In her three years volunteering with NLSLA, attorney Lisa Rosenthal has never said “no.” Despite the fact that she is a sole practitioner, Lisa is always available to help NLSLA’s family law clients, most of whom are survivors of domestic violence.
Lisa tackles the work—which often requires multiple filings and court hearings—while always being available to support and listen to clients, many of whom are in the midst of heightened trauma. She is a fierce advocate, going above and beyond to make sure her client’s concerns are heard by the court.
One of those clients is Clara, who came to NLSLA after her abusive husband—a member of the armed forces—followed her from Colorado to California. Clara knew that her husband owned firearms, and became increasingly frightened as his threats escalated. Lisa worked fast to secure a 2-year restraining order against Clara’s husband. “It’s a huge weight off my shoulders,” said Clara, who is pursuing her PhD. “Now I have the energy to focus on things other than my safety.”
Lisa’s passion and commitment became all the more important when the pandemic arrived, and brought with it a dramatic increase in domestic violence in the communities NLSLA serves. Lisa’s dedication to our work, her willingness to act quickly—even on the eve of a hearing or filing date—and her deep understanding of the often-complex legal needs of domestic violence survivors, made her an invaluable resource during this difficult time.
NLSLA has long relied on pro bono assistance to meet the overwhelming legal needs of the communities we serve. Sometimes those volunteer attorneys come from big firms that partner with NLSLA in a lawsuit seeking to improve the system for people living in poverty. Sometimes, we partner with remarkable individuals—individuals like Lisa Rosenthal—who sign up to do the quiet work that changes lives.