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Counsel Regina Nelson (pictured to the left) and Paralegal Chinita L. Coleman (pictured below) have worked together for many years at Reed Smith. When Regina started volunteering with VIP, she knew that there was no one else she wanted to work with than Chinita.
“She has been my go-to paralegal for all of these cases,” Regina said. “Chinita’s great at connecting with the clients and keeping me on track with things that need to get done. And most importantly, she helps me make the clients feel comfortable because clients are not always comfortable with lawyers.” Chinita concurs. “Working with Regina is great because she sits down with the clients and actually helps them understand the legal issues at hand.”
Their VIP volunteer work has made an impact on both of them. In their day-to-day work at Reed Smith, Regina and Chinita handle cases related to the medical and pharmaceutical fields. With VIP, they are able to be personal. “We get a little history from each one that comes in,” Chinita said.
“Getting that history, that background, gives us a personal connection. And these individuals are the kind of people who want what’s best for their family, and they’ve worked hard for what they have and they should be able to pass that on.”
“Everyone should have the ability to consult a lawyer for important events in their life,” Regina said. “Whether it’s buying a house or whether it’s making a will or probating an estate, they should have that access.”
Unfortunately, most low-income Philadelphians don’t have access to a lawyer, and often times don’t know how to navigate the legal system. That’s why Regina and Chinita step up. “I think that as lawyers, we have an obligation to help these individuals,” Regina said. “Especially in cases of probate and wills, to avoid tangled titles, help them grow wealth and equity for low-income Philadelphians who otherwise don’t have that ability.”