The State Bar of Texas, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the American Bar Association, and others proudly support National Pro Bono Celebration Week (October 22-28). Pro Bono week is an opportunity to educate the public about the good work the legal community does to improve the lives of vulnerable Texans and to encourage more individuals to get involved in pro bono support of the legal system. During the week we will feature stories of pro bono volunteers.
Marilyn D. McGuire, solo practitionerHouston solo Marilyn D. McGuire is a volunteer attorney for Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence, Lone Star Legal Aid, and the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program.
Why is pro bono important to you?
It is critically important that the lack of financial resources do not serve as an impediment to equal access to the justice system for all people.
What have you learned from doing pro bono?
People in need of legal services are the same regardless of their resources. It has been a rewarding experience and the clients are most appreciative of your efforts.
What would you say to an attorney who is thinking about doing pro bono for the first time?
It will be one of your most meaningful experiences as an attorney and worthwhile to give back to a community that needs your assistance, legal talent, and expertise.
Share one of your favorite pro bono success stories.
I met a young female client a couple years ago that had been a victim of domestic violence in her marriage. Through a series of unfortunate decisions, the client had lost custody of her five children to her husband who was engaging in illegal drug use. After a divorce and modification case which took many months of litigation, I was successful in having the five children returned to her as primary custodial parent a few days before Christmas.