Pro Bono Project Volunteer of the Month May 2014
Africa Alvania Sanchez has been a resident of Las Vegas for over 28 years. She emigrated from Mexico during her elementary school years and graduated from Rancho High School in 1993. She graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law with Cum Laude honors in 2000. Later that same year, Africa was admitted to the Nevada State Bar.
Africa is new to the practice of family law. She previously worked for the Clark County School District as a Deputy Assistant General Counsel and gained a lot of insight into the complexities of managing one of the largest school districts in the country. A few years later, in 2005, the teacher’s union, the Clark County Education Association,
recruited Africa to become its first General Counsel, allowing her to continue to work for two of her passions, education and employee rights.
After a much needed change, Africa is now practicing primarily in family law. Africa has always been committed to providing pro bono service but previously did not practice in the area of family law as she found it intimidating. Her pro bono work has allowed her to transition into this area of the law much more easily. Practicing in family law has also given Africa a renewed devotion to her husband of 17 years and her three children.
One of the most impactful pro bono cases Africa has taken on was discovered while she was volunteering during Ask‐A‐Lawyer. After hearing the client’s story, Africa felt compelled to take on the client’s guardianship case for her grand‐daughter and divorce from her husband of 40+ years. While the client was in Mexico handling the death of her son, her husband had molested their grand‐daughter. Although she had taken care of the grand‐daughter for years, no legal paperwork existed and she could not obtain medical treatment for the child. Her husband had also absconded from the authorities. The client was so grateful for helping her in obtaining the legal documents that she needed for treatment and to move forward with her life.