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Tag Archives: Legal Aid of North Carolina

Legal Aid of NC: Helping with basic needs

Last year, with 162 lawyers, Legal Aid of North Carolina would have ranked No. 5 in the state, ahead of K&L Gates. In 2011, that number dropped to 157 attorneys – still enough to keep the organization in the top ten (at No. 6), but that 3.1 percent drop in attorney numbers doesn’t reflect the full impact the recession has had on the state’s largest provider of free legal services to low income residents.

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Where immigration law meets family law

On Thursdays, a telephone at the Legal Aid of North Carolina office in Raleigh rings off the hook. The callers aren't the usual questioners who might need help with things like foreclosures or consumer-protection issues. This is Legal Aid's Battered Immigrant Project, a highly focused area where the intersection of immigration law and family law helps address the specific needs of immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence. The project formally began in 2002 with one full-time attorney and has since grown to five attorneys and three paralegals. It was initially an interest of Deborah Weissman, former executive director of what is now LANC.

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IOLTA forced to tap reserves for second year

Last year, the board members of IOLTA - the fund that comes from interest on trust accounts - sat around a U-shaped table in downtown Raleigh and did something they didn't want to do: Withdraw $1 million from reserves. One year later, at their annual grant-making meeting earlier this month, they did it again. It wasn't an easy decision, board members said. But in the current economic climate it was the only way to hold somewhat steady on the grants that fund Legal Aid and other organizations that provide help in civil actions for those who can't afford attorneys.

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Legal Aid struggles to place cases with lawyers in rural areas

Officials from Legal Aid of North Carolina are quick to praise the state's attorneys for providing pro bono representation to their clients. But the staffers who spend each day recruiting private attorneys to lower LANC's ballooning case load say the need for relief remains great - and unmet - especially in the state's rural areas. Coordinators across the state also come up against some philosophical walls that are harder to break down, noted Cynthia Alleman (pictured), who was named the NCBA's 2010 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year in June.

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