The Court of Appeals encourages attorneys to provide a minimum of 50 hours of pro bono/community service every year and I just received my reminder to submit my hours. First I realized how appropriate it is to reflect upon community service hours right around “King Day”, then I started looking back over the past twelve months of photos to remind myself of what I had done and start calculating my hours for submission. I must say, I was surprised to find just how busy I was last year…and I enjoyed and was absolutely fulfilled by every minute of it!
While looking back, I was reminded that I’ve participated in a day long Wills For Heroes Program; gave a small bit of my time to assist with National Adoption Day and participated in Pro Bono Law Days at my home church, Kettering Baptist Church (with untold assistance from church member, Rhonda Caldwell), Greater Mt. Nebo AME Church and First Baptist Church of Glen Arden. In addition, I’ve donated my time (along with my husband, Mike) as House Captain, to start the process of assisting an elderly woman with the rehab of her home in the Christmas in April program and engaged in some light shopping to assist with the Register of Wills’ Christmas Giving Tree program for teen moms. During the year, I also assisted my favorite law partner, Sharon Y. Christmas DeBerry with her charity event, Bo Foster’s Hope, to help provide services for foster children and walked, with my daughter Sam, to support the finding of a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
To keep the momentum going, I was reminded that I, along with my daughters, Sydney and Samantha, also worked the polls on Election Day and as I continued to scan through my photos, I noted that I served the community with, the selection of great judges for our community, while serving as a commissioner on the Judicial Nominating Committee and helped assist aggrieved clients and a struggling attorneys a I participated as a peer review and conditional diversion attorney with the Attorney Grievance Commission. Finally, I had the honor of chairing the Bourne Bar Association’s Scholarship committee and with the help of colleague attorneys, Dolores Dorsanvil, Kimberly Lewis, Mahasin El-Amin and hubby, Mike, selected four (4) deserving law students to receive $1,500.00 scholarships.
On a more direct legal service side, this year I participated in the Prince George’s County District Court mediation program, assisting litigants with resolving their issues without the potential harsh ruling of a judge and accepted four (4) private pro bono bankruptcy cases to assist private area residents find relief from crushing debt as a result of death, personal injury and/or loss of employment. I was even able to get the court to waive their filing fees!
With that I’m excited to report that I’ve exceeded the Court’s recommendation and have clocked in this year at 151 hours! Why do I do so much? Not just because the Court of Appeals recommends it but because I am truly grateful. Community is a two-way street and for almost twenty-three (23) years, my community has supported me and literally has kept me afloat. Without the community, I am nothing, but with the Community, I remember every day, that everyone “deserves good counsel”. As I continue to live up to my slogan, I thank everyone as I look forward to another great year!
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