This week we talk with Michelle Movahed of McCarter & English*† on the Pro Bono Happy Hour podcast. She shares her schooling and career journey from participating in housing rights clinics at Fordham Law School to helping families recover from natural disasters in Brooklyn and expanding women’s rights to healthcare at public interest organizations to taking her talents to Big Law at McCarter & English.
Her biggest takeaway from her transition from working as a social justice lawyer to working for a well-resourced law firm? “Nobody has said ‘no’ to me.” “People not only say ‘yes,’ but they come and provide services and it’s been really amazing.” Michelle takes us inside the firm’s diverse pro bono projects including assisting asylum-seekers in partnership with Brooklyn Defender Services, offering traditional poverty law services at all of their office locations, and providing services to veterans.
Michelle is inspired by the firm’s management’s active pro bono participation which speaks volumes to others within the firm. “The thing that incentivizes and motivates people is seeing the firm management not only saying ‘You should be doing pro bono’, but doing it themselves… Our executive committee – almost completely – has participated in pro bono in the last year.”
Take 25 minutes to hear from Michelle about how she became “hooked on public service” and her dedication to providing asylum-seekers, especially unaccompanied minors, with thoughtful and excellent pro bono services.
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* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
† denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® member