Jared Smith attended UNC School of Law and began working for the Equal Access to Justice Commission in 2016, as a third-year law student. His research as a volunteer helped develop the idea for the NC Pro Bono Resource Center (PBRC), a program of the Commission. Jared says, “I count myself fortunate to have worked alongside volunteers and staff from the concept to the eventual launch of the PBRC and am exceptionally proud of the great work it has accomplished since 2016.” Both the Commission and the Resource Center would not be where they are today without Jared’s involvement. He describes his role as a “jack-of-all-trades position,” and that could not be more accurate. Jared has most significantly administered the annual pro bono reporting process for the PBRC, supported the North Carolina Faith and Justice Alliance, enhanced financial support for the organization, and worked closely with the Equal Access to Justice Foundation’s Board. 

When asked how his work has influenced the Commission and Pro Bono Resource Center, Jared says, “I am most proud of the growth that has taken place over the last six years. When I think back to the beginning of my time at the Commission when staff members were few and the budget was more limited, and then compare that time to the present, the expansion in staff, budget, and programming in support of access to justice, it is truly remarkable. I am proud to have been a part of that growth and look forward to seeing the amazing work that the Commission will continue to accomplish.”

Jared will leave his role as the Equal Access to Justice Commission’s Foundation and Development Manager on April 15, 2022. While he will still be based in North Carolina, he will be moving on to join the Management Information Exchange (MIE) in a newly expanded Director of Programs role. MIE promotes excellence in management to ensure high-quality advocacy on behalf of low-income people by supporting legal aid leaders, managers, supervisors, administrators, and fundraisers across the country. Through this new opportunity, Jared will work with MIE staff and volunteers to develop innovative remote and in-person trainings, engaging resources, and effective spaces for collaboration with other national groups like the ABA, NLADA, NAIP, and others. 

Pro Bono Resource Center Director, Sylvia Novinsky, praises Jared for how his work has impacted the organization’s evolution and growth. “Jared played a significant role in the development of the NC Pro Bono Resource Center. He was integral in developing our volunteer pro bono reporting process, our Advisory Board, and our volunteer portal. I will be forever grateful for his service, leadership, and commitment to making pro bono more accessible to North Carolina’s attorneys and expanding access to justice for North Carolinians.”