Pro Bono Volunteer of the Month – April 2016
Robert Hempen II of Hempen Family Practice
Robert Hempen has been practicing law since 1988. He opened a solo practice in 2000 with a focus in family law. He is a long-standing volunteer with Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, having accepted 15 pro bono family law cases over the past decade.
The Pro Bono Project is particularly grateful for Robert’s willingness to step up at the last minute and accept a challenging case. He recently agreed to represent a Spanish-speaking client who had a hearing the following day and would otherwise have gone unrepresented. Robert helps fill a gap by representing Spanish-speaking clients who frequently have to wait significantly longer due to the limited pool of volunteers. Robert isn’t personally proficient in Spanish, however, he utilizes his bilingual staff members to help with translation.
When we asked Robert why he volunteers, he recalls his days working in the legal clinic at his alma mater, University of Idaho College of Law. He says he found those experiences particularly rewarding and satisfying. When he opened his private practice, he desired to give back and began accepting pro bono cases.
In regards to a memorable pro bono client Robert says, “I was referred a case in which the wife was being severely intimidated by her husband. He was accusing her of being mentally unstable and believed that she should not have custody of their children. He closed out all of their community bank accounts and refused to provide her any funds even though she wasn’t working at the time.” Robert not only obtained temporary spousal support for this client but she was also awarded primary custody, child support and alimony at the trial.
For his commitment to representing family law clients and for his willingness to accept some of the Project’s most pressing cases, including victims of domestic violence and those who are Spanish-speaking, we honor Robert Hempen as the April Pro Bono Attorney of the Month.