CAP Volunteer of the Month-September 2021
Jennifer McDonald, Jennifer McDonald Law
Jennifer is a native of our beautiful Las Vegas. She earned her degree in Musical Theatre from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and went on to obtain her Juris Doctor at UNLV Boyd School of Law. Jennifer primarily practices in dependency law representing parents. She explained this is her first area of law in which she feels she truly belongs. She indicated that some days are tough but she absolutely loves her job.
Jennifer has been doing pro bono work with Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada for fourteen years. Her first case was a Children’s Attorneys Project (CAP) case. She recalled representing her minor client from the time the minor was twelve until she turned eighteen and she continues to keep in touch with her. That was the beginning for her and she has not turned down the opportunity to step-up and assist since. She always has several active CAP cases.
When asked why she does pro bono work, Jennifer responded by saying: “I would love to say that I do it solely for the clients, but the truth is that I also do it for selfish reasons. I love helping to provide people with access to justice who may not otherwise have access.” She added that taking pro bono cases has made her a better lawyer and advocate and has allowed her to make lifelong connections with amazing youth in our community. She truly believes CAP cases have given her the opportunity to increase her knowledge and experience in the law and the courtroom while also allowing her to meet some of the best people she has ever known. She notes some CAP cases are more complex than others but she never regrets one minute of the time she spends working with a child whom she has been lucky enough to represent.
Jennifer indicated that it would be so difficult to mention just one memorable client as she has had many memorable CAP pro bono clients. For her, all cases have been rewarding for one reason or another. Jennifer has learned that kids who come into our foster system are so appreciative of the small things done for them and the rewards of representing them are endless. However, the most rewarding and gratifying part of representing children through the CAP program is that she can explain what the laws and rules are after a child has been misinformed or misled. She loves to empower her young clients with facts and truth so they can have all the information and confidence necessary to make the best decisions for themselves. In the end though, they come into the system searching for hope and help to navigate their cases but she believes they are the ones teaching you hope and resiliency.
We are proud to have Jennifer on our side representing children in CAP cases. Jennifer’s endless dedication and compassion to children in need make her the great pro bono attorney she is today. We are pleased to name her our September 2021 CAP Volunteer of the month.