I recently joined the board of Her Justice, a nonprofit legal services organization in New York City and longtime partner of Proskauer that provides assistance to women and their families living in poverty who have high-stakes legal needs.
I was introduced to the organization by a friend and former colleague, and over the past few years have come to understand their mission and approach. Seeing the many women in our city experiencing pain and fear due to unaffordable housing, parenting children with insufficient income or job prospects, abandonment, and abuse, I felt compelled to become more involved.
The staff lawyers at Her Justice train and supervise thousands of volunteer lawyers who are mobilized to help women in need throughout New York City. In 2018 alone, Her Justice organized more than 76,000 volunteer hours helping nearly 10,000 women and children.
A majority of the women that Her Justice serves are immigrants, and an even greater number are women of color. As the daughter of immigrants, this hits close to home. Things would have been quite different for me – and my two young daughters – had my parents not immigrated to the United States from India at a time when they were generally welcomed in the community in upstate New York, had they not been so dedicated to providing me an education, and had they not instilled a strong emotional safety net from an early age. Not everyone has been so lucky, and given the many gender inequities that remain in our society, women are particularly vulnerable to injustice. Her Justice is doing incredibly important work toward creating a more even playing field, and I am honored to play a small part in supporting the organization.
There are many ways that attorneys can get involved with Her Justice. Those interested in expanding their courtroom skills can represent individual clients in litigation matters, such as a custody dispute or obtaining an order of protection. Lawyers who do not seek adversarial court experiences can assist individuals with uncontested divorces or pursue immigration petitions for domestic violence survivors seeking legal residency in the United States. Regardless of the skills one is looking to develop or the types of cases, there are families whose lives can be transformed through pro bono work, and there is no better time to make a difference than now.
Like many others, I went to law school aspiring to make our world a better place. Nearly 20 years into a corporate law career, I owe my fulfillment not only to loving what I do, but also to being able to support the community around me and the causes about which I feel most passionate. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Her Justice toward this pursuit.