Basic Advice For Basic Needs CLE

The general practice of law can be challenging, but advice from experienced attorneys can help you provide basic answers confidently. Join the Pisgah Legal Services team on Friday, May 23rd, as they outline their holistic legal assessment model for consumer, family, housing and benefits law. This CLE also includes an hour of ethics credit relevant to all North Carolina attorneys.

This CLE is a pro bono training opportunity from the Buncombe County Bar & Pisgah Legal Services, and provides all the basic information needed to staff the PLS Hotline. Attorneys may attend for free if they agree to take two cases within the next year from Pisgah Legal Services’ Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyers Program, and attend a 30-minute overview of hotline procedures and expectations that is not eligible for CLE credit. This overview begins at 8:30 and is mandatory for fee waiver.

This offers five hours of CLE credit, including one hour of ethics, pending approval from the NC State Bar. The for-credit portion begins at 9 am. Click here to sign up.


Bill Whalen is Pisgah Legal Services’ senior consumer and foreclosure attorney since 1980. He is an Asheville native and graduate of the UNC School of Law in 1974. Bill enjoyed private practice from 1974 until 1980, when he joined Pisgah. In addition to serving as a Staff Attorney for Pisgah, Bill managed the volunteer pro bono Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer Program until November of 2007.

Erin Wilson is a Staff Attorney with Pisgah Legal Pisgah Legal Services practicing in the areas of Domestic Violence, Family Law, Housing, Advanced Directives, and Guardianships. He is the DV Team Leader and Co-Manager of the Health, Education, And Legal Support Project (HEALS), a collaboration between Pisgah Legal Services, Mission Hospital, and other regional healthcare providers to provide basic needs legal services to qualifying patients.

Robin Merrell is Managing Attorney at Pisgah Legal Services where she has worked for over 13 years representing the legal interests of low-income families. Robin is a native of Western North Carolina and is a graduate of WakeForestUniversity and the University of North Carolina School of Law. In 2008 she led a collaborative process to develop an affordable housing plan for the City of Asheville, and is the author of “Looking Homeward: the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness in Asheville and BuncombeCounty.” Robin currently serves on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Housing Coalition, as well as the Asheville Regional HOME Consortium, and the Homeless Initiative Advisory Council, a joint city-county commission charged with implementing the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.

Jaclyn Kiger is a staff attorney with Pisgah Legal Services. She joined Pisgah Legal Services in 2010. Her advocacy is concentrated in public benefits and health care law, and as a part of the attorney-advocate team at PLS she works to respond to the poverty law needs of low-income residents of Western North Carolina. Jaclyn also holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to becoming an attorney she worked as a social worker in the nonprofit sector for 8 years.

Steven T. Aceto has been serving clients for over 30 years in North Carolina in the practice areas of business and corporations, real estate, charitable and non-profit organizations, wills, trusts and estates, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Admitted to the Bar in North Carolina and the federal Western District of North Carolina in 1982, Steve received his J.D. from Wake Forest University in 1982, and B.A. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1977. He is a Certified Superior Court Mediator and a member of American Arbitration Association National Roster of Neutrals. His extensive community service includes board service to U.S. and international Christian missionary and humanitarian relief organizations, municipal planning and zoning, and regional utilities.