David A. Heiner, chair of Pro Bono Net’s board, shared a powerful story about a remarkable man, a broken system and the story–in the sharing–shows how lawyers can make a difference through pro bono service.
Dave’s piece about a Washington State clemency petition for a pro bono client gives us a glimpse of the path far too many take to prison, as “juvenile delinquents, throwaways and runaways.” Michael A. Lidel, an African-American man from Seattle, was, in his words, a “throwaway,” and juvenile crime turned to adult crime and a life spent mostly in prison.
Along the way, Lidel found a partner, his wife, who helped him reframe and turn his life around in prison, taking responsibility for his crimes and helping others.
“With the nation focused on racial equity, it is a blessing to have the opportunity to help someone through volunteer legal work,” said Heiner. “Organizations like Pro Bono Net can help connect lawyers to opportunities in housing law, employment law, consumer debt and many other areas, all areas where African-Americans face disproportionate legal challenges.”
Learn more about the Seattle Clemency Project here.