On May 9, 2024, we welcomed a few of our community members to speak at our Celebrating Success gala. Kristen Whitaker, joined us in sharing what being a volunteer attorney at The Second Step looks like.

“Good Evening! As you’ve heard and will continue to hear this evening, the work of The Second Step is tremendous and its impact on survivors of domestic violence is life-changing. But what you may not realize is that aside from our clients, there is another group of people that this organization has a profound impact on… its volunteers.

My road to becoming a volunteer started years ago through invitations to this event from friends in this room and my genuine enthusiasm for the mission of The Second Step. Last spring, a chance encounter with Amy Hamill in a carpool line, plucked me off of the legal sidelines where I’d been sitting for the last 20 years raising my family, It only took a 90 second conversation with Amy, where she told me about her work leading Steps to Justice, and I was hooked. Before I could stop myself, the words, “do you take volunteer attorneys?” tumbled from my lips.

As a volunteer over the last eight months, The Second Step has personally given me a renewed sense of purpose. I find inspiration daily in our clients. Their bravery as they relentlessly pursue peace is so compelling and I find immense joy in being a small part of the process of getting them there.

Volunteering also allows me a unique inside glance as to what makes this place so special. The healing-focused care. The zeal with which we advocate for our clients. I’m happy to volunteer part-time because with the rest of my time, it allows me to go out and shine a light on this organization from an insider’s perspective.

Findaing a home in Steps to Justice as a volunteer attorney has also allowed me to learn and grow from some truly inspirational colleagues. As we tell our clients… we work as a team. And we do.

The passion that this team has for their work is contagious. They are brilliant, polished, fearless women and I am so grateful that they let me hang out with them a few days every week. So that we can do this important work. Together.” – Kristen Whitaker, Volunteer Attorney