To contact our NC Pro Bono Resource Center staff, please call 919.890.1090 or email email@example.com.
Sylvia K. Novinsky is the Pro Bono Resource Center’s inaugural director. Chief Justice Mark Martin launched the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center, the newest program of the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, in 2016.
The Pro Bono Resource Center is tasked with increasing pro bono participation statewide. It will also provide a way for North Carolina lawyers to report on their pro bono service to clients in need, and will encourage and support this work through recruitment, training and communication. The Center is one of only a handful of statewide pro bono resource centers in the country.
Sylvia comes to this role after nearly twenty years of service to the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she most recently held the role of Assistant Dean for Public Service Programs. During her tenure at Carolina Law, Sylvia founded and advised the UNC Law Pro Bono Program, a national model for inspiring students and alumni to participate in pro bono service. She has also served as the institution’s Associate Director for Public Interest Law, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, and Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Sylvia also spends time inside the classroom as an adjunct professor, teaching “Spanish for American Lawyers” and “Leadership for Lawyers.”
In addition to her career in higher education, Sylvia has experience working for legal aid providers. After law school, Sylvia litigated federal employment-related issues and administrative unemployment, wage and hour claims, and consumer cases, for Peninsula Legal Aid in Virginia. She then served as Legal Director for the Center for Immigrants’ Rights in New York, New York, where she supervised a statewide hotline for immigrants and advocates and represented domestic workers on employment matters.
Sylvia grew up in Queens, NY, and is from Argentina. She is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial & Labor Relations and The American University’s Washington College of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Maryland, the District of Columbia and New Jersey. She is a member of the N.C. Bar Association serving on the Pro Bono Activities Committee. She volunteers with the Fairfield Summer Swim Team and is a member of Judea Reform Congregation in Durham. She lives in Durham, with her husband, who teaches at Durham Public Schools, and her daughter.
Katherine Asaro serves as the Pro Bono Resource Center’s Staff Attorney. Currently, Katherine is in charge of Disaster Relief and Preparedness. In this role, Katherine coordinates pro bono activities in response to Hurricane Florence including organizing the volunteer legal presence at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers to answer legal questions, and organizing Know Your Rights presentations, pro bono attorney trainings, and brief advice and counsel clinics.
Prior to joining the Center, Katherine spent four years working in the Middle District of North Carolina in Greensboro where she clerked for Chief Judge William L. Osteen, Jr. and Senior Judge N. Carlton Tilley. In addition, Katherine chaired the Middle District’s Unity Enrichment Committee (UEC). Before clerking, Katherine spent two years as a Staff Attorney at the North Carolina School Boards Association in Raleigh.
Katherine was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was raised in Bowling Green, Ohio and found North Carolina when she attended Duke University. While at Duke, Katherine earned her teaching certification and a bachelor’s degree in History and watched her beloved Blue Devils win a NCAA Championship her freshman year. After college, Katherine learned her Master’s in Education at Harvard University. Katherine and her husband moved to Chapel Hill after grad school and have lived there ever since. She attended law school at UNC. Katherine is a pop culture junkie, movie and TV buff, and happily spends most of her time with her husband and two children in Chapel Hill.
B. Leigh Wicclair
Pro Bono Program Manager
Leigh Wicclair serves as the Pro Bono Resource Center’s Pro Bono Program Manager. In this position, Leigh increases access to legal services and pro bono opportunities across the state by organizing projects for private attorney volunteers.
Prior to joining the Center, Leigh spent seven years living in Philadelphia, PA where her work focused on the intersection of social justice and criminal justice. Leigh began her career as a public defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia. She then worked as an Equal Justice Works/ AmeriCorps Legal Fellow with Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, a nonprofit focused on expungement and increasing employment opportunities for individuals who have had contact with the criminal justice system. Following her fellowship, Leigh worked as a Judicial Law Clerk for the PA First Judicial District Court of Common Pleas.
Leigh was born in Asheville, NC, raised in Lewisville, NC and is a proud double Tar Heel. She enjoys spending time with her husband, her daughter, and her two dogs. She also likes to run and play soccer.