BASF’s 2014 membership theme is “You Make a Difference. We Make It Easier.” Candy Michelle Smallwood, a BASF member and Barrister, is an attorney making a difference in the lives of those in our community.
Leonard Lun, BASF’s Director of Membership, recently sat down with Smallwood to learn more about how she is making that difference and the role BASF plays in both her professional and personal lives.
Leonard Lun (LL): How long have you been an attorney and what type of law do you practice?
Candy Michelle Smallwood (CS): I got sworn in June 1, 2013. I currently practice Family Law.
LL: How long have you been a BASF member and why did you join?
CS: Since May of 2013. I became a member of BASF because I went to a four-year night law school, San Francisco Law School, and worked full-time at a credit union during law school. I joined BASF because I thought it would help me make legal connections and gain legal experience through the Justice & Diversity Center (JDC).
LL: BASF’s 2014 theme is “You Make a Difference. We Make It Easier.” Can you tell us how you make a difference in our community and how BASF makes it easier for you to do so?
CS: I grew up in the Bayview district of San Francisco in low-income housing. Since becoming an attorney, I have spoken at various events about the struggles I faced growing up in low income housing, and working for 13 years to put myself through college. I have also signed up to present at future events. Through BASF’s programs, I have gained legal skills and developed important relationships which have given me the courage to open my own practice and share my story with others.
LL: How have you made your BASF membership work for you?
CS: I joined Mind the Gap, through which I have met some amazing attorneys for resources and mentoring. I have also made new attorney friends, and have gottten some helpful tools to help me in my legal career. I have gained legal experience volunteering through JDC; I have had an eviction defense case and four family law cases. I have learned so much. Not to mention I found a great job at BASF for the holiday season, and have met a lot of the wonderful BASF staff.
LL: What has been your favorite BASF event you have attended and why?
CS: I volunteered at the JDC Gala and I had a blast. I am so glad they allowed me to volunteer, I got to know some of the BASF staff and everyone is so friendly and helpful. I also got to mingle with other attorneys. It was a great evening.
LL: What is your “dream job”?
CS: I would love to be a motivational public speaker.
LL: Would you recommend BASF membership to other attorneys?
CS: I would highly recommend BASF to other attorneys because it is a great resource to help young attorneys gain legal experience; meet other lawyers, network, and the events are a lot of fun.
Share your story of how you make a difference and how BASF makes it easier for you. Contact Leonard Lun, Director of Membership, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to renew your membership for 2014! Visit www.sfbar.org/join.