NC Pro Bono Honor Society

The North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center (PBRC) is proud to announce the induction of 589 attorneys into the 2020 North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society. Society members reported providing 50 or more hours of pro bono legal services in 2020 to clients unable to pay without expectation of a fee, an aspirational threshold set by Rule 6.1 of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct.

Chief Justice Paul Newby called on North Carolina attorneys to report their pro bono hours to the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center.

“Many North Carolina attorneys recognized the needs brought about by COVID-19 and provided pro bono legal services to help ensure that ‘justice shall be administered without favor, denial, or delay,’ as is mandated by our state’s Constitution,” said Chief Justice Newby in his message to the state’s attorneys. “The Supreme Court of North Carolina looks forward to celebrating the sincere efforts of North Carolina lawyers in pursuit of equal justice for all.”

Each member of this year’s cohort of the Honor Society receives a certificate from the Supreme Court of North Carolina in recognition of their valuable contributions to the people of North Carolina. This group of attorneys provided nearly 55,000 hours of pro bono legal services in 2020 to North Carolinians living in poverty. In all, 1,648 attorneys, or more than 5.5% of active attorneys in North Carolina, shared information about their pro bono volunteerism, together providing more than 67,750 hours of pro bono legal services in 2020.

“Pro bono lawyers stepped up to assist North Carolinians in a time fraught with unprecedented challenges,” said PBRC Director Sylvia Novinsky. “I am inspired by the willingness of attorneys in our state to help those sharply affected by the pandemic’s economic and health impacts.”

Rule 6.1 encourages a variety of activities in addition to the pro bono legal services recognized by the Honor Society. Other encouraged activities include providing legal services at a substantially reduced fee; engaging in activities that improve the law, the legal system, or the legal profession; participating in non-legal community service; and contributing financially to North Carolina legal aid organizations. The reporting process, administered by the PBRC, collected basic information about all of these activities. The Honor Society celebrates the unique volunteerism that only lawyers can give.

About the North Carolina Pro Bono Center
The PBRC launched in April 2016 and began collecting responses from attorneys about pro bono involvement through the state’s first voluntary reporting process in January 2017. A program of the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, the PBRC works to increase North Carolina attorneys’ pro bono legal service as a way to meet the legal needs of people of low-income and modest means in our state.

Weigh In on the Future of Buncombe County Public Libraries

Would you like to have a voice in the future of Buncombe County Public Libraries? The Library Advisory Board and Buncombe County Communications & Public Engagement invite the community to take part in an upcoming feedback session.

This series of feedback sessions is designed specifically to gather input on the proposed Library Facilities Master Plan and will focus solely on facility structures and locations. This is your opportunity to share your vision for the future library services model. Read the Master Plan here

The public will be asked to share their opinion on the proposed regional model and what they would like to share with the Board of Commissioners about the proposed plan. Please make sure to advocate for a law library at the Courthouse!

“We know that our libraries are true community hubs and our patrons are passionate about their local branches,” says Library Director Jim Blanton. “Our goal with the feedback sessions is to take the consultant’s recommendations and ideas out to the community to continue our public engagement process.” 

At the end of the series, the Library Board will compile input and report back to the Board of Commissioners in late October.

There will be at least 20 upcoming sessions making it easier for people to attend, and interpretation will be available for specific sessions. Attendance does not have to be at your home library region; please join any session. The first session will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 15 at the Fairview Library. Countywide sessions will run through early October.

Visit County Center for the full calendar.  

Annual Bar Award Winners 2021

Congratulations to the Buncombe County Bar’s Annual Award winners! At the June 9th virtual Annual Meeting, we will celebrate the following: Charles Worley, Lifetime Achievement Award; Hon. Jacqueline Grant, Centennial Award; Christopher Hess, Professionalism Award; and Anne Salter, Distinguished Young Lawyer Award. To view past award winners, click here.

Pro Bono Awards

At its May meeting, the Buncombe County Bar recognized local attorneys for their exemplary pro bono service. The celebration also recognized the hundreds of attorneys in our community that share time and expertise to help our neighbors meet their most basic needs – housing, safety from abuse, income, health care and more.

The following attorneys received Pro Bono awards:

Lifetime Pro Bono Service Award: Bill Christy
Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award: Jean Lee
Emeritus Lawyer Pro Bono Award: Julie Northup and Vann Vogel
Younger Lawyer Pro Bono Award: Barrett McFatter
Collaborative Legal Project Pro Bono Award – Unemployment Insurance Benefits Pro Bono Team – Bo Carpenter, Michele Morris, Heather Newton, Julie Northup, Glen Shults, Vann Vogel