Bill Lynch, longtime Housing Justice Project-Kent volunteer, is committed to working on behalf of low-income tenants facing eviction. The HJP staff recognizes Lynch as the December Volunteer of the Month for his unfailing support of clients.
In his first appearance before a court commissioner, Lynch represented a client who was the victim of a rent-to-own scam involving a lease.
"In an era when many more people are becoming renters by necessity due to their inability to buy homes, some absentee property owners are eager to take any chance they can to push tenants out of their dwellings so that higher rent can be charged under a new lease," Lynch said.
Because of his successful representation, the case was set for trial and ultimately resolved in the client's favor.
We recently asked Lynch some questions about his volunteering and personal life:
Q. What does pro bono mean to you?
A. It means what it says when not truncated - "pro bono publico." For many years I almost completely neglected pro bono work and devoted almost all of my professional time to defending and expanding the institution for which I worked. Now I know that I need to look for a more direct connection between my professional work and an undeniable public interest.
Q. What originally drew you to the Housing Justice Project?
A. Recommendations from attorneys with whom I worked and the excellent training program at HJP.
Q. Who or what inspires you to volunteer?
A. Despite the fact that they all face impending eviction, the tenants' backgrounds and priorities differ greatly, as do the procedural details of their cases. As I look back on the cases, I see a great variety of situations to be resolved. Volunteering at HJP has allowed me to get practical experience in negotiating, unlike any opportunity that I've had before. The members of the staff are unfailing in their support. I can't think of a better place to volunteer to help the public.
Q. What is your favorite song?
A. "Calling Out Your Name" by Rich Mullins (1991).
Q. Did you have a favorite class in law school?
A. Civil Procedure, taught by Geoffrey Hazard.
Q. What is your favorite comfort food?
A. An unusual "Jell-O salad" made of lemon Jell-O, shredded carrots and pineapple chunks, which my mother made for years and my wife learned to make by the second year of our marriage. We've been married since 1992.
Q. Favorite law-related movie?
A. "To Kill a Mockingbird."
KCBA Pro Bono Services sincerely thanks Lynch for his enthusiasm and tenacious representation of Housing Justice Project clients.
Gwen Remmen is KCBA's pro bono volunteer coordinator.