January 01, 2012

Becoming an Accidental Big Sister

Wendy Cole Lascher

I didn’t know I was going to be a Big Sister. Now I don’t know how I could not be. Lawyers are trained to advocate for others. In almost four decades of practice, I’ve represented death row inmates and indigent parents as well as mega-corporations. I’ve done my share of organizing fund raisers and serving on charitable boards. I thought I had a sense of my clients’ problems.

Then came Deshaun. A friend was receiving a community service award. When I interviewed her for our bar association’s newsletter, she described a troubled family for whom she’d become a sort of guardian angel. A mother of ten had abandoned the kids. Grandma, though unhealthy, tried to pick up the pieces. The kids struggled. Seven-year-old Deshaun had flunked first grade.

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