Why I Volunteer for CVLS

Monday, September 1, 2014

Volunteer Janice Dantes recently closed her first case for CVLS! Read on for her account of the case and her experience volunteering with CVLS.

I took a deep breath and selected an adult guardianship case, my first real case. These were real people with a real legal problem. I was going to have to go before a real judge. Gulp!

I was really scared. I had heard horror stories from former law school classmates telling me how they had to figure everything out on their own. In addition to partners at their law firms yelling at them, they were yelled at by judges and teased by the clerks. They made fools of themselves in front of their clients. Eventually, they learned, and those days were behind them.

I mentally prepared myself for this situation. I am a volunteer, not a paid attorney. I did not expect to have more support than paid attorneys. I was pleasantly surprised to have such a high level of support working for CVLS. CVLS staff provided me with videos and manuals to learn about the guardianship process. Their paralegals gave me administrative support to ensure that letters were mailed and documents were printed and filed. The supervising attorneys were more than willing to review my documents before I went to court.

I was well prepared for court and successfully acquired guardianship for my client! The judge was even impressed with the neatness of my order. This was the first time I felt like a real lawyer.

I really appreciate the willingness of CVLS to accept me into their organization and their confidence in my abilities to handle cases for them. I look forward to continuing my volunteer work with CVLS!