Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012
Denise Shear, Esq.
October is pro bono month
Volunteer spotlight: MBA member Denise M. Shear has volunteered with Western Massachusetts Dial-A-Lawyer program for the past 12 years
Massachusetts Bar Association member
Denise M. Shear has volunteered with the Western Massachusetts
Dial-A-Lawyer program for the past 12 years, providing free legal
services to callers during the bi-annual event. A graduate of Roger
William Roger Williams University School of Law, Shear was first
encouraged to volunteer for Dial-A-Lawyer by fellow attorney David
Ostrander when she joined Ostrander Law Office in
"A lot of callers may be worried about an attorney's legal fees,
and wonder whether their issue even requires legal counsel," Shear
said. "Being able to run it by an attorney helps them decide how to
proceed forward -- whether it be through legal recourse, or just
letting it go."
Shear fondly remembers when she provided advice to a distraught
caller on the brink of foreclosure. Shear referred the caller to
the Springfield Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, which
coincidentally referred the caller to Ostrander Law Office, a
participant in their pro-bono program. The caller became Shear's
client, and immediately recognized her voice on the other end of
the phone line during their first conversation. Shear has been able
to help the client remain in her home.
"It instilled in me, from the very beginning of my career, that
volunteer service is a part of this profession and a duty," Shear
In addition to the Western
Massachusetts Dial-A-Lawyer program, Shear also volunteers her time
participating in the Mary Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy
Program and numerous other programs.
"I am setting an example for my children … this is part of what
you do -- you help others," Shear said.
Shear is currently an associate at Ostrander Law Offices, where
she specializes in consumer bankruptcy law and debtor/creditor
October has been proclaimed Pro
Bono Month by Gov. Deval L. Patrick, for the fourth year. In
addition, the American Bar Association has declared Oct. 21-Oct. 27
at Pro Bono Week. The MBA urges members to expand their pro bono
efforts to help those who need legal services.