The Pro Bono Program has selected Cary Bloodworth as its Volunteer of the Semester for her work with Dane County Court-Appointed Special Advocates. Bloodworth not only served as a CASA program participant, but she also led a volunteer recruitment effort at the Law School, which resulted in ten additional CASA volunteers. Besides her pro bono work, Bloodworth participates in the Family Law Project, the Children’s Justice Project, the Public Interest Law Foundation, the Wisconsin Law Review and Moot Court. She recently took some time to answer questions about her pro bono experience.
Describe your work with the Pro Bono Program this semester.
I have been volunteering with Dane County CASA since October 2012. CASAs—court-appointed special advocates—meet with kids involved in child welfare proceedings and provide information about them for the court. Each week when I meet with my family, I try to plan a fun activity, like doing art projects, playing card games, walking to the park or reading library books. I also attend hearings and submit reports to the court.
Can you share a memorable moment from your pro bono opportunity?
Two days before Christmas, I stopped by the CASA office to pick up presents that were donated to my family. I found bags filled with presents for each of my CASA kids. When I delivered the gifts later that evening, their mom let each child open one. They were so excited and happy, and I felt really honored to have been a part of that special moment.
Why did you decide to participate in the Pro Bono Program?
I hoped pro bono work would provide me with experiences in the legal community that I couldn’t get in the classroom. Before coming to law school, I taught at a day care, and I was looking for a way to continue working with kids. CASA has been a great fit in both respects. I’ve gotten a really interesting perspective on the children’s court system in Dane County (I’ve even had to testify), and once a week I get to play with some great kids.
What are your plans both in law school and beyond?
I am exploring children’s law and juvenile justice this summer as an intern in the juvenile unit of the State Public Defender’s Office in Dane County, and I’ll continue volunteering with CASA next fall as a 3L. After law school, I hope to continue to pursue these interests.
Submitted by Law School News on June 26, 2013
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