WNC COVID Legal Hotline

It’s not too late to sign up to help with the WNC COVID Legal Hotline scheduled for this Thursday, May 21st between 8am – 2pm  Through the hotline, volunteer attorneys will provide legal information and guidance to callers who may have been affected by the pandemic. More information about the Hotline here: https://www.pisgahlegal.org/wnc-covid-legal-hotline/ and attorney sign up for a two-hour shift here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/western-north-carolina-covid-19-virtual-legal-hotline-may-21-2020-registration-103338987694. Thank you to everyone who has already signed up to talk with callers from across the region.

Volunteers Needed for WNC COVID Legal Hotline on May 21

The Buncombe County Bar, Pisgah Legal Services, Legal Aid of NC, and the North Carolina Bar Foundation are partnering to host the first WNC COVID Legal Hotline on Thursday, May 21st from 8am to 2pm. This will be a legal hotline somewhat like the annual “Call 4 All” event hosted by the NCBA. Anyone in WNC can call in and speak with an attorney volunteer about their legal questions related to COVID. We will not screen for income but we are highlighting basic needs issues in our event publicity. We will use an app called Telzio that all volunteers will put on their phones and then calls can easily be sent to the appropriate volunteer.

We need volunteer “call operators” and volunteer attorneys to do 2-hour shifts during the event. Call operators will be the first point of contact on the calls and ask for the individual’s name, county and legal matter, in order to forward the caller to the appropriate attorney. We will have groupings of attorneys available to assist with various legal matters – e.g., housing, consumer, family, etc. If you volunteer as an attorney for this event you can designate which legal practice area you want handle on calls.

Please sign up for a shift at the links below. Contact John Noor at jnoor@roberts-stevens.com or Katie Russell Miller at katierm@pisgahlegal.org with questions.

Sign Up Here for a Call Operator Shift

Sign Up Here for a Hotline Attorney Shift

Poverty Law Attorney – Highlands/Cashiers Area

Pisgah Legal Services is a community-based non-profit corporation governed by a local Board of Directors. PLS has an annual budget of $5.4 million from a multitude of funding sources. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina (WNC), Pisgah Legal Services’ provides free civil legal assistance to low-income people in western North Carolina. The organization currently has offices in Asheville, Hendersonville, Rutherfordton, Brevard, Spruce Pine, and Marshall. With a dedicated staff of sixty-nine, including twenty-seven attorneys plus supporting staff, and an active pro bono panel of 300 private attorneys, the program provides free services to more than 16,000 people per year to meet their basic needs, primarily in the poverty law areas of housing, public benefits, domestic violence prevention, health care, immigration, and consumer law.
PLS is seeking a full-time N.C. licensed attorney to handle poverty law cases as part of establishing our new Plateau Poverty Law Initiative in the plateau region in Highlands/Cashiers. Legal aid experience preferred. Passion for promoting justice and overcoming barriers facing low-income people, being a creative and zealous attorney and a team-player and demonstrated commitment to achieving lasting results for clients and low-income communities are all important.
Responsibilities

• Commitment to PLS’ mission, values and vision.
• Represent and advise clients in judicial and administrative hearings in landlord/tenant, consumer, public benefits, domestic violence, community economic development, Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment, and other poverty law areas as needed.
• Collaborate with federal Legal Services Corporation legal aid program in Sylva to enhance and increase services across the region
• Work in and travel to rural locations and attend court in Jackson and Macon counties.
• Conduct client interviews with trauma-informed approach; advise and represent clients in Small Claims, District and Superior courts or administrative proceedings as appropriate. (This may include representation, preparation for self-representation, obtaining continuances for assessment, and referring cases to other attorneys.)
• Document all work in Legal Server case management software.
• Organize and conduct outreach and educational presentations.
• Establish branch office(s) within service area.
• Develop and maintain community relationships including other non-profit agencies, government officials, government employees, community leaders and others.
• Travel within our service area and also to meetings or conferences in other parts of NC.
• Adhere to program priorities and case handling policies, procedures and standards of practice, as well as the highest professional and ethical standards.
• Keep abreast of developments in the law and disseminate information to staff, volunteer attorneys and the public.
• Work with volunteers, including volunteer attorneys, on a regular basis.
• Assist in fundraising in coordination with PLS Development Team.

