The Alaska Legal Services Corporation has named WMU-Cooley graduate Nick Lewis (2012 Ellsworth Class) as its pro bono volunteer of the month for the assistance he gives to low-income clients in the Anchorage, Alaska area. The Law School proudly salutes Nick on his outstanding recognition.
AUGUST VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH – NICK LEWIS
ALSC’s marvelous Volunteer of the Month for August is Anchorage attorney Nick Lewis. As a volunteer at ALSC, Nick answers questions for the Landlord Tenant Hotline and handles various cases for low-income clients. Professionally, Nick has been working on legal issues affecting the mining industry with local attorney JP Tangen.
Why did you choose to volunteer with ALSC?
That’s easy. Of the organizations I considered volunteering with, ALSC provided me with great opportunities to help people in need while giving me valuable guidance on practical approaches to helping clients.
Volunteerism is one of the most important aspects of the profession; that was a sentiment of a lot of the professors and deans at my alma mater, Cooley Law School. It was particularly important to my friend and mentor, Dean Ann Wood. Her influence certainly nudged me to help out when I can.
How do you think your efforts help ALSC clients?
ALSC suggested I would make a good fit for the Landlord Tenant Hotline. Landlord or Tenant disputes can be very personal. Explaining the Landlord and Tenant Act and potential financial and personal risks involved in not resolving issues correctly can sometimes make a significant difference. I feel that I have helped ease some of these folks off the “ledge.” By providing people with objective information and options concerning statutory requirements, I feel that I have empowered them to make more prudent decisions.
Taking on individual clients makes a difference by helping folks who couldn’t afford an attorney otherwise.
How do you think your experiences with ALSC will benefit you in the future?
Working with ALSC is its own reward. I enjoy working with other attorneys, staff, and of course, the clients.
What do you do when you are not volunteering with ALSC?
In other community involvement, I also volunteer with the Bar as Co-Chair of the New Lawyers Section and as a volunteer attorney with the Alaska Network for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Our community is already pretty great but there is always room for improvement. ALSC, ANDVSA, and the Alaska Bar really make a difference for folks and I wanted to be a part of that “difference” if I could.
My favorite hobbies are probably wrenching on old cars, fast cars, or old trucks and learning the art of furniture making. I designed and built my own 5-piece office in law school. It was a great stress reliever and I had a beautiful craftsman-style 18 square foot executive desk to spread everything out on!
Also, I’m working on having more fun. I grew up in Alaska, spent a year at UAA, and spent the rest of my higher education out of state. Now that I’m out of higher education I intend on enjoying my home state the way an Alaskan should! I’ve never done much camping, hiking, skiing, hunting, berry picking etc… but I’m really looking forward to it! I’ve already started hiking in the various areas around Anchorage with a weekly hiking group (which I’m not very faithful to!) and I’m trying to get healthier by enjoying the Coastal Trail.
This story is republished with the permission of the Alaska Legal Services Corporation.