MCB VLP Volunteer Spotlight


Kimberly Zirkle

Kimberly Zirkle


Kimberly Zirkle volunteered through the MCB Volunteer Lawyer Program to take a family law case that, although seemingly simple on paper, was logistically quite challenging.  A language barrier and a close-knit community led to difficulties finding non-conflict-ridden translators at times.  Through Ms. Zirkle's guidance and expertise, the family law case was resolved with child support and custody being granted to the client. 


Current Employer / number of years with current employer?

Moore & Van Allen PLLC / 4 years


Area of Practice / Expertise?

Financial Services


Law School / Law School Graduation Year?

University of North Carolina Class of 2006


How did you get involved with this family law case? 

I have been serving in the SelfServe Center for several years now, consulting with pro se clients on custody and divorce issues - taking an actual case in which the litigant needed representation seemed like the next step.


How many of these type of pro bono cases do you typically handle at one time? 

This is the first such case that I have handled.  Going forward, I feel that I would want to handle only one active case at a time; this will give me the ability to give each case my full attention, while also fulfilling my responsibilities to my financial services clients.    


How do you prepare for handling a pro bono family law case? 

I was very fortunate to be able to call upon a number of attorneys who practice regularly in the area of family law and who were very generous with their time and resources. I added that knowledge to my own research of family law and experience with the SelfServe Center.


How can the Mecklenburg County legal community help with similar cases?   Attorneys shouldn't be afraid to take cases outside of their comfort zone. Additionally, it would be very beneficial to have a network of seasoned family law (or other applicable specialty area) attorneys willing to mentor those of us who lack the experience.  Assistance that I received from other attorneys outside of my firm was invaluable. I believe that if this were available more readily, more attorneys may feel better equipped to handle cases outside their normal legal specialties.


What is the best advice youve received during your legal career? 

Prepare a document as though you are the last person who will be reading it before it goes to the partner, client or judge.  I admit that I am still working on this, but this level of attention to detail is a quality to be admired and one that I hope to achieve. 


What advice would you give others? 

With respect to work/life in general, I would say, "You can have it all, just not all at the same time."  Regarding pro bono, I would say, "It's called a privilege license for a reason."  It's a privilege to be able to practice law and have inside access to our judicial system.  With this privilege, there is a responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves navigate this system.


What is your favorite part of your current job?

I get to come to work every day and apply my skills in an interesting practice area, with a group of intelligent and motivated colleagues and clients.  That, combined with the personal satisfaction that comes from taking the occasional pro bono case or counseling pro se litigants, is the reason I went to law school.



If you are interested in receiving similar cases or would like to assist pro bono attorneys as a mentor in specific areas of law, please contact Heather Blackley at