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. Sylvia is tasked with supervising all of the Pro Bono Resource Center’s activities including serving as a clearinghouse for pro bono projects across the state, managing pro bono reporting and recognition, facilitating impactful pro bono projects which directly serve North Carolinians who would not otherwise have representation, uplifting the work of legal aid and other legal non-profits, coordinating trainings and CLEs for attorney volunteers, and recruiting and connecting volunteers directly to projects.
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.”
Prior to her work in higher education, Sylvia worked as a legal aid attorney. 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, the Minorities in the Profession Committee and the Government and Public Service Section. 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 coordinates pro bono opportunities for attorney volunteers with a particular focus on second chance initiatives and veterans issues.
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 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 is a member of the N.C. Bar Association serving on the Pro Bono Activities Committee and is a member of the NC Advocates for Justice. She also serves on the Wake County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Committee.
Leigh was born in Asheville, NC, raised in Lewisville, NC and is a proud double Tar Heel. She enjoys spending time with her family, running, and playing soccer.