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Christine Flynn from Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, PC is VIP’s November Volunteer of the Month. Christine is a litigation paralegal for James C. Haggerty, Esquire, with whom she has worked for 32 years. She started working for Jim Haggerty after she graduated from college, starting initially with a job in billing and transcription. “I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful mentor,” she said. “I promised myself that when I graduated, if I was able to get a job in the paralegal field, I would definitely give back to others.” Christine worked her way up to a paralegal position in the firm, and committed herself to giving back to the community.
She initially heard about VIP through a friend working in a foreclosure program, and she shadowed a volunteer attorney there. “When I was there, one client that VIP was representing was able to come to an agreement with the borrower and it was approved,” Christine said. “I kind of fell in love with the program then. Just seeing that overwhelming emotion of relief from the client because VIP was able to step in and help save someone’s home.”
Christine knew that she wanted to help in any way. She initially volunteered for the mortgage foreclosure program; however, when the pandemic hit Philadelphia and everything shut down in person, Christine wanted to step up in a different way.
“When I wasn’t able to go in person anymore, I reached out to VIP and asked what other programs I could help with. What else could I do? VIP said they needed a volunteer notary. And that’s how it started, just doing what they needed wherever they needed.”
Christine was able to step in as a notary to assist VIP when they needed her most, often traveling to client’s homes and physician offices in order to notarize important documents, ranging from living wills and estate documents to expert reports.
Christine says that becoming a notary has also helped her professionally. “This situation gives a paralegal or notary the chance to meet different people all throughout the profession,” she said. “Whether it’s a volunteer lawyer or an expert, you get out in the community and meet people all while helping someone. There’s also the hidden reward where you broadening your skills set and learning new areas of law that can benefit your career.”
Ultimately, Christine says the biggest benefit to volunteering with VIP is knowing that you are a piece of the puzzle that helps move a person’s life forward. “Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to travel outside the home in order to have papers notarized, whether they’re homebound or a cost-related issue,” she said. “The best situation for them is really just to have someone come and help. To travel to them is simple for me, but may be life changing for them.”
If you are a Pennsylvania notary willing to volunteer for VIP, please email Joe Durkin for more information.