In honor of this special anniversary, the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (“VLP”) highlights some of the remarkable volunteer attorneys whose pro bono work can be seen in the strength of the VLP today. The VLP model harnesses the talent of local professionals to make access to justice a reality for our clients; we could simply not do this without volunteers like those featured below. Celebrate your contribution to the VLP’s 25 years–read the inspiring stories of highlighted volunteers at different points in the VLP’s 25-year history and commit to 25 dollars a month in their honor.
Nazar Khan, Esq.
“My VLP volunteer work was so gratifying that I decided to serve the low-income community in my own practice.”
Nazar Khan is a solo practitioner who came to the VLP in 2005 to volunteer his family law services. Since then, he has won several awards from the VLP and other organizations in recognition of his incredible pro bono work. When Mr. Khan first volunteered with the VLP, the VLP promptly started referring Family Court cases to him. He almost never said “no.” In his first eight months of volunteering, he took an astounding fifty-three cases for the VLP and contributed hundreds of hours of pro bono service. He has also served as a mentor for new volunteer attorneys in family law. Below, he answers a few questions about his involvement with the VLP.
VLP: Tell us about yourself. How did you first get involved with the Brooklyn VLP?
NK: I graduated from Washburn University School of Law in 2004 and became a member of the New York Bar the next year. Throughout my last year of law school, my mind was preoccupied with ideas of how to contribute and give back to my community that gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of becoming an attorney. I grew up in Flushing, Queens and went to Queens College in Flushing, but went to law school in Kansas! So naturally, when I graduated from law school, I rushed back home and searched for organizations that served the underprivileged in the community. Initially I did some work with Mark Weliky of the Queens Bar Association VLP but then reached out to Jeannie Costello of the Brooklyn VLP.
VLP: What types of matters have you handled at the VLP?
NK: I started doing pro bono cases for the VLP in 2005. By the end of 2007, I had done well over 50 cases and donated more than 1,000 hours. The cases involved child support, custody/visitation, guardianships, orders of protection, and matrimonial cases.
VLP: Has your work at the VLP assisted you professionally?
NK: Back in the day, the VLP had a policy not to get involved with contested matrimonial cases. But when I started doing matrimonial cases, some clients left such a great impression on me that I made an exception to the rule. I did several contested cases on a pro bono basis. My VLP volunteer work was so gratifying that I decided to serve the low-income community in my own practice. I applied to the assigned counsel 18b panel and am still working and serving indigent litigants of Brooklyn.