We are thrilled to honor Joan Clover as ALSC’s December Volunteer of the Month! Joan regularly volunteers as ALSC’s family law Attorney of the Day. Through this role, Joan plays an instrumental role in helping clients navigate complex legal issues that significantly impact their lives. We are so grateful to have Joan as a volunteer, she truly makes a life-changing difference for Alaskans. Read on for our interview with Joan:
Why did you choose to volunteer with ALSC?
We all know that the legal system can be incredibly difficult for people who can’t afford lawyers. As an experienced family law attorney I have skills and knowledge that can help people in a concrete way. The court’s Family Law Self Help Center and ALSC are amazing, but the need is overwhelming. I wanted to help.
What are some of your experiences at ALSC that have made a positive difference in the lives of others and/or the community?
The question I ask at the end of most consultations is “So, what is your plan?” When clients respond with a positive plan for moving forward, or sometimes a conscious decision to hold back, I know that I have helped. They are no longer the confused, anxious, or overwhelmed person that I initially greeted—or at least less so. The warmth and gratitude clients express is humbling.
How do you think your experiences with ALSC will benefit you in the future?
Every case, every situation gives experiences that make me a better lawyer and a wiser person. The gratification I receive by feeling that I am doing something to assist others can’t be measured.
What do you do outside of volunteering with ALSC?
I am “mostly-retired” and travel in and out of state a great deal. My practice is limited to family law consultations, mediations and drafting premarital agreements—things that can be done in a discreet window of time. That is why being one of ALSC’s Attorneys of the Day was perfect for me. In an afternoon, I can do several consultations. ALSC just doesn’t have the resources to take all the clients that could use attorneys and many people really can help themselves with a bit of direction. I’d encourage others who feel they can’t take a full case, for whatever reason, to talk with Laura to see if there is another way of volunteering. I love to hike, bike, ski, camp, do yoga, garden, read good books, and travel. This summer my husband and I did the Ragbrai, which is a weeklong bike across the state of Iowa. We just returned from biking the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park. No matter where I travel, I’m always glad to come home. For me, there is no place like Alaska.