Lawyers discuss benefits of pro bono work at Smith County courthouse

Nick Pesina says it’s important that lawyers make sure the court is open to everyone, regardless of a client’s resources or socio-economic background.
“There aren’t many lawyers who speak Spanish, so that’s one particular draw for me to provide pro bono services, is to help people that are primarily Spanish sp
Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 3:30 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2022 at 10:41 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Pro bono lawyers were recognized today at the Smith County courthouse as part of the American Bar Association’s “Celebrate Pro Bono Week.”

“We have a lot of people that have legal needs but often times that either can’t afford it or they don’t qualify for the free legal services,” says Nick Pesina, owner of Pesina Law Firm.

“There aren’t many lawyers who speak Spanish, so that’s one particular draw for me to provide pro bono services, is to help people that are primarily Spanish speakers,” said Pesina.

Pesina says it’s important that lawyers make sure the court is open to everyone regardless of a client’s resources or socio-economic background.

“You’re helping someone essentially for free. You are providing free legal service and you’re taking on that client, that case, and that matter,” Pasina said.

Pro bono is 100% a volunteer endeavor for an attorney to help clients within the legal system.

It isn’t required but encouraged.

“There’s a lot of need for pro bono work for family law and not everyone’s trained in that, so I think they are nervous to get involved,” says Judge Jason Ellis, Judge of the Smith County county court at law.

Ellis says pro bono is a great way to give back to the community and to learn about an area of practice that may be outside of a lawyer’s field.

Ellis says he doesn’t think lawyers are solely interested in cases for the money.

“Most lawyers I know, at least one of the reasons they became an attorney is because they genuinely want to help people who are going through tough times,” says Ellis.

To qualify to see if you are legible to be represented by an attorney for free, contact Lone Star Legal Aid. They are located at 110 N. College Ave., #302 in Tyler. Their number is 903-595-4781.