Nancy Krieg and Rebecca Heltzer

Ramsey County Law Library Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers

January 2022

Nancy Krieg HeadshotNancy Krieg is a founding partner at Taylor, Krieg & Reinke, LLC where she practices family and criminal law. She came to the law profession after a long career in the financial sector and is involved in several sections at the MSBA in addition to her commitment to pro bono work.

RH Headshot
Rebecca Helzter practices real property law, landlord/tenant disputes, shareholder disputes, litigation, administrative law, corporate law, construction law, contracts, collections, probate, wills and trusts at her solo firm, Heltzer law. She has been practicing law for over 26 years and is involved in both the MSBA and RCBA in addition to her pro bono work.

How do remote consultations help the people you serve? 
It provides easy access to attorneys without the need of a person to get to an office or library to meet in-person. This includes elderly folks who are unwilling to leave home and it provides them access to legal services. Additionally, many of the poor and underserved don’t have vehicles and are at the mercy of public transportation that many can’t afford, or that doesn’t meet the scheduling of the clients’ needs. Phone and zoom meetings afford wider access while maintaining the personal touch of actual conversation with an attorney.

What benefits do you see with remote services? 
Again – provides easy access for the homebound, elderly, and ill, as well as a human touch from the legal system to clients who are worried and sometimes untrusting of the courts and legal system. It is reassuring to receive information from a person rather than a website.

What’s not helpful when consulting remotely?  
Lack of personal contact and ability to review client documents. It is difficult to counsel clients specifically without the actual documents they refer to. It is so much more helpful if we could have a copy of the documents that have been served, or copies of prior court orders that are involved in the current matter. If it’s housing or evictions, we would benefit by seeing the notices and petitions.  Another challenge is keeping clients on track and on task. Many tend to overexplain and get off topic, which is time-wasting and confusing. On the other hand, it hones the attorney’s client control skills! 

What’s fulfilling about remote pro bono service?
Providing help to people in need. Clients are very grateful for someone taking the time and having the patience to speak with them, allay their fears, tell them what to expect and take the fear out of the contact with the court. One gets a warm glow from their gratitude and it’s a blessing to be able to make them more comfortable and less fearful.

Other comments?  
Pro bono service, no matter how delivered, is the backbone of the legal system because it provides access to those in most need and most unable to access it. It is necessary to keep the wheels oiled so that everyone has a fair chance at services and justice.