Matrimonial Volunteers Save the Family, Save the World


Nassau Suffolk Law Services recognizes the power of volunteers to tackle society's greatest challenges, to build stronger communities, and be a force that transforms the world. National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and has grown exponentially each year, with thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week. Today we all have so many volunteer opportunities at the office or the local food bank; whether with a voice or a wallet – doing good comes in many forms, and we recognize and celebrate them all. However, as attorneys, we all have a much sought-after skill (and the requisite bar admission) that can literally transform a life for the better.

Last year, the Nassau Volunteer Lawyers Project and Suffolk Pro Bono Project partnered with dozens of attorneys who gave their time, talent, and patience to help a client with a legal problem. That assistance had a ripple effect on the client's entire life and oftentimes on the lives of many members of their families. And we believe the ripple keeps going, hence our motto, "Save the family, save the world." We really cannot thank you all enough. Despite the pandemic, philanthropic attorneys spent nearly 2000 hours in 2020 to help their neighbors. It is truly awe-inspiring. Even if we only valued these services at $300 per hour, that adds up to approximately $600,000 in legal fees "donated" last year alone. We also have to mention the non-attorney volunteers who give their time and effort to assist the Pro Bono Project to screen the hundreds of requests for legal assistance that we receive each week. We have nothing but gratitude, and so do our multitudes of clients.

If you have time and interest, we likely have a way for you to help. If you want to help in any other area of law or if you would like to help with call screening (non-attorneys welcome). In Suffolk County, please contact Carolyn McQuade, Esq. at cmcquade@nsls.legal or (631) 232-2400 ext. 3325. In Nassau County, please contact Susan Biller, Esq. at sbiller@nsls.legal or (516) 292-8100 Ext. 3136 or Brenda Rumaldo at brumaldo@nsls.legal or (516) 292- 8299.

We are also relaunching the Community Legal Help Project in Suffolk County. This program provides brief consultations in public libraries and is perfect for attorneys who want to volunteer without appearing in court or being responsible for ongoing client representation. Please contact Vivian Storm, Esq. at vstorm@nsls.legal or 631-232-2400 ext. 3309 for more information. We are also seeking a staff attorney to coordinate the program. Please visit our website for the full job posting!

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