This week on the Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s Pro Bono Happy Hour podcast, we talk with Kate Nolen of Lathrop Gage†. A die-hard fan of Mizzou, which she attended for undergrad and law school, Kate was introduced to pro bono through her sorority volunteer program with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). She also participated in domestic violence and housing clinics while a law student.
Kate went on to work for CASA in Kansas City and saw first-hand how under resourced public service organizations can be. In response and in addition to her regular duties, she started recruiting volunteer attorneys to work pro bono at CASA. Luckily the access to justice culture in Kansas City is thriving and Kate found a supportive and “incredibly collaborative” community. She took a pro bono leadership position at Lathrop Gage, which she sees as a continuation of her attorney recruitment efforts at CASA – this time working from the law firm side.
Attorneys at Lathrop Gage, a 145-year-old firm, are passionate about many pro bono areas of need and recently have deepened their commitment to timely issues like immigration and civil rights. Kate observed that when recruiting law students to join the firm, she has heard a lot of questions about pro bono. Students these days are asking questions that are substantial and going beyond simply: “does the firm do pro bono?”
In this episode, we introduce a new segment, which we are calling “Pro Bono in the News.” Our current event is an opinion column by Nick Kristoff that was published in The New York Times, Is the Business World All About Greed? Spoiler alert: No! And, law firms are leading the way, through pro bono, as forces for good.
Take 40 minutes to listen to Kate’s story about transitioning from the public interest sector into the law firm world.
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† denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® member