Pro Bono Project Volunteer Of The Month August 2014
Peter Bellon of Bellon & Maningo
Peter has been volunteering with Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada since its very beginning. Within months of passing the Bar in 1992, he opened his own law firm and began integrating pro bono services into his practice. He was soon recognized by the Clark County Pro Bono Project with a “Rising Star” Award. Then, ten years into private practice (in 2003), his firm was recognized at Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada’s Annual Pro Bono Awards luncheon with the Small Firm of the Year award.
To this day, Peter continues to consistently give his time to serving those most in need. Year in and year out, he always has one or two active pro bono cases. Particularly notable is the type of cases that Peter agrees to handle. When the Pro Bono Project is in a bind and has been unsuccessful in obtaining pro bono counsel, Peter is always receptive to accepting the challenge, even if it means being ready for a hearing two days later. In addition, when selecting a pro bono case, Peter doesn’t shy away from taking a complex pro bono case that may go to trial. Peter has also been a regular participant in Legal Aid Center’s Partner’s in Pro Bono Program in which he takes a pro bono case and mentors a Boyd law student.
Legal Aid Center has also received excellent feedback from clients when asked about their experience at the conclusion of their case. Most recently, a client reported, “Peter was amazing.” Another client said, “I appreciated everything Peter did for me. He was very professional, and I couldn’t have asked for a better attorney.”
Peter says he has always been a believer in the concept of pro bono and feels we have an obligation to give back to those unable to afford representation. He says that the key for him is to treat pro bono clients like he would any other client from day one. He believes that pro bono clients deserve the exact attention and dedication that we give our paying clients and says that once you make a decision to handle a case for a pro bono client, we owe them the best that we have.
Peter says he’s grateful to be honored for something that he loves doing. He says he is blessed to work in a profession where so many good people give of themselves for no glory or hoopla, but rather just for the sense of helping others. He says that he has always been touched by all the good hearts that are out there in the legal profession, especially among our Nevada Family Lawyers!!