The King County Bar Association Pro Bono Services team proudly honors Kellie Tabor and Joanna Silverstein as Pro Bono Services’ Volunteers of the Month for their work with the Family Law Mentor Program.
Tabor and Silverstein started volunteering with the Family Law Mentor Program in 2014 as mentees. As volunteers with the Family Law Mentor Program, they work on one case at a time representing clients in contested dissolutions from the very beginning of the case to the final papers being signed. Since starting, Tabor and Silverstein have taken two cases with the program.
In their most recent case, Tabor and Silverstein were able to settle right before trial with very protective final orders. Their client was a domestic violence survivor in a contested dissolution and stated that her experience in working with Tabor and Silverstein was “life changing for herself and her daughter” because it enabled them to “start a new life.” Tabor and Silverstein felt that their client was an invaluable resource to them because she was finishing paralegal school. They hope to hire her one day.
Tabor and Silverstein chose to become volunteers with the Family Law Mentor Program in part because the “legal system can be so confusing, expensive, and stressful to manage in the best of circumstances” and they felt that it was their obligation as attorneys to help individuals who do not have the resources to hire an attorney.
We recently asked Tabor and Silverstein some questions about volunteering and their personal interests:
Q. What are some words of advice for fellow volunteers?
A. Even if you are nervous that you aren’t an expert in the subject matter, you have the ability to figure it out to protect and help your client in a way that they cannot help themselves.
Q. What is your most memorable volunteer experience?
A. The hug received from our pro bono client after the commissioner entered the final orders dissolving her marriage to an abusive spouse.
Q. If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
Silverstein: I would be Superlawyer, with the power to win every argument I make (and the power to magically record my billable hours without having to do it manually).
Tabor: I would be the MultiTasker with the ability to somehow be an amazing lawyer, mom, wife, friend, etc., all at the same time and still get eight hours of sleep a night.
Q. What is your favorite comfort food?
Silverstein:French fries from Red Robin (I was a waitress there for years).
Tabor: Mashed potatoes.
Q.What was your childhood dream job?
Silverstein:Ballerina, but I’m pigeon-toed, so that went out the window pretty early.
Tabor: I briefly entertained the idea of being an acrobat. But the appeal of the law took over when I was about 6 years old. I’m pretty sure I asked for a Matlock action figure for Christmas that year.