Page 2 - DVCC Annual Report 2010-2011

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“Your services are an island of hope
and direction to improve a sad and confus-
ing situation.”
This is one among hundreds of posi-
tive comments by DVCC clients who have
consultedwith attorneys during our monthly
Civil Legal Clinics. Established to provide
clients with legal consultation on matters
such as divorce, housing, child custody and
visitation, child support, immigration, pater-
nity and wills, the first clinic was held at the
Stamford office in March 2011.
Since then, DVCC has hosted ten clinic
sessions, during which over 140 legal con-
sultations were provided to clients currently
working with the agency. The clinic is staffed
by DVCC’s three staff attorneys and eight
volunteer attorneys from the local legal com-
munitywho generously donate their time and
expertise. Additional DVCC staff members
assist with filling out forms and providing
translation service when necessary.
Kieran Costello, whose firm Costello &
McCormack, P.C. has provided volunteer at-
torneys for nearly every session, said the legal
consultations were an extremely worthwhile
“Toomany timeswe see self-represented
victims of domestic violence in court, and
it’s heartbreaking to watch them struggling
alone in a confusing and intimidating court
system,” he said. “The DVCC clinic is an
invaluable service provided to these women
who cannot afford their own counsel. We, as
volunteers, answer all different types of ques-
tions on a range of topics from divorce and
custody to eviction and debt. The experience
of volunteering with the clinic has been very
personally satisfying for me and the other
attorneys I work with because we leave the
DVCC office each month knowing that, but
for this service, important legal questions
would go unanswered and victims would be
left to navigate the system all alone.”
Other volunteer attorneys include
Christopher Brennan, Claire DeVidas, Mer-
rie Hawley, Jon Jessen, Karen McCormack,
Mayra Rios, Edward Sinclair, Heather Spaide
and Elizabeth Zessman.
DVCC Legal Clinics
Christopher P. Brennan (L) and Claire DeVidas (R), attorneys with the Fairfield law firm of Costello and
McCormack, with DVCC Civil Attorney Gladys Nieves (center) at a DVCC Civil Legal Clinic.
• • • • • •
Having spent the better part of my adult
life working, raising a family and eventually
running my own business, the time I had
available to contribute tomy community was
limited. I always supportedDVCCby attend-
ing the spring luncheon and in other small
ways which fit into my schedule. However I
knew that when I retired, DVCC would be
one of the organizations to which I would
contribute my energy.
The services DVCC offers to those
whose lives have been disrupted and endan-
gered by family members or partners they
thought they could respect and trust are
essential and life-saving. I am proud to have
been asked to intensify my involvement by
becoming a member of the DVCC Board
of Directors. It is not a commitment I take
lightly and it involves many hours of work -
sometimes as many as I previously devoted
to my business. However the results are cer-
tainly worth the effort. I serve as head of the
Development Committee, which drives our
fundraising efforts and, in the process, helps
introduce people to our mission. I consider
myself blessed to have a wonderful support
system in my life, the linch pin of which has
been an incredible husband. Perhaps because
I have been so fortunate, I am driven to help
those to whom life has been less generous.
Sandy Nathan
DVCC Board of Directors member since 2006