About three months ago, I left the practice of law. It wasn't an easy decision; after 8 years of practicing and finally getting to a point where I felt like maybe I knew what I was doing, an intriguing opportunity came up, and I decided to go another direction.
A few factors motivated me to take the leap into my new role as the Pro Bono and Special Initiatives Coordinator at Pro Bono Net.
- First, I've always been a true believer in the power of technology to increase efficiency, and I've always felt that these efficiency gains can't remain primarily in the private sector.
- Second, the cliche about direct legal services - as a revolving door of clients that, while critical and essential to the lives of many who would otherwise be unrepresented, doesn't create systemic change - that tired adage started to feel too real to me under the weight of a crushing, unmanageable caseload. This opportunity at Pro Bono Net is an opportunity to increase representation of the underserved and access to justice at a scale beyond what I could accomplish as one attorney with a docket of cases.
- Third, in a society where legal services will never have enough funding to meet demand, we have to understand that pro bono attorneys are equal partners in the effort to meet the needs of underserved communities. Not many legal services attorneys I've worked with share this perspective (and, admittedly, I didn't always see things this way). Some of my pro bono co-counsel have been the among the most talented and dedicated advocactes I've had the pleasure to work with, and if I can be part of creating more and better opportunities for private attorneys to work for the public good, then that's something I'd gladly be a part of.
I have no regrets, and I'm looking forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead. And the best part is, I get to embrace my inner-geek every day, which is refreshing after working in an industry that generally is adverse to technological change and innovation.