Making a difference through Lawyers Step Up

MSBA member Shruti Vaid learned about the Lawyers Step Up initiative through MSBA and HCBA newsletters. A joint effort of the MSBA and the Minnesota Judicial Branch, the initiative encourages lawyers to start or renew their pro bono practice to answer the many legal needs of the pandemic. She was inspired to start volunteering. After completing the short survey on the website, Vaid was matched with Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN) for a pro bono opportunity. As a transactional attorney, she didn’t have experience in family law, but was interested in working with women and children. 

She truly wanted make a difference in someone’s life.

The staff at VLN—particularly her mentor attorney, Kara Rieke—worked with Vaid to find a case that would be a good match, and have been with her every step of the way. From providing resources for her to learn about family law to scheduling calls with an interpreter and her client, Vaid has felt supported from the beginning.

Asked what she would tell her peers about signing up through Lawyers Step Up, she calls the program a “great opportunity.” “VLN has several pro bono matters that are waiting to be allocated to attorneys,” she added. “Each of us can dedicate a few hours from time to time to help someone feel empowered.” VLN is not alone and organizations around the state are urgently seeking pro bono attorneys. Visit www.LawyersStepUpMN.org to find your pro bono match.