2021 LEGAL SERVICES / PRO BONO Q&A
University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond
Title: Professor of law, legal practice
Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Virginia; law degree, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
Spouse: Dr. Alan W. Dow III
Children: Sylvie and Ezra Dow
Recently read book: “Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19,” a collection of essays and poems edited by Jennifer Haupt
Favorite vacation spot: Eastern Shore
Has the pandemic impacted the availability of pro bono services? Accessing and delivering pro bono services became more difficult, as in-person delivery became at best fraught and at worst impossible. For example, how do you provide legal assistance to individuals who
do not have access to the internet? The past
18 months have been transformative for the pro bono community as we consider how to reach communities in need and rethink how our systems both increase and impede access to legal services.
Your public policy class worked to pass a state law to protect homeowners impacted by the pandemic from foreclosures. What did they learn from the experience? In fall 2020, we were so fortunate to partner with the Virginia Poverty Law Center to address issues of housing equity in Virginia — ranging from how foreclosures are handled in our court system to how our legal structures treat manufactured home communities. Throughout the semester, they conducted extensive research, both in the legal and social science space. They interviewed practitioners, scholars and community members. They developed a deep understanding of the issues. … Ultimately, their work helped to inform the development of the Preserving the American Dream Act, which passed the Virginia General Assembly in its 2021 session.