M. Lourdes “Lou” Costilla
The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois
Cameron County Community Justice Program
How long have you been doing pro bono work?
Since on or about 2005. I have represented clients referred by TRLA shortly after receiving my law license in Texas. I have also volunteered with the ProBAR Immigration Project. Most recently, I have become involved with the Community Justice Program.
Why do you do Pro Bono work?
I do pro bono work because I feel a duty and an obligation to help others less fortunate. I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to get an education in law. Others are not so lucky or do not have the understanding or capacity to help themselves in certain legal situations. I feel I need to share my knowledge and experience to benefit others who need my help.
What benefits do you get from volunteering with TRLA?
I get a great sense of appreciation from my clients. They have all been very thankful for my help.
Does your firm support your volunteer efforts?
Absolutely. Though, my practice consists of me and my partner, we both do our share of pro bono and volunteer work and support each other 100%.
What message would you give to private attorneys considering doing pro bono work?
People in our community need you and me. And because we have been blessed to become part of this elite group of people who know and understand laws, we have an obligation to assist those in our community who may have a legal issue within our understanding.
Any words for TRLA staff or your fellow pro bono volunteers during Celebrate Pro Bono Week?
For the TRLA staff: “Thank you for all do.” For fellow pro bono volunteers: “Thank you for doing your part.”