I had an acquaintance once tell me in a fit of…something that I “didn’t respect the legal system”. I immediately found his comment offensive, but I’ve since laughed it off. Non-lawyers judging lawyers’ respect and appreciation for “the legal system”, its minutia and intricacies, its black and white and shades of gray, its elation and heartbreak–well, it’s something to laugh at.
I had the privilege yesterday of volunteering for the Birmingham Bar Association’s Pro Bono Family Law Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. Sponsored by the Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Program, of which I am an active member, the clinic provides low-income families no-cost access to legal services related to family law and domestic relations cases in Jefferson County. I met with a wonderfully nice woman in her 20’s who has three children and needs a divorce, but doesn’t have the means or resources to hire an attorney. Through the BVLP and this Clinic, she can now start her journey on the road to creating a better situation for her and her children.
Attorneys constantly battle the revilement, invectives, and thinly- (and not-so-thinly-) veiled berating from the non-lawyer public. It’s refreshing to partner with a group of attorneys who are working to better “the legal system”, and a public that appreciates our efforts.