Pro Bono of the Month – March 2023
Africa Sanchez’s family migrated from Mexico to Las Vegas over thirty years ago when she was in elementary school years. She graduated from Rancho High School and attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Communications, and later, Africa, received her Juris Doctorate. One of her proudest achievements was admission to the Nevada State Bar in October 2000. Upon obtaining her law degree, Africa served as a judicial law clerk in the Eight Judicial District Court.
In 2001, she began practicing law as a Deputy Assistant General Counsel in the Clark County School District. She gained insight into the complexities of managing one of the largest school districts in the country. The teachers union, the Clark County Education Association, recruited Africa to become its first General Counsel in 2005, allowing her to continue to work for two of her passions, education and employee rights. When not busy with her work life, Africa enjoys spending time with her lovely husband, whom she’s been married to for 26 years, and her three beautiful children. An interesting fact about Africa, she has a sister named America.
Africa opened her law firm in 2014, and since then, she’s actively volunteered with Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. Africa is proud of her goal – always maintain at least one open pro bono case. Of course, Africa routinely carries multiple complex pro bono matters.
When asked why she does pro bono work. Africa’s answer was short and organic. She said she has received a lot of help along the way and strongly believes in paying it forward.
We asked her to share about a memorable client and how she helped them. She shared a story about a recently referred case for a client who needed assistance in a divorce. The client is a victim of domestic violence, and the former spouse attempted to annul the marriage to strip her of the immigration benefit she had received. This client was a professional in her country, bright but very vulnerable from the trauma she had suffered. Helping her through this matter and seeing her regain her confidence and strength was empowering. Each time Africa met with her, she could see her strength building and her hope rising that everything would be okay. Africa said, “This client grew from vulnerable and fragile to the strong woman she had always been before the abuse.”
The representation Africa brings these clients is life-changing and most memorable to those she assists. She is making a difference, one client at a time. Africa’s compassion, endless dedication, and desire to help those most vulnerable in our community make her our March Volunteer of The Month.