As you sit reading these words, you may be ready for a distraction from your day. Some lawyers stretched to their limit, click onto the Las Vegas Law Blog for their daily stress relief.
Many of us started our legal careers inspired by Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus was a wise man. Whether Atticus won or lost, he maintained his calm. To him, there was a hopefulness in the practice of law.
Atticus was able to serve in the state legislature, represent his clients, and weave in pro bono cases, all while being a single father of two young children.
Atticus’ pro bono work started with helping the Cunninghams. They were too poor to pay for the legal services they needed. What they could not pay in monetary amounts, they repaid with gathered items from the woods and their gratitude.
When it came to Mr. Robinson’s case, he could have easily turned it down. Yet, Atticus’ steadfast belief in honor of the legal profession prevented him from doing so. Even though he lost at trial, Atticus still maintained his sense of service to his community.
After years of practicing law, many of us have lost the spark that once ignited our legal passion. Too often, you win a case and your client does not much care. You are a lawyer. You are the top in your field. They expected you to win.
Whether you represent a spouse in the throws of a divorce, a high stakes business dispute, or either side of a personal injury case, it is frequently business as usual. Once a case is resolved, you are off to the next file. A pro bono case can be the spark that ignites your enthusiasm again.
A pro bono client will give you something a paying client rarely does: gratitude. This is sustenance for the soul.
One memorable pro bono case I took was helping re-unite a son with his father. Caught up in the foster system, no one seemed to care that he wanted to be with his father again. Without a pro bono lawyer, father and son would have been forever severed. Even through the years, I still think about that father and son.
Maybe in addition to checking the law blog to take your mind off work, you consider taking a pro bono case.
There is honor in the legal profession. You as a lawyer are the only one with the privilege to stand in court for our community. As you weave in a pro bono case, your day will change. You may also change the course of someone’s life.
Maybe taking a pro bono case is just the distraction that you need.
I look froward to seeing you in court.
Judge Nadia Krall, Dept. IV
About this article: This article was originally published in the “Election” issue of Communiqué, the official publication of the Clark County Bar Association, (September 2022). See https://clarkcountybar.org/member-benefits/communique-2022/communique-september-2022/.
About the author
Nadia Krall is a Judge in Dept IV District court, Clark County, Nevada.
© 2022 Clark County Bar Association (CCBA). All rights reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher. Editorial policy available upon request.