VLSC Rising Star: Shane Nielson
Shane Nielson is an associate at Family Law Group, LLP. He has long held a passion for family law and brings over 15 years of experience in the field, including eight years as a paralegal with Family Law Group. He also spent four years with the Sacramento County Department of Child Support Services and four years working as a Supervising Family Support Officer for the Solano County Department of Child Support Services. Shane graduated Cum Laude from California School of Law where he received numerous awards.
Shane is a regular volunteer at the VLSC Family Law Day of Court clinic. He’s a true asset to VLSC and the people that he helps – he’s flexible and generous with his time, he recruits other attorneys to come volunteer, and is willing to help show less experienced attorneys the ropes.
Why do you volunteer with VLSC?
I volunteer because I have always believed it is incumbent on those of us in the legal profession to give a little something back. We have gotten through the gauntlet of law school and the bar exam, but I believe we should remember that the profession plays a critical role in our society and not everybody is in the position to pay for our services.
Volunteering not only benefits the litigants we help in court but it benefits the legal system and our profession. Each case we help with is one less that remains on the court’s docket; it is one less Order that is improperly prepared (or not prepared at all); it is one less item the clerks have to review and send back. It also provides us with the opportunity to alter the public’s impression of our profession.
Do you have a particularly memorable VLSC client or pro bono case?
I don’t have one particularly memorable case but I do recall the numerous times that the volunteers were thanked by the litigants we assisted. To see the relief in their eyes and faces, knowing that their case was done and they could move on, was extremely gratifying and helps me come back to volunteer the next time.
What other community activities are you involved in?
I have always believed that being involved in your community is essential, regardless of your profession.
I started a neighborhood barbeque group so that new neighbors can meet. I was part of setting up regular softball games for my community as well as starting a community website (before social media came along). I also served for more than 10 years on the school board in my community. Most recently, I volunteered for our school district’s bond committee to help pass a bond to complete the construction of our high school and elementary school as well as on several school committees.
What are you listening to on your iPod now?
I’m an old-school rocker. 80’s “hair bands” are all over my playlist.
What is one thing that you wish people knew about VLSC?
I wish people knew how easy it is to volunteer, and how beneficial. I think the perception of the amount of time volunteering takes differs compared with the reality. Giving just one day per month, or about 3 hours, is something that I believe most people could do, and is something that would benefit VLSC and the legal community immensely. I also would love people to get to know the VLSC staff to see how friendly and helpful they are.
Join us on May 18th at Justice for All: Celebrating Pro Bono to celebrate Shane and the rest of the award recipients! More information here
Interested in volunteering with VLSC? Check out our website, or please contact Daniela Meza, Volunteer and Clinics Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (510) 302-2219.