Volunteer Highlight: Chris Keegan
Chris Keegan is a lawyer with McGuireWoods, LLP. He works with the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions department handling renewable energy deals and other types of corporate transactions. Chris’s interest in pro bono service began with McGuireWoods, as the firm strongly encourages its lawyers and staff to participate in pro bono activities. With a dedicated Pro Bono Director and local volunteer opportunities advertised to each of its 21 offices, McGuireWoods has created a strong culture of pro bono service. This culture motivated Chris to volunteer, and he’s been donating his time and expertise since he began working with the firm.
As a Navy veteran, Chris is no stranger to serving his community. He is particularly interested in pro bono work that supports veterans and has worked with several non-profit start-ups focused on providing assistance to military veterans. Chris finds this work very rewarding because he is able to apply his corporate law experience to help an organization get started, which has a long-lasting impact.
In 2019, Chris began volunteering with GRBF’s pilot Eviction Diversion Program (EDP). He thought he’d be a good fit for the program and that his transactional experience would be helpful in negotiating payment plan agreements between landlords and tenants. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Chris saw how quickly renters were impacted by the financial crisis. In one case, he assisted a tenant who was out of work as a hairdresser due to statewide COVID-19 restrictions. Before the pandemic, she paid all her bills on time. But, after a couple of months of restrictions, she fell behind because she was forced to choose between paying rent and spending her money on other basic necessities. Through EDP, she was able to make up her past due rent and stay in her home. “She was so thankful for our help, it really made me realize that a few hours of pro bono work can be life-changing for someone,” Chris said.
Thank you, Chris, for your outstanding work with EDP. We wish you and all our volunteers a Happy National Volunteer Week!