Volunteer Highlight: Taylor Brewer
Author: Shane Harper
As a brand new, first-year associate fresh out of law school, Taylor Brewer knew she wanted to be in the courtroom. Originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Brewer attended the very small Davidson College in North Carolina, where she studied psychology and Spanish. She obtained a Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina in 2011. With a client-facing focus, she enjoys interacting with people, especially in the courtroom. When she started out as a Litigation Associate with the firm Kaufman & Canoles of Virginia Beach, Taylor was itching to see action. Being a brand new attorney at a large firm, this was unlikely to happen soon. That’s where she found a great way to give back and do what she loves to do – be a guide to people in the courtroom.
In her quest for action, Taylor has helped many people, particularly in family and civil matters. She started doing pro bono work in law school, serving on USC’s Pro Bono Committee, and continued to do so by volunteering in the Virginia Beach Bar Association’s CLASS Program when she started her legal career. This gave her the opportunity to work in the courtroom and help individuals obtain Protective Orders in domestic violence cases. She further served as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate and on the Board of Directors for Norfolk CASA, an organization advocating for abused and neglected children.
After moving to Richmond in 2014, Taylor moved to Richmond for an Attorney position with the firm Goodman Allen Donnelly, where she was connected with the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation (GRBF) through Firms In Service, a collaboration of Richmond-area law firms and organizations committed to bridging the Justice Gap. She was able to further advocate for victims through the Triage Project of GRBF and the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society (CVLAS), a Firms In Service partner, where she helps low-income clients. Her work helps individuals and families feel comfortable in their own homes. On reflection of doing pro bono work, Taylor stated, “It’s great to work through opportunities to the end and be able to see the difference you make, and quickly. Oftentimes, my med mal cases will take years before a resolution, so it’s nice to have more short-term opportunities.”
She joined the GRBF Board of Directors in 2020 and also serves on the Board for the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood. Additionally, Taylor works with the Richmond Bar Association, first as a member of the Pro Bono Committee and currently as a member of the Communications Committee. Being a young, working mother has its challenges, like find enough time in a day. But despite this, she still manages to assist as much as she can, even becoming the Triage Project’s 2020 Practice Area Champion in Protective Orders.
“It’s important to get a worldly perspective… and you can get that through pro bono opportunities.” When asked what is one piece of advice for someone starting out in pro bono work, Brewer said, “Just do it. It may be intimidating at first, but embrace it as an opportunity… it’s important to remember there are lots of people out there who aren’t as fortunate and who need help. If you look at it as an opportunity, it becomes fun.”
Brewer joined Moran Reeves & Conn in 2018, specializing in Medical Malpractice, where she defends individuals and corporate healthcare providers. She joined the GRBF Board of Directors in 2020 and serves on the Board for the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood. Taylor attends Reveille United Methodist Church and is expecting her third child in July.
For opportunities to do pro bono work, reach out to GRBF Executive Director, Ami Kim, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Administrative Director, Shane Harper, at email@example.com.