Sarah Lockhart is an exceptional advocate for pro bono clients. The Family Law Mentor Program staff proudly recognizes her as the July 2014 Pro Bono Services Volunteer of the Month.
Lockhart began volunteering with the Family Law Mentor Program in August 2012. She worked for more than a year representing a domestic violence survivor in a very difficult contested case that went to trial. Her client spoke limited English and faced overwhelming cultural issues. Using interpreters throughout the case, Lockhart was very sensitive to the cultural needs of her client.
When immigration issues arose, Lockhart consulted with an immigration attorney to get the best result for her client. In addition to her work on the family law matter, she successfully renewed the client's civil domestic violence protection order and achieved fantastic and protective final orders in the case.
"Sarah's dedication to this case was inspirational," said Kimberly Todaro, managing attorney for the Family Law Mentor Program. "Her client faced multiple legal issues and complicated personal issues. Sarah remained sensitive to the barriers her client faced, while also helping her client navigate many hurdles to end up with a great result."
Lockhart recently shared some thoughts about volunteering.
Q: What inspires you to volunteer?
A: When I was growing up my father was always involved in community service. He took me with him when he picked up litter on the side of the road or worked for fundraisers for various community groups. As I grew older I sought out volunteer opportunities on my own and realized there is nothing as satisfying as helping someone truly in need.
Q: What is your most memorable volunteer experience?
A: It was when I was able to get my client's former abusive partner arrested. A warrant was issued for his arrest after he violated an order of protection and failed to appear for the criminal hearing.
Even though there was a warrant out for his arrest, he was not picked up for several months. I was able to inform the Sheriff's Office where he was, so they were able to pick him up. This made my client feel relieved and that her order of protection was keeping her safe.
Q: Any words of advice for fellow volunteers?
A: As a newly admitted attorney in Washington, I was drawn to PBS as an opportunity to learn about a new area of law and gain valuable legal experience. Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice from fellow lawyers. No one person has all of the answers.
In an effort to give back to the community, Lockhart also has performed pro bono work for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the Immigrant Family Assistance Program.
She recently moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and continues to help those in need through her work at Bernheim & Dolinsky, LLC. Lockhart is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, Louisville Bar Association and Kentucky Justice Association.
Pro Bono Services sincerely thanks Lockhart for her generosity and dedication to Family Law Mentor Program clients, fellow volunteers and the staff at the King County Bar Association.