April 2016 Bar Bulletin
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April 2016 Bar Bulletin

Pro Bono Volunteer of the Month

Sandra Toba

By Abra Conitz

 

The King County Bar Association Pro Bono Services team proudly honors Sandra Toba as Pro Bono Services’ Volunteer of the Month for her work with the Neighborhood Legal Clinics in the Lake City clinic.

Toba began volunteering with the Neighborhood Legal Clinics 11 years ago. As a clinic assistant, she opens and closes the clinic, helps clients check in and answers questions about their paperwork, and helps attorneys do research to make sure that their clients receive proper resource and referral information.

In August 2015, Toba took on the added responsibility of becoming the Lake City Clinic coordinator. As coordinator, she continually goes above and beyond her duties by visiting the clinic even when she is not scheduled, to update materials and render assistance to make the clinic run smoothly. Toba is great to work with and is a proactive problem solver.

We recently asked Toba some questions about volunteering:

Q.Why did you become a volunteer with the Neighborhood Legal Clinics?

A. I became a volunteer with NLC to have a chance to experience other areas of law that are different from my profession as a corporate paralegal.

Q. What inspires you to volunteer?

A. It is very gratifying to be a part of a program that provides such essential help to so many people throughout King County. I feel very fortunate to live in a place where anyone can receive legal advice.

We had a pro se client who visited the clinic multiple times to seek advice throughout his civil suit. During each visit, he would have the volunteer attorney review his paperwork. I was so impressed with his determination and resourcefulness. It made me realize just how powerful a tool that the Neighborhood Legal Clinics can be. With the help of NLC, he was able to navigate the legal system without having to hire an attorney he could not afford.

Q. What is your favorite law-related movie?

A. “My Cousin Vinny.” It is over 20 years old, but my family and I still trade quotes from it. “It’s called disclosure, you ********!”

Q.What is your must-have office supply?

A.Post-It notes, in multiple sizes and colors.

Q.If you were a superhero, who would you be?

A. Any superhero with the ability to fly so that I wouldn’t be stuck in traffic all the time!

Q. Who is your favorite Supreme Court justice?

A. Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Q.What is your most memorable volunteer experience?

A. Once I accidentally locked myself, the attorneys and the clients out of the clinic! The attorneys were such troopers and met with the clients in the hallway of the library while I scrambled to find a way to get the door unlocked.

 

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