Marc Casarino is the Pro Bono Coordinator in the firm's Delaware office. His bio is available here.
Tell US ABout a recent pro bono experience
I was assigned by the Family Court of the State of Delaware to represent the interest of a young girl in a custody dispute. The girl's biological parents were not able to adequately care for her because of their struggles with addiction and incarceration. Since she was two years old, she lived with her aunt and uncle and was raised alongside her cousins as though she was their sibling. At age seven, the court ultimately granted termination of the biological parents' rights and we had a hearing to confirm her formal adoption by her aunt and uncle.
Why is pro bono service important to you?
My pro bono matters have been some of my most professionally and personally rewarding experiences as a lawyer.
How did you select an organization to support? What would you want someone to know about the organization?
My first pro bono experience was being appointed by the Chief Judge of the Delaware Family Court to represent the interest of a child in a custody dispute. I had a real sense of accomplishment upon negotiating an outcome that brought the family together and for the best interest of the child. Although this is not my normal practice area, as a result of my first experience I have represented children’s interests pro bono every year thereafter.
What advice do you have for lawyers who want to get involved in pro bono service?
To paraphrase the Chief Judge who appointed me, none of us would be lawyers if we let the fear of handling a first case or transaction overcome us. We all had to learn a subject for the first time to start our legal careers. Taking on a pro bono matter outside your comfort zone is no different. Lending your skills to help someone in need will benefit you both. So go for it.