Touro Student Gives Back
My name is Natalia Bianco, and I am a third-year, part-time day Touro Law student. I moved to Long Island in 2018 from Puerto Rico, and, at first, struggled to adjust to the culture. I quickly realized that going back to the values I learned from my family would make the transition easier. I always loved helping people in my community, which was how I found happiness and comfort. At the time, I didn’t realize that giving back to others would play an essential role in my life, law school tenure, and in my future legal career.
This past summer, I volunteered for the Law Center’s COVID-19 Legal Assistance HELPLINE. Given all that was going on with the pandemic, I wanted my summer employment experience to be meaningful. My job was to put people who called the HELPLINE in touch with the right legal experts and resources to assist them with their pressing and often life-altering legal issues. The most common calls I received were in regard to landlord and tenant issues -- people worried about eviction and how they could make ends meet while paying rent. This experience gave me the opportunity to learn how to communicate with people, as well as understand some of the greatest needs of the surrounding communities.
Since starting law school, I knew I wanted to be in the courtroom trying cases and advocating for clients. I think it is important to understand and know the needs of the community you seek to serve. I believe that in order to be an effective lawyer, you must be able to understand your clients and communicate successfully with them. Often, when they are under stress this is difficult. Volunteering at Touro’s COVID-19 HELPLINE has given me the invaluable experience I needed to understand so much more about good lawyering as I continue to pursue my dream of helping others.
Alumni and friends make it possible for Touro Law students to find their passion. Your generosity to the Annual Fund will help the Law Center sustain its vital programs and allow students like me to have the opportunity to pursue our dreams. As you enjoy the holiday season with family and friends, I ask you to take a moment to support the 2020-2021 Annual Fund. Please know that your support will make a difference.
Read more about Natalia in her recent profile in National Jurist magazine!