Legal Services/Pro Bono
Legal Services of Northern Virginia
Title: Chair, Family Law Practice Group
Other legal specialties: Family law, domestic violence, mediation
Birthplace: Goffstown, N.H.
Education: University of Notre Dame, bachelor’s degree; Tulane University School of Law, law degree.
Hobbies or pastimes: Gardening, Web/graphic design
First job as a lawyer: Domestic violence staff attorney, Blue Ridge Legal Services (Winchester office)
Fan of: Notre Dame Fighting Irish!
Favorite vacation spot: Lake Winnipesaukee (Moultonborough, N.H.)
Recently read book: “Half of a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Career mentors: Marilyn Mahoney (my mom, a family law attorney in New Hampshire); Anna Hammond
In what legal areas do you represent clients?
I represent clients and mentor/supervise pro bono and staff attorneys who represent clients, in protective orders, custody/visitation, divorce and support cases. Nearly all of my clients are victims of domestic violence.
What is the biggest need facing legal services organizations?
The goal of legal services is always to level the playing field for our clients, but our funding relative to the eligible population is at an all-time low. We need the resources to help more clients, but we also need commitment from the legal profession as a whole to simplify processes and make our justice system more accessible to unrepresented litigants.