This past year I have begun a new adventure as something I never thought I would be: a father. As I listen to my now one-year-old daughter stumble through words like “What’s that!?” and “Mama” and “Dada”, I think a lot about her future and my own. I feel responsible for who she becomes and worry constantly about her. I certainly worry too much, but I care a lot about the world she grows up in, and the lessons I teach her as she grows. It’s important to me that my child is someone who helps others. I was raised that way by my parents, and I pray I can do the same for her. As one of my favorite quotes from Abraham Lincoln (and one I have used often), “When I do good, I feel good, and when I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion”. I hope to impart that on her as she becomes her own independent person.
Pro Bono is something I am passionate about, and always something I will advocate for. As a program, we do really awesome things for so many people. We help domestic violence victims get protection, we help tenants defend themselves against landlords and their expensive attorneys, we help people with old criminal convictions get new beginnings, and help countless others. This is arguably the most important work I am doing, and something I think about how I can be better at.
When I check the box, I think about all the people we are able to help, the incredible attorneys sacrificing their time to help them, and the communities that benefit from this program. Checking the box and donating to pro bono helps bring a positive message to our fellow citizens, and the people we represent. This message is important to me, especially as a new dad fretting over the world his one-year-old daughter is going to grow up in. I think about the help our donations will provide to a program that helps provide access to justice to the most vulnerable members of our society.
Check the box. It will feel good, and it will go to a great cause. Please consider it when you renew your dues this year.
Editor’s Note: This letter appeared in the July 2018 edition of the New Hampshire Bar News, and was also published in the NH Bar’s E-Bulletin.