CLE Opportunity: How Heir Property Ownership Endangers Our Clients’ Housing & How Legal Solutions Can Preserve It

This is a continuing legal education session for attorneys who want to learn more about poverty law or become a pro bono volunteer.

Starts: 9/8/2022 12:00 PM

Ends: 9/8/2022 1:00 PM

Session type: Webinar

General credits: 1


Credit status: Pending Approval

Cost: $65.00, FREE for LANC employees and volunteers.

Program Overview:

This CLE will define heir property and describe how heir property is created, why it presents problems for maintaining and proving home ownership, and how it impedes disaster recovery.  It will also explore legal solutions to remove common barriers faced by clients who own heir property. This training will be beneficial for all legal services attorneys, volunteer attorneys involved in Legal Aid’s pro bono program, and attorneys in private practice who handle matters involving real property ownership.


Lesley Wiseman Albritton is the Project Director and Managing Attorney of the Disaster Relief Project at Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc., where she is privileged to work with a team of outstanding lawyers, paralegals, and social workers assisting North Carolinians recover from natural disasters. The project provides legal assistance and education to survivors of natural disasters in North Carolina and supports equitable community economic development and long-term recovery in disaster-impacted communities. In this role, Ms. Albritton leads LANC’s response to Hurricanes Matthew, Florence, and Dorian, Tropical Storm Fred and numerous other smaller events.  Ms. Albritton is a member of the State Emergency Management Housing Recovery Support Function, serves on the boards of the NC Housing Coalition and the North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters and is a member of the North Carolina Rural Inclusive Recovery Network’s steering committee.  She is a contributing author to the American Bar Association’s recent book, Meeting the Legal Needs of Disaster Survivors and co-author of the article, Disasters Do Discriminate: Black Land Tenure and Disaster Relief Programs, which was published in the ABA Journal on Affordable Housing.  She regularly teaches continuing legal education classes on disaster law to other attorneys. She received her law degree from Ohio Northern University, where she graduated with High Distinction.  She was named a 2019 Leader in the Law by North Carolina Lawyer’s Weekly.  She lives in Greenville, North Carolina with her husband and three sons.

Emma Smiley is a supervising attorney with Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Disaster Recovery Project, where she represents low-income North Carolinians impacted by natural disasters. She currently specializes in representing homeowners seeking federal, state, and nonprofit funding to repair their disaster-damaged homes, and particularly enjoys assisting heir owners in gaining and establishing marketable title to their homes. Previously, she has worked in Legal Aid’s domestic violence practice group, and has handled family law, housing, consumer, expungement and education cases. She has also worked for the state of North Carolina in a legal research position and has represented employees in wage and hour cases in private practice. She is a graduate of Duke University School of Law.