Volunteering has always been close to Katherine Cabello-Flores’ heart. Even before law school, she worked at a corporation that provided regular opportunities to volunteer within the community. Katherine carried this tradition into St. Mary’s University School of Law. After graduating from law school, Katherine has been able to continue her passion for pro bono work as an attorney with the Tessmer Law Firm. Not only is volunteering important to her, but it’s also important to the firm as well.
Over the last 18 months, Katherine volunteered with SALSA for the Wills for Healthcare Workers Program, where she helped draft six or seven wills for healthcare workers, took on an extended representation Family Law case and she and another attorney at her firm are currently assisting a client with obtaining a protective order through the Protective Order Program.
Katherine was able to garner a great result for her most recent client who came to SALSA hoping to modify his prior custody order. The order gave the child’s mother extended visitation, however, the mother had abandoned the child several years prior and the client’s child had not really had a relationship with the mother since birth. The client was fearful the mother would come back and take the child away, especially because there was Child Protective Services involvement with some of the other children the mother has – even removing one of her other kids. Katherine helped to ensure the client’s concerns were alleviated. They went to court and were able to modify the prior order so all of the mother’s visitations would be supervised. The case was successful and the client was able to achieve his goals – he and his child would be protected by the law. The client was able to gain the exclusive right regarding decisions for the child, and the mother would only have supervised visitation.
Katherine describes her overall experience volunteering with SALSA as “wonderful. SALSA made it easy. SALSA reached out, told me what I needed to know, and then gave me free reign. It was great to be able to treat the pro bono client as though he was another Tessmer client.” Katherine’s message to attorneys who are on the fence about volunteering: “As attorneys in this vocational field, we need to help people and be open to pro bono experiences. This case went so well and was a good experience. I was happy; the client was happy. You should jump over the fence and join us by volunteering!”
Thanks, Katherine, for your efforts on behalf of so many clients in need of critical legal services!