Karl-Henri Gauvin of The Gauvin Law Firm is a busy young parent, a solo practitioner with offices in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and has been a rising star in the Maryland pro bono world since he was admitted to the Maryland Bar two years ago.
Licensed to practice in Washington, D.C., since 2004 and Maryland since 2008, Gauvin has been participating in various volunteer efforts since beginning his firm. He has also continued to be one of the most active members of the Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project from the time of its very first training class for volunteers. As there are more than 1,000 volunteers trained to participate in the Project, it is quite a feat.
up in 2008, Guavin has accepted nine pro bono forclosure defense cases through thr Project and served more than 50 hours
Gauvin says that he started doing pro bono work not only because it was a good way to complement the consumer protection portion of his new practice, but also because it was “a great way to learn a new skill set while serving people at the same time.” Since beginning his volunteer work, he has been able to “gain personal friendships among [his] pro bono clients,” a level of ease and familiarity that doesn’t usually accompany the attorney/client relationship.
Since he signed up with the Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project and took the first Nuts and Bolts of Foreclosure Defense class in July 2008, Gauvin has accepted nine pro bono foreclosure defense cases through the Project and served more than 50 hours at 15 separate Foreclosure Solutions Workshops. In the course of his experience at these homeowner outreach events, Gauvin has himself become qualified to mentor other volunteers through their clinic experiences.
Last year, Gauvin was the recipient of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition Volunteer of the Year Award for his efforts assisting Marylanders with his foreclosure defense work and also his other consumer protection work. He has been featured in The Baltimore Sun and on various local news programs for his work with some of his clients, and has been thanked by referral programs like Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service for his labors in Maryland. Gauvin has also been recognized by the Washington, D.C., area AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly for his pro bono bankruptcy work with low-income elderly clients.
But accolades have not slowed Gauvin’s involvement with either his Foreclosure Project clients or any other pro bono work he performs. Recently, he agreed to assist the Project in an effort to review cases currently sitting on a waitlist at the various referral programs around the state. These homeowners are waiting for a pro bono foreclosure defense attorney to take their matter. The task promises to be a challenge and will include file review, summation and guidance for the referral program staff. Even with more than 1,000 attorneys in the Project, the need for the volunteers’ services is so great that homeowners will inevitably find themselves waiting for an attorney to take their case, and reviewing the files and creating accurate descriptions for the volunteers to review is the best way to get them placed quickly.
Besides pro bono work, Gauvin also takes low bono cases through the Civil Justice Network, which provides low-income clients with legal services at reduced fees. Since his main practice areas are varied, including consumer protection but also ranging to Criminal Litigation, Bankruptcy and Labor and Employment Law, he has been able to assist many Civil Justice Network clients across the spectrum.
Gauvin graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College in 1996 and graduated in 2001 from Duke University Law School with a Juris Doctor. He also holds an M.P.P. from the University of Chicago and an L.L.M. in Bankruptcy from St. John’s University.
Support pro bono work in your community. Add your resources to the fight.For more information on the legal service volunteer opportunities in Maryland, contact Sharon E. Goldsmith at PBRC at (410) 837-9379 or (800) 396-1274 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andy Hagepanos is Project Assistant for the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland.