VLSP Recognizes an Exceptional Family Law Volunteer

  • 5/3/2004
  • VLSP

Alan Rothstein
Volunteer of the Month Family Law
May 2004

Family law can be a particularly challenging area of law in which to practice because of its emotional content and the complex challenges that make each family's situation unique. Some attorneys seem to be made to take on these challenges and help clients and their families improve their lives. VLSP Volunteer Alan Rothstein is one of these priceless attorneys. A recipient of VLSP's 2003 Preovolos Award for pro bono work, Mr. Rothstein is a solo practitioner who has practiced family law for more than 33 years and finds it to be consistently interesting and satisfying work.

Aside from his own practice in the field, Mr. Rothstein has taken pro bono cases in family law throughout his entire career. He has been volunteering with VLSP since 1992, and has been one of the most dedicated and consistent volunteers, regularly taking on as many as five of VLSP's most difficult family law cases each year. In addition, he does pro bono work each year in San Mateo county, where his practice is located.

Mr. Rothstein's dedication to pro bono work is demonstrated not only by the sheer number of cases he takes on, but also in the quality of work he does for each client. Mr. Rothstein's approach to pro bono work underscores his dedication, "I give volunteer cases the same time and attention I would give to any other case. I don't think of it as a pro bono case. It requires the same skills and attention as a case in which the client is paying a fee."

Consistently going the extra mile with each of his clients, Mr. Rothstein never gives up when he is faced with a challenging client. "Some of my VLSP cases are more difficult because the clients have language barriers, don't have enough money to pay fees, or other obstacles," Mr. Rothstein notes. "We work together to think of ingenious solutions to whatever problems arise." This cooperative approach helps make Mr. Rothstein successful with his clients, many of who call VLSP to offer their praise of his work.

The support that VLSP provides its volunteers, and the feeling of making a contribution to the community are the aspects that Mr. Rothstein particularly enjoys about volunteering with the project. "When I need to talk to someone with expertise in a particular area, VLSP always finds someone who can help," he says. "I also feel like I am giving back to the profession and the community when I work with a VLSP client."

VLSP recognizes Mr. Rothstein for his extraordinary commitment to pro bono work and to each of his clients individually. His dedication has made a real difference in the lives of countless families in San Francisco.

To find out more about VLSP's Family Law Project, please contact Amanda Chavez at or (415) 782-8956.

  • Family Law
  • Pro Bono / Legal Services