Author: Sean Driscoll

Happy Pro Bono Week, y’all! Started in 2009 by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, the National Celebration of Pro Bono, held over the course of a week every October, is a time to raise awareness of the need for pro bono service, celebrate the contributions of current volunteers and inspire the participation of new ones. Learn more at celebrateprobono.org.

Legal Aid of North Carolina is celebrating Pro Bono Week by launching a pro bono recruitment campaign that will run through the end of the year. Our Pro Bono team has spent the better part of 2022 reimagining, redesigning and refreshing our pro bono programs to meet the most critical needs of our clients while making pro bono more convenient, rewarding, flexible—and fun!—for our volunteers.

An icon of a book

Want to learn more?

Visit the Pro Bono section of our website to learn about our programs, meet our team, and fill out our Pro Bono Interest Form.

Visit
An icon of an open envelope with a piece of paper unfolded inside it with an "@" symbol.

Want to stay in the loop?

Join our Pro Bono email list to get the latest news about our programs, partner organizations, volunteers and more.

Join
Thumbs-up icon

Ready to sign up?

Fill out our Pro Bono Interest Form to tell us about yourself, your experience, and what you’re interested in doing. The form only takes a few minutes to complete.

Sign Up

Check out the latest from our Pro Bono team!

New website, new pro bono content

Legal Aid of North Carolina has launched a new website, and it’s chock full of fresh content about our pro bono programs. 

Learn more

Ashley Campbell, Lawyer on the Line 

Our new CEO, Ashley Campbell, one of our most dedicated pro bono volunteers while in private practice, handled her own Lawyer on the Line call to promote our flagship pro bono program, which connects clients with pro bono attorneys who provide legal advice over the phone. 

Learn more

Cadwalader Pro Bono Fair 

Erin Haygood, our Director of Pro Bono Programs, attended the Pro Bono Fair hosted by Cadwalader in its Charlotte office. The theme of the event was “Get Your Piece of the Pro Bono Pie!” and attendees were treated to a delicious assortment of mini pies.

Learn more

Fall Break Pro Bono with Duke Law 

Duke Law students spent their fall break volunteering with the Durham Expunction and Restoration Program (DEAR), a joint effort of Legal Aid of North Carolina and other Durham organizations. 

Learn more

Truist, Womble Expunction Project 

Corporate Counsel spotlighted our criminal record expunction project with Truist and Womble Bond Dickinson. 

Learn more

Duke Law, NC Central Law team up for Legal Aid 

Students from the Bull City’s two law schools teamed up to represent Legal Aid clients through our Lawyer on the Line program during a virtual pro bono clinic. 

Learn more

5th Annual Charlotte Triage Pro Bono Partnership Event 

Our staff played a big part in the event, which  brings together all sectors of the city’s legal community to address the critical legal needs of Charlotte’s most vulnerable residents. 

Learn more

Author: Sean Driscoll

Collage of headshots
Top (left to right): D.J. Dore, Director of Pro Bono, Duke Law; Lakethia Jefferies, Director of the Pro Bono Legal Clinic, NCCU Law; Charles Holton, Director of Duke Law’s Civil Justice Clinic. Bottom (left to right): NCCU Law student James Whitaker; Duke Law student Zoe Terner; NCCU Law student Itzy Wallace; Duke Law student Tori Simon.

With the city soaked and wind-whipped by Hurricane Ian, 20 students from Durham’s two law schools, Duke Law and NCCU School of Law, gathered on Zoom September 30 to provide free legal help to Legal Aid clients confronting housing-condition problems.

Organized by D.J. Dore, Director of Pro Bono for Duke Law, and Lakethia Jefferies, Director of the Pro Bono Legal Clinic at NCCU Law, the event was part of Legal Aid’s Lawyer on the Line pro bono program, which connects clients with relatively simple legal problems to lawyers—or law students working under their supervision—who provide legal advice and brief services over the phone.

The students arrived to the event with a training session under their belt, a case file in their hand, an expectant client awaiting their call, and an eagerness to make a real difference in our clients’ lives. The students called their clients, listened to their stories, asked questions, gave the legal advice they were authorized to give, and paused to consult with a supervising attorney if questions or other issues arose. After their calls, the students drafted follow-up letters to the clients summarizing their problem and detailing the advice provided to them.

