Laura Hutchinson is an Associate in the Litigation and Healthcare groups. Here bio is available here.
Why IS PRO BONO SERVICE Important to you?
Volunteering and giving back to the community has been a strongly held value of mine from an early age. Getting involved in pro bono work has been a great way to give back to the Philadelphia community and help clients who are in need of legal services they cannot otherwise afford. I enjoy working closely with the individual clients and being able to make a positive difference in their lives.
How did you select an organization to support? What would you want someone to know about the organization?
I learned about Philadelphia VIP through White and Williams and was drawn to their organization because they offer a wide variety of legal services to their clients. Philadelphia VIP has also been a tremendous resource of knowledge and advice for me when working on one of their cases. They have a great community of staff attorneys and personnel as well as volunteer attorneys who are all willing to help out in any way they can. The clients are truly grateful for your help and it is a rewarding experience.
Additionally, I became involved with the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) when one of the partners at White and Williams needed help at a HAP legal clinic. The gentlemen we worked with at the clinic were seeking help with a wide variety of needs such as assisting with housing, obtaining birth certificates and navigating governmental programs. The HAP clients were very appreciative of our time and services. The Homeless Advocacy Project is an exceptional program servicing the homeless community and it is a pleasure to work with them.
what value does pro bono service provide you and your clients?
Pro bono work provides clients with access to legal services and resources they are otherwise unable to obtain. It further helps clients achieve their legal goals, which can come in various forms based on their needs. To me, pro bono service provides me with the opportunity to take a leadership role in fighting for/protecting my client’s interests, as well as collaborate with attorneys from the pro bono organizations to broaden my knowledge base.
What advice do you have for lawyers who want to get involved in pro bono service?
Getting involved in pro bono work allows you to devote yourself to a cause you can connect with while working closely with deserving clients. It also provides the opportunity to enhance your legal, business and client relation skills outside of your daily practice.