The Appellate Pro Bono Project seeks pro bono attorneys to help pro se litigants for cases before the NC Court of Appeals or the NC Supreme Court that meet the following requirements: (1) The appeal involves one or more pro se litigants who would qualify for in forma pauperis status, as set out in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-288, regardless of whether the litigant has applied for in forma pauperis status; (2) The appeal presents at least one non-frivolous issue; and (3) The pro se litigant consents to be represented by a pro bono attorney and an attorney, chosen from a list maintained by the NCBA’s Appellate Practice Section, consents to represent the litigant free of charge. The Program will be coordinated by the Pro Bono Committee of the N.C. Court of Appeals, which will consist of Court of Appeals judges selected by the Court, and by the NCBA’s Appellate Practice Section and its Pro Bono Committee.

Project Frequency

Ongoing

Project Time Commitment

Attorneys who accept the representation in a pro bono appeal agree to handle the appeal through the appellate process for the appellate court that appoints the attorney. However, a volunteer attorney is not required to handle an appeal beyond that appointing court. Therefore, if a volunteer attorney is appointed by the Court of Appeals, the attorney is not required to continue the engagement by making any filings before the North Carolina Supreme Court. Likewise, an attorney appointed by the North Carolina Supreme Court is not required to continue the engagement by making any filings with the United States Supreme Court, even if an appeal could lie with that court. Furthermore, a volunteer attorney is not obligated to file a petition for rehearing or en banc rehearing. Despite these default limitations, the scope of the engagement can be extended to make additional filings before any appellate court if the volunteer attorney and litigant consent to extend the engagement. If the litigant requests to extend the engagement, but the volunteer attorney declines, the volunteer attorney shall immediately notify the appointing court and the Appellate Practice Section. The Appellate Practice Section may then attempt to have a new attorney appointed to represent the litigant.

Project Location

Remote In-Person (client comes to attorney)

Area of Law

  • Animal Rights
  • Bankruptcy
  • Benefits (Government
  • Veterans
  • etc.)
  • Civil Rights
  • Consumer
  • Disability
  • Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Education
  • Elder
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Expunction
  • Family
  • Guardianship
  • Health/Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Prisoner

Geographic Areas

  • Statewide

Project For

  • Attorney

Population Served

  • General Low Income

Skills to be Developed

  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Document Drafting (Contracts
  • Advance Directives
  • Petitions
  • etc.)
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Statutory Interpretation and Advocacy
  • Training Provided for Project Volunteers
    Yes
  • Volunteers Who Speak an Additional Language Requested for this Project
    No
  • Malpractice Insurance Provided for this Project
    Yes
  • Mentorship Provided for this Project
    Yes