Pro Bono Spotlight: Andrea Cobery

What brought you to start volunteering at VLN?

I started my career as a debtor’s counsel, and I really missed working with people who were facing financial struggles and helping them to achieve a fresh start. The legal bankruptcy community has been such an important part of my entire legal career, and I think it is incredibly important to give back to the community through volunteering and working with others. The bankruptcy advice clinic provided a great opportunity for me to use my experience to help others overcome their financial struggles.

Why do you continue to volunteer with VLN? 

I love it! I look forward to talking with the clients and being able to take the time to really listen to them so that I can try to understand what they are going through and what they would like to achieve. Sometimes filing bankruptcy is a great solution, but sometimes, there are other solutions that would be more effective or would better provide an alternative depending on the circumstance. There is never a one-size solution, so listening to your client and asking the right questions are key. I enjoy having those difficult and rewarding discussions with clients at VLN. 

Why is volunteering important to you? 

Most clients do not want to be having this type of discussion, and they do not want to have to be even considering bankruptcy. I totally understand why they feel this way. Bankruptcy can be daunting and scary to most people, and many people have preconceived ideas about bankruptcy that often are not true. Volunteering at the clinic is important to me because I want to make sure that clients are fully informed of their financial options, and I want to make sure that they truly understand what filing bankruptcy means, how it works, and how much bankruptcy can help alleviate their financial struggles. Everyone deserves a fresh start, and I am incredibly grateful to be able to volunteer where I can help others alleviate their stresses and financial concerns. At the end of our meeting, I hope that clients know that they have options available and that they deserve a fresh start. 

What impact have you seen your volunteerism have on others? 

When you volunteer at VLN, it is so rewarding to see the impact you have made by the smiles on clients’ faces and the easing of tension that you hear in their voices. 

What impact has your volunteerism had on yourself? 

Volunteering through VLN reduces my stress and makes me grateful to be a part of this wonderful legal community where we get the opportunity to truly help others.

Managing Editor
Elsa Cournoyer

Executive Editor

Joseph Satter