I, along with other attorneys from the firm, recently had the opportunity to participate in the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program's Saturday Clinic held at The Ripley House in East Houston. HVLP provides pro bono legal services to low-income men and women of Harris County and to promote volunteerism among the legal community. We volunteered our time to help HVLP screen new cases and direct these clients to the appropriate clinic based on the type and facts of their cases. We volunteered for approximately several hours until every client was seen. The various cases ranged from divorces to guardianships of the incapacitated to help with handling debt and debt collection activities. I'd suggest that all lawyers looking for pro bono hours or a volunteer experience that is both rewarding and challenging to participate in this program. It was a rewarding experience to help those who truly need legal help but cannot afford it. But it was also challenging to screen and discuss cases we usually don't handle on an everyday basis.
I was talking recently with a colleague of mine about marketing. She very candidly confided in me that she is having difficulty with marketing. That when in politics, she had no problem with talking up the candidate she was working for, but now in her own practice she was having trouble selling herself. I identify with her plight. When working as a defense lawyer in a big firm, I did not feel too much pressure to do marketing, nor did I see it as something that would move me forward at that firm.
Last week, email@example.com and I resolved a case where a loving wife lost her husband of 19 years and two beautiful children lost their father. On August 30, 2006, my client's life was forever changed when she received a phone call stating, "Something has happened to your husband; he died today."
With two small children who were both very sick these past two weeks, this holiday season has been a very difficult one to navigate. As with any other illness that my children have had to bear, the worst of it is always at night. That means that I do not sleep much and when I do sleep, it is the best quality sleep I can muster with little feet kicking me and little arms around my neck. I am happy to report that even in spite of being sick, the kids enjoyed Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed my being home so much. Between sick days with the kids and office closings, my hours at the office have been less than regular.
In the last two weeks I was able to take some time off and go on vacation. The first part of my trip took me to the middle of nowhere in Mexico to go white wing dove hunting with a couple of close friends, but mainly with people I had never met. There were 8 of us from Houston. Once there, we met 6 other guys from Dallas. From the moment I stepped onto the small charter plane to fly into to Mexico, I found myself having to defend my profession. Amongst the land developers, an oil & gas tycoon, the president of a national battery company, and even a real estate lawyer, I was somehow the villain. I was a "trial lawyer."& nbsp;
Having been raised in Brownsville, Texas where the Hispanic population constitutes over 90% of the community, I was fortunate to have been exposed to both the Hispanic and American cultures. More importantly, I learned to speak Spanish and English.
I'm that woman, the one who was let go from a prominent Houston law firm while on bed rest. I went into pre-term labor with my second child at just 22 weeks of pregnancy. At that point, my son was not viable outside the womb. I was let go from my unpaid leave three months later. I am very happy to report that my son was born healthy and is still growing strong today. However, it is with much regret that I report that my termination is not surprising, nor am I alone.