“Beth is not only a volunteer attorney at Just Neighbors, she is a superwoman,” says Cristina Sproul, Just Neighbors staff attorney. Beth Hamilton has been that superwoman, disguised as a volunteer attorney at Just Neighbors for over five years, providing casework and going above and beyond to help clients. She is such an integral part of Just Neighbors and the legal services we provide, that Dominique Poirier, Director of Legal Services, says, “Beth Hamilton is not just a volunteer attorney extraordinaire at Just Neighbors; she is really a staff attorney who doesn't get paid!”
Over the years, Beth has taken on all sorts of complicated cases including asylum, and now has taken over helping us with the labyrinth of rules and regulations required for consular processing cases through the Department of State.
Beth is also known in the office for her endless compassion for our clients. Cristina Sproul also shared, “Beth goes above and beyond for our clients; not only does she provide them with immigration legal assistance, but she also helps them find housing, find wheelchairs when they cannot afford to do so on their own, enroll in financial assistance as crime victims and she brings bags of food to provide to all of our clients.
On top of everything else, Beth has been essential in providing continuous service to our clients because of her coverage of staff attorneys’ maternity leaves. Over the last couple of years, Beth has managed three caseloads as Sarah, Cristina, and Julia took time off to care for their newborns (luckily not at the same time!). This made it possible for the rest of the attorneys to stay focused on their own casework and allowed all three mothers to take time off, knowing that their clients were in good hands.
Staff attorney Julia Birk shared what Beth’s coverage meant to her, “Just Neighbors hired me as a staff attorney knowing I was four months pregnant and would have to go on maternity leave within five months of my start date. Additionally, I came in to take over a full caseload from the former DC-MD JFON attorney, which includes several case types that Just Neighbors had not typically done. From my first day, I knew that Beth would be covering my cases during my leave, and we set up monthly meetings to prepare. Beth had to research new case types and steward clients who had had longstanding trust with an entirely different organization. Beth did a wonderful job fielding clients’ questions, concerns, and hiccups in their cases while I was away on leave. I never once felt anxious about how well she was covering the cases. I knew every client was receiving caring, competent legal services and could spend all my time figuring out how to be a new mom.”
Like so many of our volunteers, Beth has not only helped our clients achieve their goals, but she has also been key in helping our staff achieve theirs. Thank you Beth your continuous service to the work of Just Neighbors!