Panel Attorney Spotlight: Steven Chizen
Steven Chizen joined ALRP as a Panel Attorney in 2021. In his two years on the panel, Steven has accepted nearly 20 referrals, supporting clients in need of legal counsel in employment matters, torts, and restraining orders.
On October 19, ALRP will be recognizing Steven as Attorney of the Year at our 40th Anniversary Annual Reception. Steven was glad to take some time for our Q&A:
How did you first learn about ALRP? What made you decide to get involved?
I was working at a big law firm and doing a ton of pro bono work, not with ALRP but with other legal aid organizations. And then I left to open up my own practice, and I wanted to continue to do pro bono work, but a lot of legal aid organizations only partner with these big law firms. I had a few friends who had served on the board of ALRP, and sort of just became aware of it in the LGBTQ community, so it was on my radar, and I decided to reach out.
How was your experience after that?
Once I joined the panel, an ALRP staff member sent me my first referral and I was like oh, okay, this is easy! And it felt really good to help the clients, so I kept doing it. It’s been a good way to stay connected to the pro bono world even though I’m no longer part of a big law firm.
Can you tell us more about your work with ALRP clients?
I’ve handled a number of restraining orders, and it’s really nice to win a restraining order and make sure an ALRP client is protected against whoever is harassing or threatening them. Those hearings are quick—I meet with the client, and the hearing’s set for maybe three weeks down the road. It’s a great opportunity to quickly achieve some actual accountability and protection.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m very grateful for the employees of ALRP. I only do this a small chunk of the time, but the fact that there are attorneys and staff working on this full time, despite limited resources, is wonderful. I’m very thankful for the work you do and that I get to be a little piece of it!
All of us at ALRP are grateful for Steven’s support and for the difference he makes in our clients’ lives. We look forward to honoring him in October!
Interested in becoming a Panel Attorney? Please contact Sloka Krishnan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-701-1200 x303