Embracing the Power of Giving Back: A Message to Recent Graduates and Young Attorneys

As young professionals, you bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to the table of any non-profit organization. Your expertise — whether in accounting, law or other fields — can be instrumental in guiding nonprofit and community organizations to achieve their missions more effectively.

Years ago, a colleague of mine reached out and asked me to attend the annual meeting of a local non-profit organization. While I recognize the value of community services, I had not given any thought to working with or serving on a non-profit board at that time; especially given the fact that I was a very busy tax attorney and mom to two young boys. But, I decided to attend the non-profit organization’s board meeting and from that day on, I was hooked! 

I now serve as a member of the board of directors and co-treasurer of Forever Balboa Park, the City of San Diego’s nonprofit partner in sustaining and enhancing Balboa Park. I served as a board member and treasurer of Forever Balboa Park, and was a member of the Joint Task Force of the merger between Friends of Balboa Park and Balboa Park Conservancy.

Community service is an incredible opportunity to make a difference in a local non-profit, in your community. As a recent college or law school graduate, it’s crucial to reflect on the values that will shape your journey. One such value that holds incredible importance is community service. I want to share with you some of the reasons why giving back is so important. And I challenge you to take your commitment a step further by participating in non-profit organization and/or board activity.

The Power of Community Service

Community service goes beyond the simple act of lending a helping hand. It is a powerful force that can transform both individuals and communities. As a recent graduate and young professional, you possess unique skills, fresh perspectives and a passion for making a difference.

Personal Growth

Whether it’s developing leadership skills, enhancing communication abilities or gaining a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives, the experiences you will gain through volunteer work will shape you into a well-rounded individual. Engaging in community service provides you with opportunities for personal growth. 

Building Connections

The relationships formed through community service are often lifelong and extend beyond professional networks. Connecting with individuals who share a common goal of creating positive change fosters a sense of camaraderie and support that can be invaluable in both personal and professional spheres.

Making a Tangible Impact

The ability to contribute to positive change is one of the most rewarding aspects of community service. Your efforts can directly impact the lives of those in need. And this creates a ripple effect that reaches far beyond the immediate moment.

I challenge you to find a local non-profit you’re passionate about, and actively participate in their organization. Maybe you start small by volunteering your time, talent or treasure. Or perhaps you join a non-profit committee. Remember, as you embark on this new phase of your life, consider the profound impact you can make through community service. 

Allison Soares is a partner and tax attorney at Vanst Law LLP. It doesn’t matter the issue: audits, collections, appeals, international disclosures, grumpy people— Allison enjoys fixing problems. In addition to her legal work, she has worked in accounting and utilizes that knowledge to her advantage while handling cases involving EDD audits from San Francisco to San Diego. 

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Allison Soares

Allison Soares, a renowned tax attorney, excels in representing clients before the IRS, FTB, EDD, and CDTFA. With a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and a transformative teaching stint in Brazil, Allison’s diverse background enriches her legal expertise. She pursued law at St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami, complementing it with an MBA in accounting and forensic accounting. Further honing her skills, she obtained a Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law. As an adjunct professor at San Diego State University, Allison imparts her knowledge in tax procedures, practice, and ethics. Her accolades include being named Best of the Bar by the San Diego Business Journal and multiple Super Lawyer recognitions. Committed to community service, she volunteers with Forever Balboa Park and Friends of Balboa Park. Allison’s authoritative contributions in tax law are showcased through her publications and speaking engagements.

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