You do not need to practice law, have a paralegal certificate, or attend law school to be an integral part of the Legal Aid Society of Columbus. Kent Hiebel proves this point.
Kent applied to volunteer with LASC as he was finishing up his M.A. in Urban Education at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. After receiving his undergraduate degree from American University and spending time as a Teach for America Americorps member, Kent had decided to attend law school but wanted more exposure to public interest law. With Kent’s background in Communications and his plans to live near Columbus during the summer, LASC enthusiastically welcomed him as a Pro Bono Marketing Intern.
During his time with LASC, Kent has developed client success stories, drafted pro bono attorney spotlights, and compiled pro bono e-newsletters. He has organized the attorney database and also streamlined communications mechanisms. Mid-way through the summer, Kent took the initiative to research and develop a marketing plan for LASC’s pro bono efforts, conducting widespread research and interviews to assess our current strengths and challenges.
After his internship with LASC ended, Kent started his next chapter as a law student at Columbia law school in NYC. In exchange for his hard work at LASC, Kent came away with an important lesson: “I learned it was possible to incorporate pro bono work regardless of which sector of the legal field I go into.” It is a message we hope many other future and current law students can learn early on in their careers—that volunteering their time and legal skills is an important part of this profession.
LASC is anxious to recruit other students who are willing to volunteer a few hours per week with our program. Although a legal education can be helpful for many of these positions, there are a wide variety of opportunities that require no legal background. In fact, drawing upon skill sets from other professions and fields has had a tremendously positive impact on our program.
If you are a non-lawyer interested in volunteering, visit our Get Involved section.