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!