Cynthia Byrd

I am the youngest of 15 children and the mother of 1 son. My parents worked hard and encouraged us to do the same. As a child I never met a stranger. I loved the mic and grabbed it every time my father put it down. My mother said my sister and I “talked like two Philadelphia lawyers.” After retiring from education to help take care of my mother who suffered a stroke, the lawyer memory resurfaced. I prayed, studied, applied, and was accepted to the HBLS, North Carolina Central University School of Law, which makes me a Double Eagle. Eagle Pride! As an educator in a tier one county, I was committed to the youth and the community. I still am committed to empowering the marginalized. I look forward to advocating for people in a manner that makes them feel valued and protected by our justice system.

MLK Intern, The Child’s Advocate

What inspired you to pursue a career in law or social justice?

My mother used to compare my sister and me to Philadelphia lawyers when we were growing up. Increased numbers of youth in the area where I worked as an educator were showing up in the newspaper because of trouble with the law. I wanted to help them navigate the situation and get back on track.

Why did you choose to intern with Legal Aid of North Carolina?

I was drawn to Legal Aid’s commitment to provide legal service and amplify the voice of the marginalized. Niya Swint was so helpful and kind when I visited office during my internship the previous year. Atiya allowed me to volunteer intern with TCA.

What do you hope to gain from your experience at LANC?

I hope to become better equipped to empower marginalized youth and adults to stand up for themselves and their rights through our judicial system.

What are your long-term career goals, and how do you envision your experience at LANC contributing to them?

In the future, I look forward to working with people through the public interest sector. I believe in building relationships through the presence of justice for all people. Hopefully, my experience as an MLK Intern at LANC will include my serving the community while engaging with legal professionals in a manner that meets the community’s legal needs and increases my legal skills. Go LANC!