Please share your quick snapshot (name, education, job history, current position on board, etc.): Sarah Leopold Zampell, St. Lawrence University, B.A. with honors in history (2000); Emory University School of Law (2005); I was an associate with Holland & Knight, LLP for seven years and left the practice in 2012 to stay home with my children.
How did you get involved with AVLF? I first volunteered with Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation in their Safe Families Office during law school as part of a public interest course. After that I was hooked and have volunteered ever since in a number of programs including in their One Child One Lawyer Program representing children in DFCS custody and in their Saturday Lawyers Program.
Give us your best elevator pitch – what does AVLF mean to you? I firmly believe that we, as attorneys, are in a unique position to fix injustice in our world and that we have a responsibility to do so. Our legal system cannot work properly unless everyone is afforded equal protection and representation under the law. For our clients at AVLF, the impact of an attorney cannot be overstated. AVLF connects the best and brightest attorneys in our community with individuals who so desperately need their assistance and would not otherwise have meaningful access to the justice system. I am so proud to do this work and to be a part of this wonderful organization.
What is your favorite AVLF moment? In connection with the Saturday Lawyers Program, I represented an elderly gentleman in his dispute with a car mechanic who had charged him repeatedly for repairs he never made. The car was also burglarized while in the mechanic’s custody and control. My client at times lived in his vehicle and stored all of his possessions in it, so this was a really big deal. We ultimately prevailed after a three hour trial in night magistrate court. (What a tremendous experience for a young associate!) The next day, my client arrived at my office with a bag of fruit he had purchased at the train station with what little money he had as a thank you for my work – I will never forget it.
Is there anything else you want our readers to know? The AVLF Junior Board, in connection with Atlanta Legal Aid, is hosting the Third Annual BBQ Battle and Beer Tasting on June 11 from 6-9 p.m. at Opera. We’re expecting over 600 attendees for delicious BBQ and a huge selection of craft beer provided by United. Tickets are only $65 and are available at beertastingevent.org. I hope to see you there!