Local attorneys have been nominated for annual awards sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) to recognize volunteer attorneys who provide exemplary pro bono service to low-income people. The nominees were recognized April 13, 2016 at a meeting of the Buncombe County Bar at the Venue in downtown Asheville.
The Buncombe County Bar and Pisgah Legal Services recently co-sponsored the nominations of attorneys Ana Prendergast, Siemens Family Law Group; Evan DeWandler, DeWandler Law; and Kevin Radey, The Law Offices of Kevin J. Radey, PLLC for the NCBA’s 2016 William L. Thorp Pro Bono Service Award. PLS and the Bar nominated John Noor, Roberts & Stevens, P.A. for the Younger Lawyer Pro Bono Service Award.
These attorneys are being recognized for their volunteer service through the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyers (MAVL) Program, which is administered by Pisgah Legal Services. Through MAVL, nearly 300 private attorneys provide free civil legal services each year to low-income people to help them meet their most basic needs, including housing, health care, income, safety from domestic violence, and consumer protection. MAVL includes attorneys from Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, Polk, Rutherford, and Transylvania counties.
Pisgah Legal Services is a nonprofit, community-based law firm providing free, civil legal services to low-income people in Western North Carolina. MAVL attorneys work with PLS to help people in crisis solve legal problems to secure urgent necessities. In 2015, Pisgah Legal’s staff attorneys and MAVL volunteers helped more than 15,000 low-income people.
In 2015, MAVL attorneys donated 3,008 hours of legal services to help PLS clients, which is valued at more than $601,000. MAVL stands out across the state as a model volunteer attorney program. Local attorneys, both as individuals and as firms, have been recognized numerous times at the state level for their tremendous volunteer commitment.
Highlights of the contributions of award nominees include:
Ana Prendergast became a Mountain Area Volunteer Attorney in 2013. Since then, she has closed more than 11 cases and donated over 45 pro bono hours, primarily ensuring victims of domestic violence are safe from their abusers. Prendergast practices law with the Siemens Family Law Group where she focuses on a variety of areas including estate planning and elder law, divorce and custody, and VA and federal benefits.
She is the Vice-President of WNC chapter of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, a board member of the Black Mountain Center for the Arts and a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Land of Sky Estate Planning Council.
Evan DeWandler joined the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer Program in 2014. He has donated over 40 pro bono hours, represented 34 clients and assisted countless others through our hotline consultation program. DeWandler is a solo practitioner at DeWandler Law in Asheville. He focuses his practice across a variety of areas, ranging from landlord/tenant to family law. Through the MAVL program, Evan has helped clients obtain and preserve stable housing, navigate complicated consumer rights issues, and protect themselves from domestic violence and abuse.
Kevin Radey joined the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer Program in 2010. In that time, Kevin has represented 62 individual clients, and has helped countless others through Pisgah Legal Services monthly Debt 101 clinic, donating over 50 pro bono hours in 2015 alone. He runs his own firm, the Law Offices of Kevin Radey, where his practice focuses on consumer debt and bankruptcy law. Kevin is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy.
John Noor began volunteering with Pisgah Legal Services in 2013. Since then, he has closed 36 cases, advised numerous clients through the Pisgah Legal Service’s hotline consultation program, and donated over 131 pro bono hours. John practices law with Roberts & Stevens, where his practice focuses on business and environmental law, land use and conservation, as well as government, policy and litigation. Noor is on the Pisgah Legal Services Young Professionals Board, and is highly involved in public policy and advocacy at the state and local level.