Natalie J. Sal, a founding member of Morgantown-based firm Sal Sellaro Thorn Culpepper, serves clients throughout North-Central West Virginia, and has a busy and diverse practice. In addition to being a full-time attorney, she is also a busy community volunteer and parent. And last but not least, she is one of Legal Aid of West Virginia’s most dedicated and active pro bono attorneys.
Under her leadership, Sal Sellaro Thorn Culpepper has been the recipient of numerous service awards recognizing its firm-wide commitment to pro bono. In 2015 alone, the firm clocked over 125 hours of pro bono assistance to Legal Aid clients. “My colleagues are like a second family to me,” says Natalie, “and one of the values we all share is giving back to the profession, and to our community.”
Natalie’s particular passion is providing legal aid to abuse victims and vulnerable women and children. Since 1999 she has been representing clients referred to Legal Aid by Monongalia County’s Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center. “Victims of trauma, abuse and neglect often go unrepresented at times when they most need legal support and guidance. It moves me, both as a lawyer and a human being, to see how access to justice can bring dignity and healing to victims. This is why I think it is so important to volunteer,” she says.
We salute you, Natalie for your many years of keeping the promise of equal justice alive for all West Virginians, especially the most vulnerable among us!
Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso, West Virginia’s largest litigation firm, is a leader in the legal community in many ways, including in its long-time support of Legal Aid of West Virginia (LAWV). For nearly 15 years, the firm and its attorneys have contributed to LAWV through leadership, pro bono work and annual financial support.
When Legal Aid of West Virginia formed in 2002, several Flaherty attorneys stepped up to assist in its first-ever fundraising campaign. In subsequent years, members Tyler Dinsmore and Tom Flaherty even took on primary roles as LAWV campaign co-chairs, helping raise over a million dollars in support from the private bar.
Flaherty is also among a handful of firms that have actively encouraged individual giving by matching attorney contributions. Between the firm and its employees, it has independently raised tens of thousands for Legal Aid. Flaherty attorneys have also contributed hundreds of hours answering phones on Tuesday Legal Connect, an after-hours legal hotline which is a joint project between LAWV and the West Virginia State Bar.
Says founding member Tom Flaherty, “The firm is dedicated to investing in the community, and we support a number of charitable organizations. But as attorneys, we believe we have a responsibility to help ensure that our court system is strong and fair, and that all people enjoy equal access to justice. This is why Legal Aid retains a special place in our philanthropy.”