UPDATE
 
NCAWA is partnering with Legal Aid of NC to provide access to justice to low income people across our state. There is such a great need to expand the access of civil legal representation to low and modest income people that our Supreme Court established the NC Equal Access to Justice commission in 2005. Here are some facts taken from the website of the Commission which is currently chaired by Chief Justice Mark Martin:
  • 80% of the civil legal aid needs of the poor—domestic violence, divorce, child custody, housing, consumer protection, employment, benefits, health—go unmet.
  •  There is only one legal aid attorney for every 13,170 low-income people. In contrast, there is one private attorney for every 562 North Carolinians.
  •  Nearly 740,000 North Carolina households—including working families, the elderly, and the disabled—lack affordable safe housing. Legal aid representation can mean the difference between having shelter and being out on the street.

More than 1.3 million people under age 65 are uninsured in North Carolina, including some 240,000 children. Availability of legal services often makes the difference in access to vital health care.

The majority of legal aid clients are women and children. We can fulfill our mission to further the rights of women under the law, by contributing our time and talents to taking at least one pro bono case from Legal Aid or one of its sister organizations like Legal Services of Southern Piedmont. You can help this year and you an do that easily by contacting the private attorney involvement/pro bono coordinator in an office near you. For the contact the information for the coordinator in your area, please email our community outreach chair, Yolanda Taylor.

In 2017, NCAWA, is even more committed to enforcing our mission to protect the rights of women under the law. 

 

Please join NCAWA in furthering its mission to advance the rights of women under the law through its 2017 partnership with Legal Aid of North Carolina!

legal aid

Legal Aid of North Carolina, is a statewide non-profit law firm that provides access to justice for low income families who cannot afford the costs of a private attorney. The majority of Legal Aid’s clients are women and their children. 

Why the need to partner with Legal Aid of N.C.?
Last year, Legal Aid lost 50 employees due to drastic state budget cuts. This has made the already challenging task of providing free legal services to the poor, even more challenging. So we encourage you to handle at least one pro bono case this year with your local Legal Aid office. How?  Contact your local Legal Aid office and ask to speak with the office's Private Attorney Involvement (“PAI”) Coordinator. The PAI Coordinator in any Legal Aid office can assist you with becoming a volunteer attorney, and assign you a pro bono case.

“But, I don’t do that area of law.” 

No need to fear! Legal Aid’s staff attorneys have a wealth of knowledge to share and are more than happy to assist any volunteer attorney who is interesting in offering her services.

Attention NCAWA Chapters: Recognition at our Annual Conference
At our annual conference, we will recognize the chapter with the most donated pro bono hours to Legal Aid. So, it’s important that you request your documented pro bono hours from the PAI Coordinator.

Sister Organizations
We also encourage you to support similar organizations like Legal Aid that may be present in your local community. Some of these organizations are Piedmont Legal Services and Pisgah Legal Services, which also assist low income women and their children. At our annual conference we will also recognize efforts by our chapters to support these organizations.

We hope that you will join us in this exciting partnership, but most importantly we hope that you continue to pursue the worthy causes that you may already be pursuing in your local communities. If your chapter is doing something great in your local community, please share it with us! We would love to hear about your efforts and post pictures of your events on this page.  Furthermore, sharing your events with other chapters will stimulate ideas and give chapter ways to become involved in their perspective communities. Thank you in advance for volunteering your time and talents.

--Yolanda L. TaylorCommunity Outreach Chair

 
About the Community Outreach Committee
The NCAWA created the Community Outreach Committee in 1997 in recognition of the need for NCAWA members to provide service to our communities. The committee organizes projects across the state to serve children and adults in need. Projects to date have included distribution of clothing and other items to shelters, the collection of books for libraries for female inmates, and the sponsorship of the legal TV talk show, “Laying Down the Law,” which educates the public about the law. The television program features North Carolina attorneys discussing consumer-oriented legal topics. Future community outreach projects will focus on service, education, and assistance to those outside our profession in hopes of improving their lives and improving the public’s perception of attorneys.
 
Are you interested in becoming a part of the Community Outreach Committee?  If so, please contact our Community Outreach ChairYolanda Taylor.