Today is the fourth anniversary of the Lawyer on the Line program, a pro bono partnership of the North Carolina Bar Association and Legal Aid of North Carolina.
Every year, Lawyer on the Line connects thousands of low-income North Carolinians with volunteer advocates who provide free, over-the-phone legal help with routine cases.
Since it launched in 2011, more than 12,000 people have received free legal help through the program, thanks to the efforts of more than 1,000 volunteer attorneys, paralegals and law school students – a level of service estimated to be worth roughly $3 million based on a typical hourly rate for private attorneys.
“The growth and success of this program are phenomenal,” says David Wormald, who oversees Lawyer on the Line for Legal Aid. “Already in 2015 we’ve served nearly as many clients as we did in the first full year of the program.”
In 2014, Lawyer on the Line served nearly 4,000 clients, four times as many as were served in the first year of the program. Lawyer on the Line now boasts an active volunteer network of more than 700 members, more than double the amount from the program’s first year.
The statistics are impressive, but it’s the clients that matter.
“Just wanted to send you a message of thanks for all of your help,” wrote one client to the law student who helped her get out of a lease with a landlord who refused to fix the deplorable conditions of her home. “They have agreed to my terms and I owe it all to you!”
If you are a private attorney who wants to volunteer your time and talents to those in need, visit the Lawyer on the Line page on the North Carolina Bar Association’s website to learn more and sign up.
Here’s to many more years of service!