December 30, 2013 Articles

How I Found My Balance in Pro Bono

By Kimberly King

Pro bono work has been one of the best ways to reach a good balance between work and life. There has been enormous discourse about work-life balance. Women are constantly looking for ways to “lean” into our careers yet honor our commitments to our families and to ourselves. It can be a real struggle. At first glance, pro bono work seems like just another item to add to our never-ending to-do list. But, in fact, pro bono work helped me find my balance. Here’s how.

Perspective Pro bono work provides perspective. It is nearly impossible to provide pro bono legal services without pausing to put all the other things on our to-do list into perspective. Earlier this year, I helped represent a pro bono client seeking political asylum. Growing up in a particularly unstable region of Nepal, this young man and his family were victims of continual persecution for their political opinions. One night, armed Maoists kidnapped my client from his home. He was eventually able to escape but, fearing for his life, was forced to go into hiding. After several months, he made his way to the United States. He believed that if he were to return to Nepal he would be killed, and the Nepalese government would do nothing to stop it. He was forced to leave behind his wife and two children (one of whom he has never seen).

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