From which law school did you graduate?
Wake Forest University School of Law
Tell us about your regular practice area. Where do you practice and what do you do? What do you love most about your job?
I am the Director of Pro Bono Programs for Legal Aid of North Carolina. This is a new role for me that I started in January of 2022. I most love the work of matching our highly motivated volunteer attorneys with clients in need of legal counsel or representation. It is always good to hear from an attorney who has had a rewarding experience accomplishing a client’s goal.
What is your favorite pro bono experience?
Taking on this role as Director of Pro Bono Programs follows more than twenty years of practice, both in private practice and with Legal Aid of North Carolina since 2014. From 2017-2021, I managed the Pittsboro Field Office of Legal Aid. My favorite pro bono experiences have been in partnering with community organizations, the private bar, and North Carolina’s law schools to bring pro bono clinics to rural areas, including Richmond County, northern Moore County, Chatham County, and Alamance County. Our state’s rural areas are often the most underserved, so the ability to offer pro bono legal clinics in these areas is a favorite activity for me – and greatly appreciated by rural residents, often senior citizens.
Tell us about your experience with Pro Bono Resource Center Projects.
It is an extraordinary opportunity to be able to partner with the Pro Bono Resource Center on many of the activities involved in administering a robust pro bono program. The PBRC helps Legal Aid accomplish its mission in many ways, including recruitment, support, and recognition of volunteer attorneys across the state. The PBRC also helps to plan and coordinate new pro bono programs and train volunteer attorneys for particular projects or in specific areas of legal practice. With the partnership of PBRC and the NCBF, we’ve brought pro bono resources together quickly for disaster relief in the wake of natural disasters, such as Hurricane Florence in 2018.
How has pro bono volunteerism enriched your career? How has it enriched you personally and professionally?
While I was in private practice from 2002-2014, I was able to practice in new areas of law through pro bono service. Pro bono work diversified my legal skills in ways that have enriched my career over the years. Volunteerism also brought me together with other bar members and grew my professional network.
Of what moment(s) from your pro bono work are you proudest?
I took a handful of cases over my 12 years in private practice where I was able to assist a parent in gaining custodial rights to their children. I always found these to be the most rewarding types of pro bono cases, though they often took several months to resolve.
What advice would you give attorneys who have not yet provided pro bono service?
Try it! Our team is committed to offering a variety of ways to engage in volunteer service, and to providing the training and resources needed by volunteer attorneys to have successful experiences with their pro bono clients.