Performing pro bono work is a great way for attorneys to renew their vigor for the practice of law, and find gratification in knowing they have made a difference in someone’s life. As noted in the Comments Rule 6.1 of the North Carolina State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct, “personal involvement in the problems of the disadvantaged can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the life of a lawyer.”
Rule 6.1 provides: “Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay.” The Rule further provides that “[a] lawyer should aspire to render at least [fifty] (50) hours of pro bono publico legal services per year.” Not only is pro bono service required of North Carolina attorneys, but it is also extremely beneficial. I would be willing to bet that desire to help others was at least one motivating factor for most attorneys to pursue a career in law.
Lawyer On The Line Needs Your Help
There is no easier way to perform pro bono work than taking calls for Legal Aid of North Carolina through its “Lawyer on the Line” program. In partnership with the North Carolina Bar Association Foundation, Legal Aid Lawyers on the Line program provides legal advice to people with few other options. Thousands of clients benefit from this service every year. The folks at Legal Aid recently let me know they need additional volunteers.
How Can I Get Involved?
- Determine how many calls you can handle each month (up to four).
- Determine the area of law in which you can provide advice.
- Contact Elizabeth Eichen at ElizabethE@legalaidnc.org or click HERE to sign up online.
You let Legal Aid know if you can handle the call or if you are too busy at that time. If you take the client, you simply call and provide any initial advice you can to help put the client at ease. You then prepare a summary of the client’s issue, so Legal Aid’s staff can determine whether Legal Aid can provide any further assistance. If you so choose, you can provide further assistance yourself. For example, in the past, I have helped a family stay in their rental home by writing a letter to their landlord, and helped stop harassing phone calls by a payday lender to a very sweet elderly lady. I strongly encourage you to sign up for this worthy and worthwhile program.
For more information on Legal Aid click HERE.