Jarrad Smith is an attorney with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP in their Winston-Salem Office. Jarrad works as part of the LitSmart® E-Discovery Team, providing a wide array of e-discovery related services including legal guidance, end-to-end operational discovery and document review, in addition to serving as discovery counsel for many of their clients.
After Hurricane Florence, Jarrad volunteered with the Pro Bono Resource Center as a pro bono attorney in the New Bern FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) interviewing clients and conducting intakes. He returned to New Bern for a FEMA Appeal and Restoration Clinic where he assisted clients seeking appeals of their disaster assistance decisions. “During the session, I met with people affected by the hurricane who simply needed an advocate,” says Jarrad. “Many of them had nowhere else to turn. We were there to listen to their stories and do our best to ensure they received the assistance they needed.”
Jarrad is committed to pro bono service based on an ethical duty (captured in NC Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1) as well as the rewarding experience he has by serving others. “As attorneys, we have the duty and privilege of making the ideal of equal access to justice a reality,” he says. “I provide pro bono legal services because I think it is the right thing to do and helping people is rewarding in its own right.”
Jarrad encourages other attorneys interested in pro bono service not to be afraid to volunteer outside of one’s regular practice area and to take advantage of projects that provide training. “I had no previous experience with FEMA, but by reading the applicable law and materials provided, participating in a training session, and calling on my general legal experience, I was able to help in a substantive way,” says Jarrad.
While fulfilling one’s ethical obligation as an attorney is important, Jarrad is most moved by the people he is able to serve: “The Pro Bono Resource Center’s work in FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers and FEMA Appeal and Restoration Clinics has provided an interesting learning experience and opportunity to help those in need. Participating in these events has given me some insight into the disaster relief process and the difficulties some of our fellow citizens continue to face months, and even years, after a disaster is out of the headlines and the minds of many of us who were unaffected.”