wheeler seeks out members of its community who need legal advice and connects them with several of us from Quarles. We then meet with these individuals and provide them with the counsel they could otherwise not afford. Much of our work has involved child custody issues, court appearance questions, and small claims controversies.
The work has been gratifying—knowing that we may be helping to take one more problem off the shoulders of these individuals who already have so much else to bear. Quarles fully supports the pro bono opportunities its attorneys choose to take on, and it has been evident this summer that the firm - while providing high-quality legal representation for its clients - still wants to insure that others in the community receive the legal services they desperately need.
I was lucky enough to attend jury selection and hear opening statements in a pro-bono trial the Tampa Q&B litigation team handled for a gentleman who lost his home to a fire. The central controversy in the case was whether the fire was lit intentionally. Our client was a kind man who was extremely thankful to have an experienced team advocate on his behalf. It feels wonderful to work at a firm with a strong pro-bono program that helps everyday people with their legal problems.
The pro bono practice here at Quarles & Brady is robust and offers many practical opportunities for new associates. This summer, I drafted an appellate model brief to help pro se clients here in Wisconsin. Learning the intricacies of an appellate brief was a great learning experience!
Quarles has provided me with many opportunities to engage in meaningful pro bono projects. Between assisting clients attain visas and guiding the victims of domestic violence through various issues, I've found the pro bono work I've done to be some of my favorite work because I can see the direct impact of the research I do for clients. It's been formative to see our Madison office caring for the community around them.
At Q&B, pro bono assignments are more than an afterthought. Partners and associates alike are committed to serving the community, and I've been lucky enough to attend a trial that Q&B litigators are conducting pro bono.
The opportunity to take the lead on a Pro Bono Assignment with a Q&B associate has been one of the most rewarding work experiences this summer. Not only did the assignment overlap with one of the practice groups I am primarily interested in, the assignment was also naturally rewarding because I was working for a client who could not otherwise afford to have these issues taken care of by someone at a law firm. In short, it is refreshing to see Q&B's continued commitment and dedication to providing pro bono services to the surrounding communities who most need it.