Our April 2018 Volunteer of the Month is the extraordinary Marc June! Not only does Marc do an exemplary job volunteering his time and years of expertise to make a positive difference in the lives of ALSC clients, he also serves as Secretary-Treasurer on the ALSC Board of Directors. Read more about Marc and his experience with Alaska Legal Services Corporation below:
Why did you choose to volunteer with ALSC?
My first job as a lawyer was representing union members under a “cradle to grave” pre-paid legal plan addressing whatever legal issue was presented. I liked the practical side of representing clients, i.e., identifying the problem, developing a plan, executing the plan, and, if possible, solving the problem. One odd case involved the arrest of an uninsured driver wearing swim goggles because her car had no windshield with facts becoming more odd as the case progressed. ALSC volunteering brings back those earlier days of quick problem solving through legal triage. With action, ALSC matters are often resolved more quickly than many my litigation cases. Because we all are insecure and my other cases can have tough days, these “smaller” successes are reminders of successful lawyering as much by practical advice as advocacy. Clients unable to solve problems on their own are appreciative, sometimes more so than clients who think retaining a lawyer is akin to buying pixie dust.
What are some of your experiences at ALSC that have made a positive difference in the lives of others and/or the community?
I have had many different ALSC experiences. My belief is that, unlike the big verdicts and hearings in the news, most legal problems, e.g., child support, social security, probate are routine but still problematic. Like those persons unable to file tax returns without help, many persons lack the ability/sophistication to handle these routine legal problems unassisted. For this target population, my most positive experiences has been those instances where I take the client to the CSED/ Social Security office and “magically” placed their problem on the path to being solved. The tough cases are those where the problem is clear but will never magically disappear or become less because the client has a meeting with a lawyer.
How do you think your experiences with ALSC will benefit you in the future?
Having started as a lawyer in 1980, I have become an old dog with trouble learning new tricks. With Alaska being a small state, I enjoy meeting new lawyers, clients, and persons I would not otherwise have met. More than once, I have crossed paths with ALSC contacts in my other cases.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
The most important thing is that, for the last 6 years, I have served on the ALSC Board and can tell people that ALSC is a well-run organization, a magnet for those interested in using legal skills for public service, and deserving of financial support. It is no secret that the Court System is facing financial challenges and that cases involving self-represented persons take more time to resolve than the same matters in which legal assistance is provided. My guess (no one has asked my opinion on this) is that this challenge will be addressed by greater reliance on case managers, paralegals, and lawyers to help these persons do at least some of the heavy lifting before they enter the courtroom. Logically, one would turn to ALSC for help.
Last share: Alaska is a great place to live and work. I am fortunate my life path has taken me here, brought my family, let me meet good people, and let me see many great places.