2023 Impact Report

Explore some of the highlights that made 2023 a fantastic year for Legal Aid of NC!

“The challenges facing our clients are ever-changing and multiplying day by day. Access to civil justice is increasingly impacted by financial resources, a lack of technology and a lack of lawyers and legal services in rural communities.

Ashley Campbell
Chief Executive Officer

At Legal Aid, we are thinking critically about how we can provide legal services in more creative and innovative ways. Our newly launched mobile legal unit is delivering services directly to rural areas. Our Innovation Lab is revolutionizing our intake process to assist the hundreds of thousands of people who seek our help annually. We are sharing our clients’ stories in more powerful ways, through documentaries, social media and impact videos.

Looking back on 2023, I see a strong foundation laid for the future of legal service delivery in our state. Our dedicated staff is pursuing comprehensive, actionable solutions to address the justice gap, not by altering our identity, but by refining our approach.

As you read this report, I invite you to join me in embracing the belief that progress starts with meeting our clients where they are, empowering our teams, and fostering collaboration with external partners. Our achievements are amplified by the support and engagement of our community. As we embark on another year of service and advocacy, we extend an invitation for you to join us in this vital work.”

Board Chair

“Legal Aid of North Carolina is a powerhouse law firm with amazing attorneys, staff, and administration, who are steadfast in their efforts to provide legal services and legal benefits guidance to the low-income individuals in North Carolina.  

Without Legal Aid of North Carolina many low-income individuals would not achieve landlord-tenant resolution, secure domestic violence protection, receive necessary public benefits, have a child advocate, and would not receive so many other valuable legal tools and benefits available under the law because they lack the necessary financial resources to do so.”

Client Council Chair

Client Council board members serve as representatives for the client eligible population throughout the state and are leaders in their communities.

With Diane’s leadership, council members discuss the needs of their regions of the state, serve as local representatives of Legal Aid, gather to participate in community engagement as a group, and help to bring the perspectives of their neighbors into firm-wide discussions about service delivery and decisions impacting the client facing aspects of our programming.

2023 was a year of groundbreaking firsts for Legal Aid NC.

From re-thinking service delivery to lifting up our clients, we are always looking for new ways to improve access to justice and bring our low-wealth North Carolinians closer to safety, stability, and security.

Combining technology, interprofessional collaboration, and data analysis, the lab aims to improve access to civil legal resources, expand and improve service offerings, and create opportunities for other legal services organizations to learn and adapt our findings for their own communities.

Our Chief Innovation Officer Scheree Gilchrist and Advisory Board Chair Jeff Kelly work with the Lab’s advisory board members to develop new ideas, projects, and solutions.

Listen to the podcasts below to learn more about the Innovation Lab!

We believe that one of the most meaningful ways we can demonstrate the impact of our work is by empowering our clients to share their lived experiences. In our first ever documentary, Beyond Fear, former clients, Amy, Aracely, and Gina, courageously detail their journeys to safety and stability after escaping abuse.

Since it was first released in October, Beyond Fear has been viewed over 1,500 times.

Thanks to a 2023 grant from the Legal Services Corporation, we were able to purchase a 18′ box truck with a connected 7’7″ cabin to provide mobile legal services. Through conversion and outfitting the LANCMobile has been designed to serve as a traveling Legal Aid NC office that will visit rural underserved communities and those impacted by disaster.

Local Office and project staff will work and travel on the bus to provide intake and outreach services including representation, hotspot access for areas with limited internet access, specialized legal help to those impacted by natural disasters, and assistance with non-legal issues commonly facing our clients.

Whether it was in a local office, special project, our Central Intake Unit, or Headquarters, we had some exciting changes, milestones, and updates all across the state in 2023. 

In 2023, we welcomed new staff members, held events, and celebrated the accomplishments of some of our special projects. 

Each of our local offices serve multiple counties and collaborate with other offices in their area to create a service region.

In 2023, our new Piedmont region and our Western region welcomed Larissa Mervin and Meredith Gregory as their regional managers, respectively.

Long-time Durham Office Managing Attorney Gina Reyman has been chosen to serve as our inaugural Chief Regional Manager, working to unite each of the six regions to discuss policies and procedures impacting their service areas, review processes and staff roles, and examine changes or increases in community needs.

In September, our Raleigh Local Advisory Council (LAC) held its first community fundraiser, Taste For Justice, in Selma, NC. This event raised over $8,000 to support our work in Wake and Johnston Counties.

In 2023, two of our offices moved to new locations. Our Asheville office moved out of it’s long-time location on Haywood Road to a new building on Artful Way, and in the last quarter of the year, our Pittsboro Office moved to a new location in Carrboro. Each of these moves increases access for our clients and provides both clients and staff with improved facilities.  

Thanks to a generous $450,000 housing justice grant from Wells Fargo, our Pro Bono team, Raleigh and Wilson Offices are helping low-wealth families and communities of color in Eastern NC with housing legal issues through a new Heir Property Pro Bono Project and by increasing eviction defense work in Raleigh, and Edgecombe and Nash counties. 

