Karin Wolman: December 2011

Volunteer with citizenship now

Karin Wolman Karin Wolman is a volunteer attorney who has used her expertise to help hundreds of participants apply for citizenship.

Q.  Why did you choose to volunteer with CUNY Citizenship Now?
A.  "It enables me to help individuals who might do themselves harm by filing applications on their own, and it enhances my own understanding of the law and teaches me to ask better questions, by confronting me with fact patterns I might not encounter in private practice. Also, volunteer service with CUNY Citizenship Now! helps me reach out to people in underserved communities who may have never before had a positive interaction with a lawyer. This helps raise the esteem of lawyers generally and of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in particular. Pro bono service gives us the opportunity to show the public that our expertise can help them, and to show our peers that we can do good and learn from it."

Q. What’s one of your most memorable moments as a volunteer with Citizenship Now?
"Several  - times when I've had to break the news that a person should not apply for naturalization or travel abroad, but that may have saved the person's green card."

Q.  Has your knowledge of immigration law improved because of the time you have spent volunteering with us? What have you learned?  
"Absolutely. I've learned too many things to count or enumerate in this space."

Q.  In what ways has volunteering with Citizenship Now! impacted you personally?
"I travel with map software so as not to get lost in unfamiliar neighborhoods, and I'm wary of the siren song of the Macadamia-white-chocolate-chip cookies."

Q.  What is your favorite part about our Saturday events?
"Getting to work with the wonderful CUNY Citizenship Now! staffers and volunteer corps."

Q.  Outside of work and volunteering, tell us about some special hobbies or interests that you have?
"Hiking, cooking, sailing, exploring new places both urban and rural."

Q.  What does community mean for you?
"Sharing a skill, a talent, time and energy to help create something larger than an individual benefit."

Q.  If you're not from NYC, where are you from originally?
"I am originally from New Jersey"