Pro Bono Volunteer of the Month-July 2019
Debra Spinelli of Pisanelli Bice PLLC
Debra moved from the East coast to Las Vegas in 2005. She received her BA in International Studies from American University, MA, in Latin American & Caribbean Politics from NYU and her Juris Doctorate from American University Washington College. She currently practices complex business litigation at the firm Pisanelli Bice.
Debra became involved in pro bono work at Pisanelli Bice. The firm has been committed to helping the community since its inception. Though most of the attorneys are business litigators, many of their attorneys take on pro bono cases to contribute their skills in a way that is most helpful. Debra is an example of that. She has been an amazing volunteer for the Children’s Attorneys Project. Her dedication to her clients is apparent when she is in in the Courtroom advocating for her clients. When we asked Debra why she does pro bono work she said “While there is a human element to all disputes, including business disputes, pro bono work with and for children is something entirely different. Helping young people – those too young to have a voice and those too young to know when and how to use their voice – navigate something as complex as our legal system is necessary and essential to their empowerment and development. If we can help in even the smallest way to show them how to use the system instead of being lost in it, then we should try. And that is why I try through Legal Aid’s CAP program.”
When we asked Debra about her most memorable client, she said “My most memorable pro bono client was my first pro bono client, which was when I was just a second year attorney, I believe. I inherited her, a strong-minded and intelligent woman who knew the system because she lived it her entire youth. She was determined to stay connected to her natural mother, and to stay connected to all of her siblings. She navigated her way through her adolescence, education, and life’s bumpy roads, and I stood by her side and advocated on her behalf. She was not shy, and she taught me a lot. I hope I helped her half as much as I learned from her and her journey. She is today a strong-minded and intelligent adult, professional, and loving mother of her own children.”
For her commitment to pro bono, we honor Debra Spinelli as our July Volunteer of the Month.