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Press Release

Attorney General Kevin Clarkson presents Pro Bono Service Award to Attorney Theresa Hillhouse

October 2, 2019

(Anchorage, AK) – In recognition of decades of service to survivors of domestic violence, Attorney General Kevin Clarkson presented Theresa Hillhouse with the Attorney General’s Award for Pro Bono Service at the opening ceremonies of Domestic Violence Action Month. For ten years, this award has honored an attorney who has dedicated a portion of their career to assisting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Alaska’s statistics of domestic violence and sexual assault are staggering. A survey through the Justice Center at the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2015 found that over 50 percent of women in Alaska experienced intimate partner violence and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. Survivors often need legal services including divorce, child custody, and protection orders. Theresa Hillhouse has dedicated hundreds of hours to helping survivors navigate the justice system.

Since 2003, Theresa Hillhouse has personally represented clients in 10 pro bono cases through the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA). “I join with the folks at ANDSVA in recognizing and congratulating Theresa Hillhouse for the exemplary work she has done on behalf of domestic violence survivors,” said Attorney General Clarkson. Christine Pate, Legal Program Director for ANDSVA notes, “Theresa initially agreed to volunteer while she was still a municipal attorney and was fearless learning a new area of the law.”

Theresa Hillhouse began her legal career in Anchorage, focusing on employment, labor, and public law. While working in Anchorage as an assistant municipal attorney, she became involved with ANDVSA undertaking pro bono cases. In Sitka while municipal attorney, she often staffed the ANDVSA hotline in addition to her casework. The number of hours she has donated pales in comparison to the impact she has had on the lives of her clients. Theresa Hillhouse cites the empowerment of survivors as the driving force of her service. She says, “It’s incredible to see how rejuvenated people can be—especially at a time when they’re about to give in—by giving people options and seeing the results.” Though retired from state and local government practice, she is of counsel at Gilman & Pevehouse.

If you are an attorney interested in volunteering services on cases of domestic violence or sexual assault, please visit ANDVSA at http://www.andvsa.org/volunteer-now/ or ALSC at https://www.alsc-law.org/become-a-pro-bono-volunteer/.

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Department Media Contact: Senior Assistant Attorney General Cori Mills at (907) 465-2132 or cori.mills@alaska.gov.