Qualifications

• N.C. licensed attorney
• Demonstrated commitment to serving low-income people and communities.
• Demonstrated skills at socio-economic and cultural sensitivity and ability to assist upset or ill people.
• Excellent writing and verbal communication skills.
• Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with teams and independently.
• Fluency in Spanish would be an asset.

Salary/ Benefits
Salary ranges from $48,500 – $92,000 depending on experience. Excellent fringe benefits, including 401(k) retirement plan, as well as life, health, and disability insurance.
To Apply
E-mail resumé and cover letter describing relevant experience to employment@pisgahlegal.org. PLS invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.

Pisgah Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Contact:

employment@pisgahlegal.org

Jim Barrett and Matt Roberson Recognized by NC Bar Association

 

The North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) is recognizing the selfless contributions of Pisgah Legal Services Executive Director Jim Barrett and volunteer attorney Matt Roberson, by bestowing upon them top awards that reflect their outstanding work to help people in need by providing free, civil legal aid.

Jim Barrett is receiving the 2020 Deborah Greenblatt Outstanding Legal Services Attorney Award, which is given to  a lawyer who is employed full-time by a legal services program in NC, and who has made an exemplary contribution to provide legal assistance to help meet the needs of the people living in poverty. Jim has devoted 37 years to Pisgah Legal Services, with more than 27 of those years at its helm. Under his leadership, PLS has grown to 70 employees providing vital anti-poverty services to more than 18,000 people.

Matt Roberson is the recipient of the 2020 William L. Thorp Pro Bono Award, given to an NC attorney who has provided exemplary legal services without a fee to a client or client group that could not otherwise afford legal counsel. Roberson is an attorney with McGuire, Wood & Bissette Law Firm in  Asheville. He has volunteered with Pisgah Legal Services since 2004. Since that time, he has donated more than 1,150 hours of pro bono legal services in 66 legal cases to help vulnerable local families secure safety from domestic violence, avoid eviction, foreclosure and homelessness, and stop creditor harassment and abuse.

Katie Russell Miller, who coordinates Pisgah Legal’s volunteer attorney program says, “Jim and Matt are two attorneys whose generosity and dedication inspire others to work for justice in our region. Jim has truly made it his life’s work to increase access to justice for people living in poverty in our region. And Matt is a volunteer attorney who never ceases to amaze us with his willingness to contribute his time and expertise to be an advocate for his neighbors.”

Congratulations and thank you to Jim and Matt!

Job Opening – Program Coordinator for Mtn. Area Volunteer Lawyer Program

Pisgah Legal Services is hiring for the position of Program Coordinator of the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer (MAVL) Program. The MAVL Program is a partnership between the Buncombe County Bar and Pisgah Legal Services to provide pro bono opportunities to local attorneys. The program coordinator works with Pisgah Legal staff, volunteer attorneys and Pisgah Legal clients to coordinate the referral of clients to volunteer attorneys for help. The program coordinator also has the opportunity to work on creative projects to provide legal aid in community settings, and to help recruit, train and appreciate our terrific and generous volunteers. Pisgah Legal Services is committed to increasing equity within our organization and in our region and we strongly encourage candidates of color to apply. Here’s an online link to the job posting: https://www.pisgahlegal.org/mavlcoorindator/.

For those of you who know the current MAVL Program Coordinator Tara Reynolds, we wanted to share that she and her husband are moving to NYC early this summer, where he will do his medical residency and Tara will begin law school. We will miss Tara a good deal!

Please take a moment to share this job posting with folks who might be interested. We hope to begin interviewing at the end of April. Thank you!