The National Pro Bono Celebration is Oct. 25 to 31, 2009. Each weekday in October, Texas Bar Blog will feature a Texas attorney who provides pro bono services in the community. Without lawyers like these, too many of our most vulnerable citizens would go without legal representation. For more on the national celebration, visit CelebrateProBono.org.
Once a week, Ryan Solis travels from McAllen to Raymondville to a small office he set up to do pro bono work and meets with as many people as he can in one evening. The cases typically deal with civil litigation, personal injury, commercial disputes and more recently divorce. Solis offers services in Spanish and says that about a third of his cases are with Spanish speaking clients.
Originally from Raymondville, Solis chooses to do pro bono work for residents of Willacy County because growing up there he knew families and friends who lacked the means by which to obtain legal aid. “I saw first hand the urgency and also the lack of resources for legal assistance,” said Solis.
Solis finds it rewarding to help people who are not familiar with the legal system and help put things in perspective for them. There are times when Solis sees a client on more than one occasion. “The people I help may need assistance with a will and then return because they need help with a real estate matter,” said Solis.
When asked what motivates him to do pro bono work Solis said, “It may sound cliché but it’s rewarding in and of itself. I enjoy helping people.” People, he says, who would otherwise not have access to legal aid.
Solis makes his home in McAllen but has a private law practice, Law Office of Ryan C. Solis, in Edinburg. He established his law practice almost a year after graduating from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2005.
Outside of his practice and pro bono work, Solis is involved with Friends for Hope which is an organization in the upper Rio Grande Valley that raises funds for the Vannie E. Cook Cancer Clinic. He also enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, Rebecca, also an attorney, his sons Tyler, 10 and Asa, 4 and daughter Helena, 20 months. One of his outdoor activities is coaching Asa’s soccer team. “I’m enjoying that very much,” says Solis of his coaching duties, “even though there are times when the boys are interested in everything but what’s going on in the game.”