We are pleased to present a Q&A with Nicole Reyes, Law Office of Nicole A. Reyes, a bankruptcy lawyer in Hayward and recipient of the Volunteer Legal Services Corporation (VLSC) award for Volunteer of the Year—Rising Star. Nicole will receive her award on May 22, 2014 at Justice for All: Celebrating Pro Bono, VLSC’s annual volunteer recognition and fundraising event. A reception and silent auction will precede the dinner program and awards presentation. Check out the list of early silent auction items here.
Why do you volunteer with VLSC?
I volunteer with VLSC because I now have time in my schedule since I’ve started my practice. My friend and colleague Lisi Munayco introduced me to the VLSC family law clinic and I was interested because she was enjoying the volunteer work she was doing with VLSC. I had a great time at my first clinic advising the family law clients and soon after I became involved with two of the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy clinics.
Do you have a particularly memorable VLSC client or pro bono case?
Yes, and this client eventually retained me. He visited the family law clinic completely terrified that he would never be able to see his children again because his wife was severely limiting his contact with them. What made him most afraid was that she had hired an attorney he recognized from local television commercials, and that led him to believe that he had no chance in court. I represented him in his custody and visitation matters, and over his wife and her two attorneys’ objections, we obtained the visitation order he deserved.
What other community activities are you involved in?
I teach dance and fitness classes (Zumba, PiYo, Pilates Sculpt) at the Union City Sports Center and Studio Z in Newark, CA. As an instructor I have opportunities to teach at charity events and fundraisers. Most recently, I was part of team of Zumba instructors teaching at a Relay for Life: Dance for a Cure event, the proceeds of which benefitted the American Cancer Society. The week before that I taught at a Zumba fundraiser hosted by the James Logan High School Puente program to help fund the students’ college campus visits.
What are you listening to on your iPod now?
“Problem” by Ariana Grande. Every family law client should download it. I’m kidding. My inner teenager finds it very catchy though.
What is one thing that you wished other people knew about VLSC?
Part of the VLSC experience is meeting other attorneys in your area(s) of practice. We compare notes and support each other. Come join us!
For more information on volunteering with VLSC or to donate, please visit the VLSC page on the ACBA website.