Amy Vulpio is a Partner in the Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy Group. Her bio is available here.
Why is pro bono service important to you?
Pro bono service is a powerful reminder of just how fortunate I am to have a good education, a good job and other privileges that are easy to take for granted.
How did you select an organization to support? What would you want someone to know about the organization?
I started volunteering with the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project (CBAP) in 2007 because I wanted to learn more about consumer bankruptcy since my day-to-day practice involves primarily corporate cases. I joined CBAP’s Board of Directors in 2011 and currently serve as President of the Board.
CBAP helps low-income Philadelphia residents in need of Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. Each client has a different story but shares in common the stress that comes along with debt they have no ability to repay. Many clients have taken on financial responsibilities trying to help other family members, only to find themselves overwhelmed. They are afraid to pick up the phone because they are being harassed by creditors. They may find the court system daunting or be embarrassed to file bankruptcy. Without CBAP, they would have nowhere to turn for the assistance they need. CBAP can help them navigate the legal process and get a fresh start.
What Value does pro bono service provide you and your clients?
In addition to the fulfillment that comes from helping others, pro bono service has helped me learn about consumer bankruptcy law and board governance. It has also helped me develop positive working relationships with my fellow volunteers and board members.
Why should other lawyers get involved in pro bono service?
Other lawyers should get involved in pro bono service because we have a moral responsibility to help others in our community and give them a hand up as we’d hope someone would do for us if we were in their shoes.
What advice do you have for lawyers who want to get involved in pro bono service?
Search for an organization that aligns with your professional interests or hobbies. Start with a small commitment and, when you find the right fit, deepen your involvement.