SOME Volunteer Offers Legal Counsel and Advice
Most Thursdays, you can find Daniel Collopy set up outside of 71 O St. NW at a table, with paper and a notebook. Across from him, sits one of the many SOME clients that he works with to offer legal advice on a weekly basis.
Daniel is a SOME volunteer with a wealth of legal experience. He began in private practice, ran for statehouse in Colorado, and has worked 25 years in the federal government, participating in a pro bono program where federal lawyers are encouraged to do pro bono legal work for people who need help and volunteer for established programs like the D.C. Bar Advocacy and Justice clinic.
Daniel first was linked to SOME through Catholic Charities. “I didn’t work directly for SOME, but I worked for Catholic Charities leading that work, and part of their outreach program was going to the SOME day program for a couple of hours a day. In my time helping at SOME I have helped over 100 people.” This is Daniel’s third year volunteering for SOME.
Most of what Daniel does for clients is explain the court and justice system to them and gives an opinion o whether they have cases to take to court. “It’s incredibly hard for people with less resources to make an appointment with a lawyer, make a court appearance, and then make the scheduled court date. I’m lucky to be able to give short -term legal advice, but mainly I just talk to people and give them my time and resources.”
Daniel has had an incredible impact on SOME clients. He recounted one conversation during which he mentioned that he always feels like he is talking too much. The person that he was talking to replied that they had not had a real conversation with someone in five years. When he is on site at 71 O St, he gives out his name and number to anyone who is interested in legal services or just wants to talk.
“The least I can give to someone is working through problems with them.”
Volunteers are the backbone of SOME. To learn about volunteer opportunities, click here!