Social Distancing and Pro Bono
By Noah Malgeri, Esq.
With the state, country, and much of the world on lock-down, so much of the routine activity of our lives has come to a standstill. Elective medical procedures are being postponed, we can’t go to the gym, and we are all finally learning how to use that webinar app to communicate with our colleagues. Some are already speculating that “things will never be the same” after we get through the current waning public health and burgeoning economic crises. Through it all, we are being cautioned to stay away from each other.
One thing that has not changed, however, is that Clark County children, from newborns to teens, continue to flow into the foster care system due to abuse and neglect. One can scarcely imagine the level of confusion or even terror experienced by young children trying to make sense of the rapid changes they observe in their world due to the pandemic, and the anxiety they intuit on the faces of the adults around them and on television, compounded by being taken away from all familiar circumstances. Soon additional stress, in the form of judicial proceedings to find them a permanent and safe home, will arrive. The social distancing for them is multifaceted and traumatic.
Over 150 such children, currently in foster care, patiently await volunteer attorneys to help them navigate this intimidating process. So many of our amazing colleagues here in Clark County have already answered the call to come to the aid of these children. You too can become a part of this important work. The time commitment is low, hearings are currently remote, the training takes the form of a free-two hour CLE you can join online, and the impact is tremendous. Please use your skills in this time to bring reassurance and comfort to a scared child right now. Contact Noah Malgeri, Director of the Pro Bono Project at Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, Inc., at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to get involved.
About the author:
Noah Malgeri, Esq. is the Pro Bono Director at the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. Before coming to Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, Mr. Malgeri worked as a patent litigation attorney at three large, national law firms. Prior to private practice, Mr. Malgeri served as a Captain in the U.S. Army JAG Corps. In that capacity, he worked as an international and operational law advisor and criminal prosecutor for U.S. Army, V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany and Iraq. Mr. Malgeri helped to plan and execute the opening stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom, for which service he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
This article was originally published in the “Five Things” issue of Communiqué, the official publication of the Clark County Bar Association, (January 2020).
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