If you are a retired North Carolina attorney and want to volunteer, you can continue to contribute through pro bono service. Even if you have an inactive license, there are various ways you can get involved.
Some pro bono opportunities at legal aid do not require attorneys to have an active license in North Carolina. Examples include assisting with intake and working under the supervision of another attorney at an expunctions clinic.
If you want to participate in other pro bono activities that require an active license, NC State Bar rules permit retired, inactive attorneys to serve their community by petitioning for pro bono status. With pro bono status, inactive attorneys can provide pro bono legal assistance to indigent clients under the supervision of an attorney at a nonprofit legal services corporation. Attorneys granted pro bono status do not incur membership dues from the NC State Bar and are not required to complete mandatory continuing legal education, although CLE may be taken if desired. Pro bono attorneys have opportunities to serve indigent clients in a variety of practice areas and levels of service.
For details about how to obtain pro bono status, frequently asked questions, forms and links for more information, visit the NC Equal Access to Justice Commission site: http://www.ncequalaccesstojustice.com/pro-bono-status/.
Who is eligible to serve as a supervising attorney?
The supervising attorney must (1) be a licensed member of the NC State Bar in good standing, (2) work at a nonprofit organization that provides legal services to low-income individuals, and (3) submit a statement agreeing to supervise the inactive NC or out-of-state pro bono attorney. Contact one of the legal services organizations listed on pages 7-8 to inquire about volunteering under their supervision.