2020 Volunteer of the Year: Katharine Butler
Katharine Butler keeps plenty busy as a paralegal student and bartender. Yet, she dedicates countless hours every week to help provide legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS as a volunteer for ALRP.
That’s why ALRP is excited to name Katherine as the recipient of the 2020 James M. Wood Volunteer of the Year Award.
“Volunteering at ALRP has made me realize that I want to help the people in my community who may not have access to legal services otherwise,” said Katharine.
Katharine first learned about ALRP when Staff Attorney Dustin Helmer visited her Legal Research and Writing class at San Francisco State University. He spoke earnestly about working to keep clients housed and being an advocate for diverse, underserved communities.
Dustin left behind business cards for students interested in getting involved. Inspired by Dustin’s passion for ALRP’s mission, Katharine picked one up.
In fall 2019, she came on board as a volunteer.
Katharine jumped into all things immigration, working with Staff Attorney Ana Montano about three days a week. In her volunteer role, Katharine learned the ins and outs of the immigration process and assisted with performing intakes and filling out immigration forms. She quickly met her required hours as a volunteer, but she wasn’t ready to leave her volunteer role just yet.
“I continued coming in to the ALRP because I just loved the work, the clients, and the staff,” said Katharine.
To her excitement, Katharine was invited to return as a volunteer for spring 2020, this time as a Law Clerk.
Law clerks provide essential support to the ALRP Client Services staff by serving as the first, and often main, point of contact for ALRP clients. Law clerks are integral to helping facilitate solutions to ALRP clients’ legal problems under the supervision of Staff Attorneys.
As a Law Clerk, Katharine continued to shine, taking on a more client-facing role under the supervision of ALRP Managing Attorney Jaime Rush. She was able to broaden her scope to support drafting letters for clients, responding to discovery, and referring clients to Panel Attorneys.
“Katharine is very sharp and a quick learner,” said Faron Stalker, ALRP Volunteer Coordinator. “She is a really great resource for ALRP.”
For months of committed service and going above and beyond the call of duty as a volunteer, ALRP is proud to recognize Katharine as the 2020 Volunteer of the Year. While ALRP had hoped to celebrate Katharine’s remarkable commitment to ALRP at our Volunteer Appreciate Party this year, we have to settle for heartfelt article on our website. Thank you, Katharine!