Puttting Others First: The Kathy Kincaid Award – Kieran J. Costello, Esq.
Every third Thursday of the month for the past four years, an attorney from the Fairfield, CT law firm of Costello, Brennan & DeVidas has met with DVCC clients to answer questions and provide guidance on civil legal questions about custody, divorce, child support, housing and immigration. Each of the firm’s six attorneys volunteers his or her time and expertise on a rotating basis at DVCC’s Civil Legal Clinic, in operation since March 2011. It is an invaluable service for those who may be mired in legal issues brought about by an abusive relationship, overwhelmed by the court system and unable to pay for an attorney. Approximately 150 DVCC clients avail themselves of the clinic’s services each year – so had it not been for the attorneys who volunteered their time, some 600 victims of domestic violence would not have had the benefit of professional legal advice. Client surveys confirms that this is a valuable and must appreciated service. One client wrote that she was most impressed with “how comfortable the attorney made me feel in answering my questions and affirming right to speak.”
While the clinic has existed since 2011, Kieran Costello, lead partner at Costello, Brennan & DeVidas, traces his involvement with DVCC back to 1995, the first year he volunteered his legal services. He contined to volunteer for the next 20 years and brought the entire firm in to help at the clinic.
Costello described the clients he has interacted with over the years as gracious and courageous, something that never fails to impress him.
“To get up in front of a judge and fight for a restraining order, that is bravery,” he said.
Occasionally Costello runs into DVCC clients in the Stamford courthouse and he enjoys seeing them in action and looking confident.
In addition to volunteering at the legal clinic, the firm’s attorneys also meet with DVCC attorneys and staff on occasion to talk about issues in the court system and changes in laws that affect victims of domestic violence.