Sep 23, 2015

Cody attorney recognized for pro bono work

A Cody attorney was recently named a “champion of justice” for the many hours of uncompensated work she put in to represent a child’s interests in court.

At the Wyoming State Bar's Sept. 9-11 meeting in Jackson, Basin Authority Executive Director Jodie Thompson received a “Champion of Justice for Legal Services Award.”

Thompson had agreed to serve as a guardian ad litem in a domestic relations case, pro bono, and it
“proved to be a very difficult matter, spanning nearly four years,” the Wyoming State Bar explained in a news release announcing the award.

Jodie Thompson
“Thompson represented the best interests of the minor child throughout the lawsuit and committed considerable time and effort to the representation,” the release said.

Attorney Jay Vincent and Fifth Judicial District Court Judge Robert Skar, who were both involved with the lengthy case, nominated Thompson for the award.

Thompson said serving as a guardian ad litem and representing a child's best interests is a “pretty heavy duty,” where you have to try to look at every aspect of a child’s life.

“I think it’s particularly difficult, because you’re making a recommendation to the court that could effect that child for the rest of their life,” she said.

Thompson said the award was “incredibly nice” and she felt “very honored,” but “nobody does pro bono work seeking any attention or recognition for it.

“They do it because they want to help other people that can’t help themselves and that need legal counsel but can’t afford it,” she said.

She encouraged other attorneys to take on pro bono cases.

“There’s definitely a big need for it in Wyoming and I try to do my part,” she said.

Thompson’s other volunteer work includes helping other women through P.E.O. and helping out Cody’s schools and she says everyone can give something of themselves.

“This just happens to be what I can give,” she said.

Thompson has represented the state of Wyoming in child support issues since 1995.

Local attorneys were well-represented at the bar's gathering, with outgoing Wyoming State Bar president Brad Bonner of Cody also paying tribute to former U.S. Sen. Al Simpson.

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