20th Anniversary Celebration

20th Anniversary Celebration Committee

20 Things You Might Not Know

20 Things You Can Do

Where are they now?

History of the Pro Bono Program

For the Good of the Order

Pro Bono Program

Where are they now?

Brook Andrews

What firm/organization are you working with now?
Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Washington, D.C.

What kind of pro bono or volunteer work have you been involved in?
I attend a regular DOJ pro bono advice and referral clinic at a local community service provider, Bread for the City, here in Washington, D.C. I recently successfully represented a pro bono client in a consumer transactional dispute.

What are the main reasons why you would recommend that law students become involved in pro bono work?
I think every lawyer admitted to practice before the bar bears an obligation of service to his or her community, and a good legal education should instill in law students the importance of that obligation. But pro bono experience, to me, is so much more than that. It allows us as attorneys to serve justice, to learn appreciable skills, and to touch others' lives. For law students and young lawyers, I think the skill-building aspects of pro bono opportunities are particularly important. Due to the overwhelming need for pro bono legal services, particularly in underserved communities, law students and young lawyers who do pro bono work have the opportunity to get deep exposure to a wide range of legal issues, with a greater amount of responsibility, than they would be able to expect anywhere else.

How would you encourage current law students to get involved with the Pro Bono program?
As an initial matter, free beer. Also, a diversity of options for service. And work-study credit for pro bono or public interest internships.

Has pro bono work contributed to your sense of career satisfaction?
I represent government agencies in litigation, and my work can fairly be described as public service. I like what I do, and I feel good about the work that I do. Still, I don't represent individuals, and I've always felt that there is something special about using my legal skills to make a difference in an individual person's life. So from time to time, I give free advice or take on an individual client. I've seen that the smallest things I can give - one demand letter, for instance - can have a tremendous effect on the lives of the people who receive them. So for me, the smallest amount of extracurricular pro bono practice works as a remarkable salve for the occasional career disaffection. It's a welcome reminder of why I chose to practice law.

Did your experiences in the Pro Bono program at USC prepare you or benefit you in your career?

In your career, have you seen an overlap between your volunteer work and your sense of your own place in the community and the legal profession?
Absolutely, see above.

How do pro bono efforts fit in to the work of the South Carolina Bar?
The South Carolina Bar is supports pro bono service and is consistently doing more and more to further pro bono and public interest service. That said, there remains a great amount of need for pro bono services in South Carolina, and a great deal of room for growth in the Bar's leadership in those efforts. The Bar listens to its members, so strong advocacy from within the pro bono community is needed to realize that growth.

What kind of perceptions, positive or negative, do you think that the bar as a whole has about attorneys who are actively involved in pro bono work?
I can't speak to most bar members' perceptions. I like to think that most lawyers recognize the moral and professional value of pro bono service. That said, I understand many don't like to be required to do pro bono work. I also know that many of South Carolina's law firms - including some of its largest and most profitable - have been behind the national curve on promoting pro bono service among its members and associates. I would like to see some of those firms exercise greater leadership on promoting public service.

What is most memorable/best experience you had during your law school career through the Pro Bono program?
Hard to beat serving Thanksgiving dinner at St. Lawrence place. That was a highlight every year.

What does the 20th Anniversary of the Pro Bono program mean to you?
It's a testament to Pam, and to all the public-minded students who have served in the Pro Bono program over the years.

What is your most cherished memory with Pam?
When I was at USC, I served as PILS President in addition to serving on the Pro Bono Board. My best memories with Pam involve the many hours I spent in the pro bono office, preparing for the Talent/No Talent Show, speaker events, the faculty auction, and so many other events. Pam was always there for helpful advice and guidance. Pam's office was like a "base camp" for us at that time, as I'm sure it remains today.

What year did you graduate from the law school?