ALSC is happy to announce that the amazing Karla Huntington is our September Volunteer of the Month! Karla has a long history with ALSC, first serving as a family law staff attorney and then as a pro bono volunteer. Through her volunteer work with the Attorney of the Day (AOD) program, Karla does an extraordinary job helping ALSC’s clients navigate through the complexity of the justice system. Read on for our interview with Karla below:
Why did you choose to volunteer with ALSC?
I like the structure of the AOD program. It lets me do pro-bono work in a semi-controlled manner. For many years I was a litigation attorney in family law. Recently I have limited my practice to mediation and DV hearings only. I also travel a lot. Those changes make it hard for me to take a traditional start to finish pro bono cases. The AOD set up lets me use my knowledge and information to help by giving individuals advice and assistance in a variety of family law issues. All I have to do is come in for one day a month and ALSC has done all the work to schedule and organize the clients.
What are some of your experiences at ALSC that have made a positive difference in the lives of others and/or the community?
We sometimes forget that many folks have no functional access to legal information and advice. They are also often are isolated and afraid. Often the 1. 5 hour meeting with me is the first time they have had access to an attorney. When I meet with a person we work together to identify what is going on, what options they have, and how to best activate those options. Their legal issues have not gone away but they now have a roadmap.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I came to Alaska in 1979 to be the VISTA attorney for AWAIC. I then worked at ALSC as its family law attorney for 4 years. That time shaped my person and professional life. The folks I was at ALSC with in the 80’s remain core friends and “Alaska” family. When I am not working, I love to do long distance hiking and back yard gardening.