End of life decisions are a difficult and often emotional legal subject to maneuver. Usually, when clients come to Legal Services requesting assistance on probate matters it is because they are facing a crisis. The demand in this area from our clients has been overwhelming. Finding pro bono attorneys to assist with the ever long wait list of clients seeking services for estate planning has been a challenge.
The most effective pro bono work in this area has been done in clinics where staff attorneys can refer clients seeking counsel on estate planning to pro bono attorneys who are specialists in this practice area. These expert volunteer attorneys leverage their skills and background by providing oversight, guidance and mentoring in clinics. Board member Jesika Diaz Munar and her law partner, Cathleen M. Plasencia, of Munar Law recently hosted an Estate Planning Clinic at Legal Services. The Munar Law dynamic duo, reviewed client questionnaires weeks before the event, performed extensive diligence, and trained pro bono attorneys to assist. The pro bono team Jesika, Cathleen, Jordan Krassner, and Jessica Gomez, spent an entire Saturday availing clients to estate planning documents.
“This clinic was a huge success, the volunteer roles of small firms and sole practitioners are critical to the delivery of legal services to indigent clients. Pro bono events and specialty clinics combine the expertise and willingness of good lawyers to help alleviate backlog and provide a service to clients desperately in need of assistance,” Pro Bono Advocacy Director, Jayme Cassidy.