Dashiell Milliman-Jarvis is a tireless advocate for the interests of tenants facing eviction. Milliman-Jarvis started volunteering for the Housing Justice Project in May 2014. He quickly learned the basic points of the eviction process and has now deepened his understanding of housing law. He is now one of our most knowledgeable volunteers.
Milliman-Jarvis consistently manages to get good resolutions for HJP clients, even if they don't come with bargaining power or defenses. He has gained valuable experience working with disabled persons and people with mental illness in stressful circumstances. Milliman-Jarvis is always willing to come in to the clinic and take the most challenging cases, even when he isn't on the schedule or when someone else drops out at the last minute, often taking multiple shifts a week.
Milliman-Jarvis also volunteers with the Neighborhood Legal Clinics. He has done excellent work resolving cases in the early stages of eviction, in negotiation and, when necessary, litigation in court. Milliman-Jarvis is extremely brave about going into hearings, never shying away from presenting his client's case in court, even when his client has a difficult case to argue. His presence brightens the clinic for staff and other volunteers.
"Dashiell is invaluable." says Ellen Reed, clinic coordinator at HJP Seattle. "He is one of the people who consistently does all he can for clients and our program, and he has an immeasurably positive effect on the clinic."
We asked Milliman-Jarvis a few questions about his volunteer experiences.
Q. What inspires you to volunteer?
A. There is no one reason to volunteer to help; it's good for both the volunteer and the client. For volunteers, you can develop skills and gain experience doing something that helps people, and for clients it provides representation and assistance that they wouldn't have otherwise. It's an important social good, it raises the prestige of the profession, and so on and so forth.
But, if I were to give one reason that stands out in my mind, I'd say that we live in a world full of all kinds of people, and how we act says a lot about us and the sort of world we'd like to have. What you do with your time in this world, whether you volunteer or donate to charity or work in public service, or something else, says a lot about what you think is important.
Q. Do you have an especially memorable volunteer experience?
A. A client once came in for help overcoming a default of a stipulation. The stipulation had required the client to drive to a certain bank branch and make a payment to either the landlord or the bank manager. Apparently, the landlord neglected to either show up on the appointed day or inform the bank manager of this arrangement. Nonetheless, the client was able to deposit the payment directly into the landlord's account, but the landlord defaulted the client anyway. Thanks to the help of myself and other HJP volunteers, the default was reversed, though I understand the client is looking for new housing anyway.
Q. What is your biggest volunteer challenge?
A. You can't help everyone.
Q. Words of advice for fellow volunteers?
A. But, don't stop trying.
Q. What do you do for fun?
A. Outside of work? I'm kind of a big nerd. Games and table top RPGs (role-playing games).
The King County Bar Association sincerely thanks Dashiell Milliman-Jarvis for working to ensure equal access to justice for Pro Bono Services clients and for his outstanding commitment to the Housing Justice Project and Neighborhood Legal Clinics.