ALSC’s March 2019 Volunteer of the Month is the marvelous Lael Harrison! Lael is an extraordinary volunteer who has made a huge impact at ALSC due to the passion and energy she puts into helping those in need. Lael offers her time and services by taking on pro bono cases and most recently through the Landlord-Tenant Helpline. Read on for our full interview with Lael below:
Why did you choose to volunteer with ALSC?
I suppose because it’s so easy to do! ALSC provides such a variety of ways to volunteer that it’s easy to find some way to be involved that fits with my interests and schedule. For example, when I’ve wanted to learn more about a topic, I’ve been able to take a pro bono case on that topic (and take advantage of the excellent ALSC resource library for volunteers). And when I’ve wanted to share information on a topic that I know a lot about, there’s been opportunities to volunteer at afternoon legal clinics or helplines.
What are some of your experiences at ALSC that have made a positive difference in the lives of others and/or the community?
I recently joined the team that volunteers for the Landlord Tenant Helpline and I’ve been blown away by the sheer number of people served by that program. When I signed up, I imagined getting a call or two per shift, but it’s more like five or six. There was one evening when I answered ten calls in two hours. There’s so much need for that simple service, it’s very satisfying to be part of filling it.
How do you think your experiences with ALSC will benefit you in the future?
I’ve learned so much from participating in ALSC programs that I know will benefit me in the future. And it’s not just legal knowledge—every time I volunteer, even if it’s a short call on the helpline, I learn something about life and our Alaskan community from the client.
What do you do outside of work and volunteering?
I grew up in Juneau and I started playing violin with the Juneau symphony when I was in high school. After being away for college and then again for law school, I came back to Juneau in 2008 and re-joined the symphony. I was a bit rusty getting re-started but I’m so grateful for that time I get to spend making music and using the creative part of my brain.