Tell me about your role at Legal Aid of North Carolina: What do you do? What do you love most about your job?

As the Director of Pro Bono Programs at Legal Aid of North Carolina, I have the opportunity to connect legal professionals across the state to cases and projects that serve people who otherwise would not get legal services. I love that pro bono allows Legal Aid of North Carolina to expand our reach and meet more legal needs, and I especially appreciate the opportunity to identify discrete legal needs and tasks that paralegals, law students, and attorneys can do even with limited experience.


What is your favorite pro bono experience?

I get so much satisfaction any time we are able to serve rural areas with volunteers from more urban areas in North Carolina. Whether that is doing a wills clinic in person or connecting folks with brief advice over the phone, I love using pro bono work to increase access to resources.


Tell me about your experience with Pro Bono Resource Center projects. 

I’ve had an opportunity to volunteer with the Driver’s License Restoration Project and the Housing Stability Project, but more importantly, I’ve benefitted from the amazing connections that the Pro Bono Resource Center can build. Through the Pro Bono Resource Center, my colleagues at Legal Aid of North Carolina and I have been able to collaborate with Pisgah Legal Services, the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, and others, and working together helps strengthen all of our programs.


How has pro bono volunteerism enriched your career? 

Pro bono has given me the opportunity to build my own professional skills while helping others who wouldn’t otherwise receive legal services. Moreover, as a facilitator, I appreciate the opportunity to see others grow professionally as they participate in pro bono work.


Of what moment(s) from your pro bono work are you proudest?

In my previous position as Director of Pro Bono Initiatives at UNC School of Law, the past six graduating classes had 100% participation in pro bono. Pro bono was not required, but I am so proud of the role that I helped to create a culture where pro bono was the norm and the expectation. I am excited to see how our profession changes in the future as these new attorneys continue their commitment to pro bono while in practice.


What advice would you give to attorneys who have not yet provided any pro bono service? 

Folks will often have reservations before signing up for something, often worries about time demands or a lack of experience. I always encourage folks that there are plenty of pro bono opportunities with training, mentorship, and discrete expectations to which you can say yes. Even if you start small, there is something that you can do.