KCBA is pleased to honor long-time volunteer Angel Latterell as Volunteer of the Month for her service with the Housing Justice Project in Seattle. She is a long-time, committed volunteer who goes above and beyond in her efforts to assist low-income persons facing eviction. Recently, Latterell volunteered to assist a disabled tenant at a grievance hearing and, through her efforts, the tenant was able to maintain her subsidized housing. This is just one example of the many reasons for honoring our Volunteer of the Month.
We asked her a few questions about her experience as a volunteer pro bono attorney and her interests.
Q. Who/what inspires you to volunteer?
A. Charles Hamilton Huston, who worked on every Supreme Court civil rights case from 1930 to Brown v. Board of Education and was the mentor of Thurgood Marshall, is my legal hero. The only reason I became a lawyer is to help people. My volunteer work is the time I feel like I am most making a real difference in people’s lives.
Q. What is your most memorable volunteer experience?
A. I represented an HJP client at a grievance hearing to challenge the decision to terminate her Shelter Plus Care Housing subsidy. I was able to add some objectivity and expertise to the situation and help change my client’s view of the hearing to be one that was not just adversarial. I helped her tell her story and be heard so that after the hearing the relationship between the parties was transformed in a positive way. Seeing that happen and the positive impact it had on all involved was moving.
Q. What originally drew you to the Housing Justice Project?
A. I began volunteering 10 years ago. I have always been interested in housing issues. I came from Minnesota where there were lots of legal aid attorneys at that time, but not as many volunteer opportunities. I moved to Seattle and put my talents to work volunteering so that I could also quickly learn a new court system. HJP was a great way to get my foot in the door.
Q. Words of advice for fellow volunteers?
A. Never underestimate the impact that being present for others and what taking the time to help with your skills can have on their life.
Q. Favorite quote?
A. Daisaku Ikeda — “A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, can even enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.”
Q. Favorite law-related movie?
A. They’re all too fake, but “The Devil’s Advocate.”
Q. Title of the last book you read?
A. Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric.
Q. Favorite Supreme Court justice?
A. Thurgood Marshall.
If you are interested in volunteering with any of KCBA’s Pro Bono Services programs, please visit our volunteer webpage at http://www.kcba.org/pbs/volunteerpositions.aspx.