Bill Schmidt is a Partner in the Subrogation Department. His bio is available here.
Why is pro bono service important to you?
It is very important for us to provide assistance to those who cannot afford to pay for legal services. We all reap the benefits of working for an outstanding law firm. In turn, we are strongly encouraged to “give back” by performing pro bono service. Our record in that area is one of the things which makes White and Williams such a great place to work.
How did you select an organization to support? What would you want someone to know about the organization?
I happened into the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) because White and Williams “adopted” the organization. We help staff the legal clinic at a local homeless shelter, Our Brother’s Place. We meet all different kinds of clients with a variety of needs.
What value does pro bono service provide you and your clients?
Personally, I get the satisfaction of helping clients in a very practical way. A simple example is obtaining a birth certificate for a homeless client. They need the birth certificate for many reasons and without our assistance, they have no way to obtain one. We can usually obtain a birth certificate within two or three months.
Why should other lawyers get involved in pro bono service?
Aside from the fact that pro bono service is strongly encouraged by the firm and the bar association, other lawyers should become involved because they will find the work important and the results personally satisfying.
What advice do you have for lawyers who want to get involved in pro bono service?
Pick an organization you are interested in and volunteer, the sooner the better.