We announced in October that the Washington Council of Lawyers had chosen to honor Jodi Feldman, Supervising Attorney of Legal Aid’s Pro Bono and Training Programs, with its inaugural Legal Services Award. This award recognizes the outstanding work of the lawyers who serve in the public-interest community.
Last night, Legal Aid Executive Director Eric Angel introduced Jodi as she accepted the award at the Washington Council of Lawyers’ 2014 Award Ceremony.
In Jodi’s acceptance speech, she thanked her family, friends, and colleagues – extending a special thank you to her Legal Aid colleagues in attendance. She spoke about her start in volunteerism – from working for a senator, to teaching English to immigrants, to her first pro bono involvement with Whitman Walker Clinic, and finally, her decision to leave private practice for a career in legal services.
The following is an excerpt from Jodi’s acceptance speech:
“This month marks my 10-year anniversary at Legal Aid, and, after many twists and turns that didn’t always make sense even to me, I now know that my journey led me to exactly where I belong.
When I worked in private practice, surrounded by people who were buying bigger homes, driving fancier cars, taking more exotic vacations, I thought a lot about the things I didn’t have.
But, over the years working in legal services, I’ve learned to be ever cognizant and grateful for the many valuable things I do have: a loving family, wonderful friends, meaningful work, a roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep in, [and] food on the table.
When my colleagues and I speak in the community about the work we do, we describe how the representation that Legal Aid provides can be life-changing for our clients. And, that is certainly true. But, every time I say those words, I am reminded once again that the work we do can be life-changing for the lawyer, as well.