Volunteer Orientation Attendees
Board member Colin Kelly, Executive Director, Heidi Henderson and Board Member Lynn Judell
Volunteer Panel - Mira Kolker, Dustin Saldarriaga and Nancy Tang. 

#BrooklynVLP Premier Pro Bono Week Event:  
On Tuesday, October 24th, in the spirit of National Pro Bono Week, the VLP hosted our inaugural Volunteer Orientation in our newly expanded office space at 44 Court Street.  Lynn Judell, VLP board member, welcomed everyone and shared her own VLP volunteer experiences, promoting the importance of pro bono, and the impact volunteers have on the lives of those we serve.   

Participants also heard from Sarah Burrows, VLP's Pro Bono Manager, who spoke about our program areas and next steps to becoming a VLP volunteer. A panel of current volunteer attorneys -   Mira Kolker, Dustin Saldarriaga, and Nancy Tang - also shared personal pro bono stories and why they chose the VLP to volunteer and give back.  

We are so grateful to all those who attended and joined in the celebration of Pro Bono Week 2017 and look forward to continuing to build on the night's program and connections. 

Volunteer with us: from law students to experienced attorneys, and solo practitioners to big law and in-house  counsel, the VLP has rewarding pro bono opportunities for you! Please contact Sarah Burrows to learn more. 
#Volunteer Spotlight:  When There's a Will, There's the VLP. 
Volunteer testimonial submitted by Dustin Saldarriaga, pictured to the left. 

I first met my client, Carol, at her home in Crown Heights. After letting Carol know I would be assisting her with her will, she gave me detailed directions on how to enter her home, including instructions on how to open the low iron gate and the front door. When I got stuck at the gate, I felt helpless and called her by phone for assistance. Upon her suggestion, a firm push immediately popped the gate open. Once inside the home, Carol, who is elderly and blind, greeted me with a soft, warm handshake, and assured me that she wouldn't keep me past sunset.

Carol emphasized how grateful she was that she could meet with me in her home rather than having to travel, which could be an exhausting process. I was also grateful to work with her in her home. Being there gave me a glimpse into the life she had created and now had in mind as we discussed her wishes for her will. Our conversations took us far from her home in Brooklyn, though. Carol shared with piercing clarity how she grew up in the South, then moved as a child to Harlem, just a few blocks from where I now live. She made it easy for me to imagine the Harlem she saw then, the sidewalks she walked. This was, of course, before she moved into the home in which we now sat, her home for the past several decades that we now discussed passing on to her daughter, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Our meetings always concluded with a blessing that Carol gave me -- a gift that I never felt I could repay. "God be with you and bless you," she would say, "and make sure to get home before the sun goes down!"

From all of us at the VLP, thank you Dustin for your kindness, compassion, and expertise.  To learn more and read other testimonials from current VLP volunteers, please click here .  
Stephen Z. Williamson, Law Office of Stephen Z. Williamson, P.L.L.C.
#Alternative Path to Volunteering - Consider Board Service:
Volunteering comes in many forms and board service is one such impactful form. Stephen Z. Williamson, VLP board member and chair of the board's nominating committee shares why he has embraced board service as a path to making a difference:  "I have always believed deeply in the importance of community and charitable activities. As a local lawyer, raised in NYC, there's nothing more fulfilling than giving back, as a volunteer, to the communities where I live and work. Serving on the Board of the VLP is a meaningful way to offer my support and enthusiasm to such a critical mission, and most importantly, to maximize opportunities and help for those most in need." 

The VLP is delighted to welcome three recent additions to our Board:  Jeffrey B. Gewirtz, Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment; Colin S. Kelly, Counsel, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; and Manas Mohapatra, Associate General Counsel, Privacy and Data Protection, Twitter. Please see the VLP's press release as well as additional coverage from the Brooklyn Eagle and NYN Media Buzz.

If you're considering board service, consider the VLP.  We're continuing to recruit new board members. For more information and to view board membership responsibilities and expectations, please click here.  
#PBW17 - There's Still Time To Celebrate:
National Pro Bono Week isn't over yet.  We'll be highlighting #probono stories through October 28 and we want to see your posts too!  Tag us on social media @Brooklynvlp and share your #probonostory.  Include #whyIprobono, #PBW17, #celebrateprobono.

We've made it easy to join the conversation and the celebration. Download the VLP's Pro Bono Week Toolkit or visit our Pro Bono Week webpage for other great resources and ideas.
Hosting an event like this week's Volunteer Orientation, in celebration of pro bono and our ever increasing panel of volunteers, embodies our  Grow VLP campaign and demonstrates how growing in size, can truly extend our reach. To learn more about the campaign and how you can support our efforts to expand our impact in the Brooklyn community, please click  here.