Volunteer of the Month – August 2019
Vinita Tandon Singh is Legal Counsel at Accudyne Industries, LLC.
1. How did you first get involved in pro bono?
My first time doing pro bono work was during my first semester of law school at the University of North Carolina School of Law, when I spent my fall break traveling to the North Carolina coast to assist Legal Aid with an expunction clinic. My law school’s robust Pro Bono Program allowed me to spend multiple winter and spring breaks attending legal clinics in various areas of North Carolina, such as Cherokee, where individuals desperately needed free legal services. I am grateful that the importance of pro bono was instilled in me as a law student and that I can incorporate those values of service into my life as a practicing attorney.
2. Describe your most compelling case?
My most compelling pro bono work has been assisting at the DVAP Prove-up Clinics and handling the probate case I accepted. Although the legal issue was relatively simple, this probate matter was the first one I had taken on my own, at a time when I was actively seeking employment. My client and her 94-year-old mother were extremely grateful that I was able to spend a few hours of my time assisting them with something that would otherwise have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, for them to take care of on their own. The smiles on their faces and the big hugs they gave me when their Affidavits of Heirship were both notarized and ready to be filed were a great reminder of why I am committed to pro bono.
3. What impact has pro bono had on your career?
Pro bono service has deepened my knowledge of areas of law, such as family law and landlord-tenant law, that I do not encounter in my regular practice. Additionally, it continues to foster my communication and critical thinking skills as I am faced with unique legal problems facing our community members. Furthermore, as a transactional attorney, the Prove-up Clinics have provided me with valuable insight into the courtroom and given me the confidence to appear before a judge. And, most importantly, pro bono service has reminded me how blessed I am to be part of a profession, and a legal community here in Dallas, that encourages us to use our education and expertise to better the lives of those around us through service.
4. What is the most unexpected benefit you have received from doing pro bono?
The opportunity to allow people to share their stories with me in the hope that I can help them normalize parts of their life is extremely humbling. The gratitude of these clients is a constant reminder that I, and every other attorney in this state, is so uniquely empowered to do good, and even a few hours of service each month can have a tremendous impact within our community.