Larissa Hail is ALSC’s May Volunteer of the Month! Larissa is an attorney at the Law Offices of Dan Allan & Associates who has a passionate committment to her pro bono work. As a volunteer, Larissa makes a life-changing difference for clients through direct representation, and helps guide individuals through the self-help resources they need to find successful outcomes in their legal issues. Check out our interview with Larissa below!
Why did you choose to volunteer with ALSC?
I chose to be a lawyer to assist the poor and marginalized. Volunteering for ALSC reaffirms my reason for practicing law. As Albert Schweitzer said, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Volunteering with ALSC enables me to assist individuals in the community outside of working in a law firm which allows me to give thanks for those who have inspired me.
What are some experiences at ALSC that have made a positive difference in the lives of others and/or the community?
My first ALSC case was representing a homeless military veteran with health issues whose SSI checks were garnished 40% by CSSD for back child support. I negotiated a reasonable settlement on his behalf which eliminated the stress of his seemingly insurmountable debt. He said that the help he received changed his life. I conduct a monthly landlord tenant clinic and provide guidance to low-income landlords and tenants on their legal rights and direct them in self-help using URLTA or small claims court. I’ve been told that I empower them to realize their legal rights and help themselves. I’ve met people after they have attended the LL/T clinic and they tell me that they were able to resolve their landlord/tenant issue because of what they learned from attending the clinic.
How do you think your experiences at ALSC will benefit you in the future?
ALSC provides experienced attorneys to mentor you in your cases. With Anchorage being such a small town, it gives you a chance to form positive relationships with those with whom you will be working in the future.
What do you do when you are not volunteering with ALSC?
Over the past 20 years I’ve performed in various choirs in Anchorage. I’ve long enjoyed music and dance and have choreographed dances for several dance troupes that have performed at the Alaska State Fair and AFN.