Volunteer of the Month-February 2018
Brian Blackham of Ghandi Deeter Blackham
Brian is originally from Queens, New York. He started his undergraduate degree at Hofstra University and then took a break from school. In 1995, he moved to Las Vegas and began working as a runner for a law firm while he pursued his dream of achieving fame and fortune by screaming into a microphone for a local rock band. Unfortunately, he was not able to achieve his goal of stardom. In 2000, Brian enrolled at UNLV and completed his undergraduate degree. Soon after, he began at Boyd Law School while working for the law firm full time. While working there, he met his wife, Danielle, and In 2006, they passed the bar exam together and became associates of the firm. After a handful of family law cases, he decided to make this his focus and received his certification as a family specialist in 2013. Throughout his career, Brian has been fortunate to work with firms that are just as committed to pro bono as he is.
Brian began his pro bono work with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada in 2007 while working at Goldsmith & Guymon. Within a few months, his first case was set for trial and was settled in the hallway during a recess. His involvement with pro bono increased from that point, forward, as he not only took on more cases but he also volunteered with Ask-A-Lawyer. Brian has been a consistent mentor by participating in the Boyd Law School Partners in Pro Bono program, in which he has teamed up with a law student on a pro bono case to teach and mentor the student in fundamental practice skills. He also volunteered nearly 160 hours of pro bono time through Legal Aid Center on direct representation of clients last year alone.
When we asked Brian why he does pro bono work, he responded “The importance of access to justice cannot be overstated. This is particularly true in family law. Litigants should not be at risk of losing custody of their children or receiving adverse financial orders simply because they cannot afford an attorney to help them navigate through a complex and often scary system. Our judges do their best to accommodate litigants who represent themselves within the bounds of the law, but there is only so much that they can do. The system works best—both for the litigants and for the public at large—when both sides are represented by competent attorneys.”
For his commitment to family law and pro bono, we honor Brian Blackham as the February Pro Bono Volunteer of the Month.