Update, November 4, 2019: Learn more about Yolanda in this feature article in The Wilson Times.
RALEIGH | October 16, 2019—The North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys honored Legal Aid NC attorney Yolanda Taylor with the Gwyneth B. Davis Public Service Award at the association’s annual conference October 11 in Greensboro.
Yolanda is the managing attorney of our Wilson office, which provides free civil legal services to low-income and vulnerable residents of Edgecombe, Greene, Lenoir, Nash, Wayne and Wilson counties.
She is also one of our firm’s leading community economic development attorneys, a role that earned her a 2019 Leaders in the Law Award from North Carolina Lawyers Weekly. Learn more about Yolanda’s efforts to fight gentrification and racial segregation in Rocky Mount.
Melissa Walker, Assistant Attorney General in the N.C. Department of Justice and a past president of the North Carolina Association of Women attorneys, nominated Yolanda for the award.
“Yolanda embodies the spirit of this award in all that she does,” Walker wrote in her nomination. “Yolanda works tirelessly on a daily basis to improve the lives and rights of women and to promote the participation of women in the legal profession. Her daily work as a community lawyer and advocate focusing on community economic development law is perfectly aligned with the resolutions of the NCAWA and directly impacts those NCAWA strives to support.”
Yolanda joined our firm in 2007 as a staff attorney in our Wilson office. In 2010, she moved to our Raleigh office, where she served as a staff attorney until 2014, when she became the head of our Wilson office. Before joining Legal Aid NC, she spent five years in private practice, first as a Senior Litigation Specialist in the Raleigh office of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP, (now Womble Bond Dickinson), and then in her own law office. During her time in private practice, she began handling domestic violence cases on a contract basis for our Fayetteville and Wilson offices. Her enjoyment of the experience inspired her to join our firm as a full-time attorney.
Yolanda serves on the boards of the Rolesville Charter Academy, the Wilson Arts Council, and Raleigh’s African American Cultural Festival. She is a former board member of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, serving as the chair of its Community Outreach Committee for five years.
Yolanda earned her Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University in 2002. She received her bachelor’s in political science from North Carolina State University in 1995.
Ashley Campbell, an attorney with Ragsdale Liggett in Raleigh and a member of our board of directors, also received a Davis Award at Friday’s event.
The Gwyneth B. Davis Public Service Award honors women attorneys who promote the participation of women attorneys in the legal profession and the rights of women under law. Gwyneth B. Davis was a former president and board member of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, the founder of the Forsyth County Women Attorneys Association, and a former attorney at Legal Services of Northwest North Carolina, the predecessor to our Winston-Salem office.
Other current Legal Aid NC attorneys who have received Davis Awards are Suzanne Chester (2015), the managing attorney of The Child’s Advocate, and Robin Ames (2005), an attorney in our Ahoskie office.
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Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity.
Sean Driscoll, Director of Public Relations, 919-856-2132, firstname.lastname@example.org