Housing-condition cases involve clients confronting serious problems in their home. Our clients come to us for help with dangerous and degrading situations, including pervasive mold, backed-up sewage lines and other similarly serious issues. Worse yet, housing-condition problems can lead to eviction, either due to landlord retaliation in response to tenant complaints, or due to clients withholding rent to force their landlord’s hand. The latter tactic generally puts tenants on the wrong side of state housing law, giving the landlord grounds to file for eviction.

“This was a great opportunity to assist those in need,” said James Whitaker, a second-year student at NCCU Law. “There are individuals within our society whose humanity is under attack due to deplorable living conditions. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to assist those seeking adequate housing conditions.”

“This was my first ever client interaction!” said Zoe Terner, a first-year student at Duke Law. “It was such an incredible reminder of why I decided to go to law school in the first place, and a great experience to learn more about the crucial work of Legal Aid of North Carolina.”

“My client was struggling to get her landlord to fix issues in her home that were damaging her health,” said Itzy Wallace, a first-year student at NCCU Law. “More than anything, it seemed that my client wanted reassurance that her concerns were valid and that she still had agency in the situation. Experiencing the level of trust that a client places in their lawyer (or law student, in my case) is a great reminder of why I chose to become a lawyer.”

“I really enjoyed participating in the Lawyer on the Line event!” said Tori Simon, a second-year student at Duke Law. “It was a wonderful opportunity to work with Legal Aid attorneys and connect with clients. I hope to participate in more LOTL events in the future and continue to learn how law students can support North Carolina residents.”

Special thanks to Charles Holton, Director of Duke Law’s Civil Justice Clinic, Duke Law alum and former chair of our board of directors, who served as a supervising attorney for the event, making himself available to consult with the students for the entire event.

Other supervising attorneys were Duke’s D.J. Dore; NCCU’s Lakethia Jefferies; Erin Haygood, Director of Pro Bono Programs at Legal Aid; Nicole Mueller, Supervising Attorney on Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Programs team; and Katie Barkley, staff attorney in Legal Aid’s Pittsboro office. Legal Aid case coordinators Cierra Baker, Jill Bridges, Sarah Moore and Shameka Joseph screened the clients and prepared the case files for the students.

To learn more about Lawyer on the Line and our other pro bono programs, visit the Pro Bono section of our website.

Author: Sean Driscoll

Image source: McGuireWoods

Yesterday’s fifth annual Charlotte Triage Pro Bono Partnership event was a huge success. Attorneys and leaders from corporations, law firms, legal aid groups and other public-interest organizations gathered together to further strengthen this partnership, which brings together all sectors of the city’s legal community to address the critical legal needs of Charlotte’s most vulnerable residents.

We would like to extend special thanks to the leaders of the partnership:

  • Bank of America
  • Duke Energy
  • Husqvarna
  • McGuireWoods
  • Moore & Van Allen
  • Wells Fargo

And to our partners on the housing/eviction team:

  • Greg Volk from Bank of America
  • Mark Kinghorn from McGuireWoods
  • Nader Raja from Moore & Van Allen
  • Paul Osowski from Nelson Mullins

Ashley Campbell, CEO of Legal Aid of North Carolina, was a speaker at the event. Other speakers were:

  • Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Duke Energy
  • Kieth Cockrell, President, Bank of America Charlotte
  • Mark K. Metz, Deputy General Counsel, Wells Fargo
  • Toussaint Romain, CEO, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy

O’Shauna Hunter, head of our Charlotte office’s housing unit, and Casey Burke, joint pro bono coordinator for our Charlotte office and Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, are members of the Charlotte Triage Task Force. Other members are:

  • Sarah Byrne, Senior Counsel, Moore & Van Allen
  • Alex Castle, Deputy General Counsel, Duke Energy
  • John Grupp, VP Americas, Deputy General Counsel, Arrival
  • Stephanie Gryder, Senior Manager of Diversity & Community Initiatives, Moore & Van Allen
  • Mandy Schuller, Legal Department, Wells Fargo
  • Todd Stillerman, Associate General Counsel, Wells Fargo
  • Joanna Wade, Associate General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Bank of America
  • Angie Zimmern, Counsel and Pro Bono Director, McGuireWoods

Isaac Sturgill, head of our Housing Practice Group, and Thomas Holderness, supervising attorney in our Charlotte office’s housing unit, prepared a virtual CLE program on representing tenants facing eviction, which was screened at the event.

To learn more, visit probono.mcguirewoods.com/charlotte-triage.