Volunteer of the Month – July 2022
Jake Torres is an associate at Vinson & Elkins LLP.
- What types of cases have you accepted?
Early on I mostly worked on asylum and guardianship cases. Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time defending tenants in eviction hearings.
- Which clinics have you assisted with?
I’ve volunteered at DVAP’s Eviction Clinic as well as the West Dallas Clinic.
- Describe your most compelling pro bono case.
At an Eviction Clinic a few months ago, an elderly woman asked me to represent her in her eviction hearing. She had been approved for rental assistance, but the program moved too slowly and her landlord wanted to evict her. We were able to speed along her rental assistance and negotiate with her landlord for her to stay in her apartment.
- Why do you do pro bono?
Dallas is a beautiful city, but there are so many people in need of help. When someone has a lawyer standing next to them, they are in a much better position, no matter what the facts of their case are.
- What is the most unexpected benefit you have received from doing pro bono?
I’m a corporate lawyer, but pro bono cases have allowed me to work with some of the brilliant litigators at my firm like: Angie Garcia, Ilana Gomez, Eugene Temchenko, Lindsey Pryor and several others. They are some of the best young litigators in Dallas and I never would have appreciated their legal skills if I hadn’t been able to work with them on pro bono cases.