Kate Devries Smith

Volunteer Lawyers Network Donor


Kate DeVries Smith has been a part of Volunteer Lawyers Network for 20 years. Though she works in patents as a founding partner of Pauly, DeVries Smith & Deffner, L.L.C., her pro bono passion is housing law—helping tenants to clear eviction records and hold landlords accountable for repairs.

DeVries Smith is one of VLN’s biggest financial supporters. In addition to her generous personal gifts, her firm is also a loyal VLN donor. She also frequently recruits friends, family, and colleagues to join her in giving, and brings fundraising opportunities to VLN via her professional memberships, including the Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association.

 “As a board member and a volunteer,” she says, “I get to see the impact of VLN’s work on clients and volunteer attorneys, and it is impressive! By harnessing the power of volunteers, VLN provides a huge value to the community using my contribution. Also, my profession is law. I don’t feel good about the fact that the legal system is expensive and difficult to access to enforce basic rights and meet basic needs. I want to take significant steps to improve access to justice.”