October 2013 Bar Bulletin
Pro Bono Volunteer of the Month
By Gwen Remmen
Katie Cullen began volunteering for the Housing Justice Project (HJP) in May 2012. She is extremely dedicated and has a keen eye for legal issues. Cullen is always willing to go the extra mile and has an exceptional ability to put even the most distraught clients at ease.
Many of the clients who come to the HJP Monday evening clinic at the King County Courthouse in Seattle are already facing homelessness; often they are just seeking someone to listen and be compassionate. One evening, Cullen spent more than an hour with a recently evicted client who simply wanted advice about moving out of Seattle.
"I may not have needed a law degree to provide comfort and reassurance to him, but I will never forget his gratitude that I had taken the time to do so," Cullen said.
Inspired to volunteer by her father, Cullen explained, "I always think about my dad telling me that we should be kind to others and we should take care of each other, not because it is dictated by religion or some other external source, but because we are human beings and it is the right thing to do. I am so grateful for my education and all of the other opportunities that I have been given. It is nice to be able to use my skills to help people who are less fortunate."
Cullen loves sailing in the San Juan Islands with her husband and her father, and she enjoys reading the Bruno: Chief of Police books, which are a series of light-hearted mysteries with a side of French culture. Prior to law school, Cullen spent a year teaching French in a junior high school, which she describes as "one of the scariest years of my life, but also one of the most rewarding."
Cullen's expertise and sense of humor make her a valuable member of the HJP team. She is an exemplar of the Pro Bono Services mission to promote social justice by ensuring equal and nondiscriminatory access to legal services for all individuals.
Gwen Remmen is the KCBA pro bono volunteer coordinator.