In November, The Child’s Advocate celebrated 10 years as a project of Legal Aid NC. To celebrate this milestone, the TCA team debuted a new logo. In addition to this celebration, longtime managing attorney and Co-Director Atiya Mosley became TCA’s new Project Director. Atiya follows former director Suzanne Chester, who is now working with the Child’s Voice Project to expand the TCA model across the country. 

Our Second Chance Project celebrated the opening of a second office in Wilmington and welcomed a new Statewide Project Director, Emily Mistr.

This additional location will increase access to driver’s license restoration and expunction opportunities for residents of New Hanover county. Last year, we closed over 1,000 cases involving expunctions and driver’s license issues.

Last year, the Battered Immigrant Project and our Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative were both renamed. We believe their new names, Immigration Pathways for Victims (IMMPAV) and The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Project (DVSA) respect the experiences of our clients and better describe the role our advocates play in securing safety and stability for survivors.

In 2023, Our IMMPAV team closed 484 cases. Across the state, we closed over 6,000 cases involving domestic violence.

We can’t do this work alone. Support from our colleagues, community partners, and pro bono volunteers helps us provide critical civil legal services.

In 2023, we attended and hosted professional development events, connected with volunteers across the state, and worked with our community partners and interns to connect clients with the resources they need.

We believe we are at our best when we connect with each other and other legal services professionals across the state and country to develop our skills as advocates and learn more about the legal problems facing those in poverty.

This year, our staff attended multiple professional conferences, including the Fair Housing Leadership Conference, Southern States Victims Assistance Conference, National Organization of Social Security Claimant‘s Representatives annual conference, and the Disaster Resilience Symposium at Stetson University College of Law.

In November, we hosted Statewide Summit, our biennial gathering of legal and non-legal professionals from our offices and other public interest and legal service organizations.

This 2 day event hosted over 300 individuals and featured 30 presentations and panels.

In 2023, our community engagement team began renewing relationships with community partners throughout the state that were impacted by the COVID pandemic. 

In addition to hosting their monthly virtual Listen & Learn information clinics, the team participated in and connected local offices and special projects to seven community engagement opportunities. Two of these events included a joint housing community education event and participation in a community family day with our Wilson Office, where we connected with event organizers raised in the community and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, a historically Black service organization. 

In May, we welcomed our inaugural Chief Community Engagement Officer, Niya Fonville Swint.

As a former LANC employee, Niya is able to use her experience to build rapport across stakeholder groups.

MLK Jr. Summer Internship Program

This 10-week paid summer internship gives talented law students the opportunity to experience the world of legal aid advocacy first hand. Supervised by LANC attorneys, interns engage directly with low-wealth North Carolinians as they work on real cases for LANC clients.

Last year’s cohort of 23 students represented 7 different law schools and worked across 21 of our offices and projects.

We are immensely grateful for our volunteers and for the opportunity to work alongside them in bridging the justice gap. 

Last year, our volunteers helped us close 945 cases impacting more than 2,200 individuals. Diverse service from attorneys, professionals, law firms, and legal departments both privately and across our 55 clinics met the needs of clients across our consumer, education, family, housing, individual rights and other legal problem categories. 

In partnership with the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, and Pisgah Legal Services, we helped launch Pro Bono Go, a statewide collection of pro bono opportunities from public interest and civil legal aid organizations.

Last year, we welcomed a new Pro Bono Programs Director, Allison Constance. As former Director of Pro Bono Initiatives at UNC School of Law and an attorney at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Allison brings a dual perspective to pro bono service that strengthens our partnerships and programs.

Headshot of Allison Constance, Director of Pro Bono Programs
Allison Constance
Director of Pro Bono Programs

We express our deepest gratitude to each of our partners and donors in 2023! Your support made it possible for us to impact over 65,000 North Carolinians. The listing below includes supporters who gave $25,000 or more in 2023. We send our sincere gratitude to all Legal Aid NC supporters. 


Interest on Lawyer’s Trust Accounts (IOLTA)
Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust
Yield Giving


Blue Cross and Blue Shield
UNCG Guilford County TEAM
Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation


Cone Health Foundation
New Hanover Community Endowment, Inc.
The LANC Fund at the North Carolina Bar Foundation
United Way of Greensboro
Wake County Bar Association and Foundation
Wells Fargo


Equal Justice Works Fellow
Legal Services of North Carolina
NHeLP/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
United Way of Forsyth County
Womble Bond Dickinson


North Carolina Bar Association and Foundation
Skadden Fellowship
Timothy S. Goettel
United Way of the Greater Triangle
Winston Salem Foundation

City of Durham
City of Raleigh
City of Winston Salem
Chatham County
Forsyth County
Governor’s Crime Commission
Legal Services Corporation
Mecklenburg County
New Hanover County

North Carolina Division of Aging (Title III)
NC Council for Women and Youth Involvement
NC Housing Finance Agency
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

If you believe there is an error or omission in this list, please accept our apologies and contact
Director of Development, Missy Hatley.