Lawyers Making a Difference: Cara Vasquez
By Cara Vasquez, DLA Piper in Houston
My client, M, is a four-year old girl. She has experienced more trauma than anyone should in a lifetime. While she was still in her mother’s womb, her father tried to end her life by abusing her mother. Her mother steadfastly protected M from the physical and mental abuse of her father, but the police couldn’t help them, so they fled to the United States. For the first time in M’s life she is living in a safe home where she and her sister do not have to worry about what might happen when their father walks through the door.
This case has challenged me not only professionally—as I address the procedural hurdles in obtaining the requisite state court finding —but also personally. Although I have had the pleasure of representing other children fleeing abuse, abandonment or neglect, none has impacted me as much as M. Maybe it is the youth of M’s mother, the excited stories of M’s first days of school in America, or the way her mother’s voice is filled with more resolution than pain when she tells her story, but I know the experience of representing M has changed me forever.
Pro bono work has helped me grow as an attorney, and a person.