Volunteer Attorney Testimonials

Volunteer Attorney Testimonials


 

Volunteering at GBLA [is] one of the most gratifying experiences, both personally and professionally. It is an opportunity to serve members of our community who are on the verge of homelessness or losing [income] that they desperately rely on. This is particularly true for the elderly, who face barriers of language, poor health, and poverty. For them, the few hours that we contribute, can make a difference between continuing in a bad situation, or getting [advice] that is critical to their welfare. The staff at GBLA makes it incredibly easy to volunteer – making appointments well in advance, and calling us in our office when clients arrive. They are unfailingly joyful, and [it] is such a pleasure to see them every month.

Pam Singh, Esq
Kern County Public Defender
Eviction Defense Panel, Volunteer Attorney Program


 

About two years ago, I became interested in figuring out a way to use my legal skills to help the community, in which I had lived for over 20 years, in a more meaningful way. I became aware of GBLA through my work as a CASA advocate. From my CASA case, I knew that I wanted to help children who did not have a stable home or loving adults in their lives to nurture them. The guardianship program at GBLA was the answer to my quest for more fulfilling work. Through the guardianship program, I have had the opportunity to meet with the clients from the initial intake to representing them in court on their petitions. The people I have met through this program have humbled me beyond anything I might have imagined. They are so grateful for the help they receive. It has made me realize that we are here to serve not only when we are paid for the job, but to serve because we were given all these opportunities in our lives in the first place.

Krystyna Jamieson, Esq.
Partner, Klein DeNatale, Goldner, Cooper, Rosenlieb & Kimball, LLP
Guardianship Project, Volunteer Attorney Program


 

My interest in providing pro bono legal services through GBLA began in early 2013. At that time, I did not have any set objectives regarding services I would volunteer to provide. GBLA [was] very agreeable in defining the level and types of services I elected to provide. My options ranged from handling client’s claims/defenses from beginning to end; through providing counsel and advice to a number of clients. After discussing options with GBLA, I elected to provide counsel and advice on landlord-tenant matters.

At the outset, I did not know how I would feel about providing services, but I assumed that there would be some sense of satisfaction that comes from helping others; which I found to be correct. However, my hands-on work at GBLA has provided me with a significantly expanded sense of what I am accomplishing. I am able to provide clients who would otherwise be left to fend for themselves, advice that allows them to make informed decisions regarding the pursuit of their end objectives. It has become clear to me that the counsel and advice I provide enables many of my clients to avoid pitfalls in their dealings with landlords; and, allows them to establish a managed method of asserting their rights and/or preserving their defenses. I also feel the work that I do reduces the number of cases that would otherwise be resolved through litigation, which in most cases would yield a result unfavorable to the client. Further, if litigation is unavoidable, I am able to provide guidance that facilitates the clients understanding of the dispute, enabling the client to efficiently [and] effectively present their case in a manner that maximizes their chances of a favorable outcome.

James “Jim” Modig, Esq
Retired
Landlord / Tenant Law, Volunteer Attorney Program