ALSC’s March 2018 Volunteer of the Month is Vanessa Norman! Vanessa is a super volunteer who has assisted with the Elizabeth Peratrovich Pro Bono Legal Clinic at AFN, the Housing Court Justice Project, and also takes on individual pro bono cases involving probate and family law. Through all of her volunteer work, Vanessa always contributes inspiring dedication, compassion, and thoroughness. Read on for our full interview with Vanessa:
Why did you choose to volunteer with ALSC?
I volunteer with ALSC because they provide a much needed connection between the legal community and those people that need, but may not be able to afford, legal assistance.
What are some of your experiences at ALSC that have made a positive difference in the lives of others and/or the community?
In October 2017, I was on the planning committee for Elizabeth Peratrovich Pro Bono Legal Clinic held at the Alaska Federation of Natives Annual Convention. This was an event put together in conjunction with the Alaska Bar Association and many volunteer attorneys. At this clinic, the attendees had the opportunity to drop in for a free consultation with an attorney about legal issues they are facing. It was great to see how a short consult with an attorney could help clients understand their legal issue(s) and ease some of the stress they were experiencing. Plus, I was happy to see so many attorneys willing to donate their time to this event! Many people cannot afford an attorney, so events like these are so important to the community.
I also volunteer with ALSC’s Housing Court Justice Project and I have taken on other ALSC cases involving probate and family law. There is such a need for pro bono legal assistance in Alaska, so I’m glad that I am in a position where I can volunteer my time to help people with their legal issues.
What do you do outside of volunteering with ALSC?
I am Alutiiq and I am originally from Port Graham, Alaska, which is 20 miles SW of Homer by plane or boat. I serve on the Board of Directors for the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Russian Orthodox Sacred Sites in Alaska (ROSSIA) and the Anchorage Rowing Association. My newest passion is rowing (sculling)!