Category: 2023impact

Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) is proud to announce that its Chief Innovation Officer (CINO), Scheree Gilchrist, has been recognized by Triangle Business Journal as one of the recipients of the 2024 Women in Business Awards. This accolade celebrates women in the Triangle region who demonstrate outstanding leadership, showcasing accomplishments in both business and community service. 

For the past 26 years, Triangle Business Journal has been honoring women leaders in the area, and Gilchrist’s inclusion in the 2024 Women in Business Awards underscores her contributions to the legal and innovative landscape. 

As the CINO at LANC, Gilchrist shapes the organization’s strategic vision for innovation. She is at the forefront of developing sustainable plans that not only enhance access to justice for clients but also streamline internal processes to better serve the community.  

In her role, Gilchrist serves as the director of LANC’s Innovation Lab, a first-of-its-kind initiative in a legal services program nationwide. In this capacity, she leads an interdisciplinary team dedicated to collaboration, development and implementation of innovative ideas that revolutionize the delivery of legal services in North Carolina.  

Upon learning of her recognition, Gilchrist expressed her gratitude, stating, “I am deeply honored to be recognized among the outstanding women leaders in the Triangle. This award is a testament to the collective efforts of our team and our commitment to innovation in the pursuit of access to justice.” 

Learn more about Scheree Gilchrist here.  


Category: 2023impact

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When I started this project, I didn’t know what to expect. It’s not always easy to get people to share their stories, let alone such raw stories of fear and survival. To my surprise, we found three powerful, strong women who agreed to speak with me and did the strongest thing they could – share their stories.

‘Beyond Fear,’ a documentary that seeks to shed light on the stories of domestic violence survivors, came into being one morning in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. As a first-time filmmaker, I embarked on this journey alongside a dedicated team of videographers, not knowing just how profoundly it would impact my life.

Our initial meeting was with Amy, the ultimate star of the film. She courageously welcomed us into her home, meeting us with love and openness that instantly put us at ease. Little did we know that this would be the beginning of an unforgettable journey.

As we spent time with Amy, we laughed together, cried together, and shared experiences that transcended mere words. Her warmth and resilience were palpable, and her willingness to relive painful memories for the sake of helping others was nothing short of inspirational. Amy’s story was one of survival, of breaking free from the clutches of an abusive relationship, and ultimately finding her strength. She was, and remains, a beacon of hope.

But Amy was just the beginning. After her, we had the privilege of meeting Aracely and Gina, two more incredible women who shared their stories with us. Like Amy, they opened their hearts and homes to a group of strangers, and their courage left an indelible mark on us.

What united these three remarkable women was not only their survival but also the vital role that Legal Aid of North Carolina played in helping them escape their painful situations. It was through the dedicated efforts of our domestic violence advocates that Amy, Aracely, and Gina found the legal support they needed to break free from their abusers and start anew.

As we delved deeper into their stories, it became evident that ‘Beyond Fear’ was not just a documentary but a powerful testament to the strength of survivors and the importance of organizations like ours. It highlighted the crucial role played by advocates and lawyers in helping survivors navigate the complex legal system and find their path to safety and healing.

I want to take a moment to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Amy, Aracely, and Gina. Your willingness to share your stories with us, to relive those painful moments, and to open your hearts and homes to our team was an act of immense courage and selflessness. You are the heart and soul of ‘Beyond Fear,’ and your strength will undoubtedly inspire countless others who watch your journey.

Written by Helen Hobson, Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Chief Communications Officer

Watch the documentary here:

Category: 2023impact

Innovations in the Legal Field and Launch of Legal Aid of North Carolina’s New Innovation Lab Discussed on “Talk Justice” a Legal Services Corporation podcast

Raleigh, NC – Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Chief Innovation Officer, Scheree Gilchrist, was recently featured on Legal Services Corporation’s Podcast “Talk Justice” in an episode titled “The First Legal Aid Innovation Lab.”

During the episode, Scheree Gilchrist joined host Cat Moon, Director of Innovation Design for the Program on Law and Innovation, to discuss groundbreaking innovations within the legal sector. A key focus of the conversation was the inauguration of Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Innovation Lab, an initiative aimed at driving transformative change in the delivery of legal services.

The podcast episode also highlighted guests Ashley Campbell, CEO of Legal Aid of North Carolina, and Jeff Kelly, partner at Nelson Mullins and chair of the advisory board for the Innovation Lab. The conversation revolved around the significance of innovation in fostering broader access to justice and addressing disparities in legal service delivery, particularly in rural areas.

Scheree Gilchrist highlighted the pivotal role of the Innovation Lab in shaping the future of legal aid, saying, “The Lab for us is really the vehicle by which we believe we will be able to fulfill and sustain the vision we have of being an innovative, efficient, and inclusive legal services provider.”

The mission of Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Innovation Lab is to revolutionize the legal landscape by enhancing the delivery of legal services, expanding access to justice, and combating inequities in underserved rural communities. By fostering collaboration, technological advancements, and fresh approaches, the Innovation Lab aims to make a lasting impact on individuals and communities that often face barriers in accessing legal assistance.

Ashley Campbell expressed the importance of the Innovation Lab, saying, “We know that innovation is needed and necessary for us to provide access to justice to all the folks that need it.”

Legal Aid of North Carolina is dedicated to enhancing the quality and accessibility of legal services for all North Carolinians. The “Talk Justice” podcast episode is a testament to the organization’s commitment to innovation and its proactive approach in reshaping the legal landscape.

For more information about Legal Aid of North Carolina and the Innovation Lab, please visit