This week is the beginning of the three week series where we introduce the staff over at Nashville Pro Bono. And apparently I’ve been “volunteered” to go first. So here we go, and in third person to boot!
Alison Richards is a transplant from Yonkers, NY (20 minutes north of Manhattan), having moved to Nashville in June of 2008. Everyone asks why she would move out of NYC and it’s a simple answer: the people are so much nicer down here! Nashville is like a big city with a small town feel, and it has quickly become her home and she doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.
Before moving to Nashville, she had previously been working in Washington, D.C. for a year and a half at a wine importing company called Robert Katcher Selections, in which she was in charge of the liquor licenses and registrations across the country for 200+ products. It was in that position that Alison formed a relationship with three attorneys over at Bone McAllester: William Cheek, Chris Raybeck, and Tucker Herndon. That relationship would come in very handy when she moved to Nashville and needed references when she applied at Legal Aid. She still believes to this day that its their kind words that got her the job – along with the great office skills, of course!
In the past 16 months, Alison has worked to streamline the paperwork flow that comes in and out of the pro bono department, as well as getting more accurate information recorded on cases and attorney hours. She’s also increased the amount of cases placed by sending out e-mail blasts on a daily basis, and has yet to kill the LAS computer severs doing it.
Recent achievements include helping Lucinda and attorney Jessica Uitto organize the 4ALL Clinic Event back on April 4th, 2009, and the Celebrate Pro Bono Breakfast on October 27th, 2009. Already in the works for next year’s project is a massive update of all volunteer files in the system, and the goal of getting more personal relationships with the attorneys that are in town. She always is open to coffee meetings to say hello and meet the local attorneys in town – all you have to do is ask!
Outside of Legal Aid, Alison can also be found working in the local community theatres. In one year she has worked on 6 different productions doing technical work with lights and stage management, and occasionally choreographing a fight scene. She is a trained swordfighter with certificates of proficiency in both Broadsword and Small Sword from the Society of American Fight Directors (S.A.F.D).
And she is also an aspiring fiction writer. She is finishing up the edits on her first novel before starting to submit it for publication, and has very recently opened her own writing blog at alisonskydesigns.wordpress.com.
Alison works with her own sense of humor, always has music and candy in her office, and just works on enjoying her life and making each day count. Because of this, she is grateful to have a job where she feels that she makes a difference in people’s lives every day. It’s the best feeling in the world, and hearing clients thank you and every heavenly father in existence for her help makes it easy to look forward to the next day of work.