Lisa Dane Corcoran, a current member of Sanctuary’s Legal Advisory Council, has supported our work to end gender violence for more than two decades. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with her and learn more about her commitment to our mission.
How did you first learn about Sanctuary for Families?
I first became involved with Sanctuary over 20 years ago. I was asked by the firm I was working for at the time to be the liaison to provide various consulting services for Robin Hood grantees. Sanctuary was a Robin Hood grantee at that time, and I was instantly impressed with how well Sanctuary was run, and its holistic approach to helping families.
How are you involved now?
When my daughters were young, we participated in the Mother’s Day gifts for Sanctuary clients, and my girls enjoyed choosing gifts for the moms and the children. We’ve also participated in the drive to provide back-to-school backpacks for kids, as well as fulfill some holiday wish lists.
This summer, one of my daughters, who is now a senior in high school and an artist, was able to spend time at Sarah Burke House – Sanctuary’s transitional shelter — doing art projects with the younger children. She loved it! It was meaningful to both of us since it allowed my daughter to see the environment these children are thriving in and interact with them on a personal level. And for me, it was a way to solidify for my daughter the importance of giving back without me having ever to say a word–the kids’ delight and enthusiasm said it all.
“It’s energizing for my team and me to be able to collaborate with such talented attorneys to help provide Sanctuary clients with assistance and hopefully a better prospect for their future.”
I have more recently become a member of Sanctuary’s Legal Advisory Council (LAC), which I find meaningful since it provides a window into another realm of Sanctuary that allows me to use some of my work-related skills to help. Even though I am not a lawyer, I work very closely with lawyers, and being on the LAC enables me to hear about the fascinating cases that Sanctuary’s lawyers work on.
Your firm provides investigative pro bono services to help Sanctuary’s clients. Is there one particular case that you worked on that you found most rewarding?
I have been fortunate in recent years to help Sanctuary and its clients from a professional perspective. I have spent my entire career in the field of white-collar investigations and have leveraged my skills and that of my team in the Risk, Investigations & Analytics practice at Charles River to provide pro bono investigative services to several of the many law firms working on behalf of Sanctuary clients.
One of our most recent matters has been assisting the law firm of Cravath Swaine & Moore with a Domestic Violence Survivor’s Justice Act (“DVSJA”) matter that has involved identifying and locating witnesses so they could be contacted and interviewed by counsel in the preparation of the application to the District Attorney’s office. The DVSJA gives judges the flexibility to reduce the sentence of domestic violence survivors convicted of offenses related to their abuse.
Another interesting case was a Hague convention matter for Orrick, another law firm. Our team’s investigation into the background of the father and his dubious finances resulted in a favorable outcome for the mother and, most importantly, their young daughter.
It’s energizing for my team and me to be able to collaborate with such talented attorneys to help provide Sanctuary clients with assistance and hopefully a better prospect for their future.
What would you like people to know about the work that Sanctuary does?
To me, one of the most impressive aspects of Sanctuary is how it tackles equally all the related issues that can arise for a Sanctuary client and their family—from safe housing to clothing, baby supplies, school supplies, legal representation, job assistance, and making holidays and special occasions memorable. If Sanctuary were ever to consider changing its logo, I think it should be a safety net! The integrated way Sanctuary helps its families is unique and well thought out. Once you become aware of all the services Sanctuary provides, you realize how obvious and necessary each one is.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Not to sound cliché, but in the chaos of balancing a career and a family, Sanctuary has become my own personal “sanctuary”—where I can occasionally focus my attention and energy on providing even the smallest bit of help to others, even though I will likely never know them. I find it calming, and a solid reminder of how kindness –whether given or received—is a buoy for all of us.
To those of you at Sanctuary and the other organizations that provide assistance–I think you all hang the stars. I am honored to be in your company, and deeply grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a meaningful mission.
Join Lisa in standing with our clients. Your gift supports Sanctuary’s life-saving work with survivors of gender violence.