Although the North Carolina Bar Foundation has been conducting its annual 4ALL Statewide Service Day since 2008, there was nothing routine about this year’s event.
Held on Friday, March 5, and conducted virtually for the first time due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the 14th annual 4ALL Statewide Service Day was certainly one for the books.
A total of 9,712 calls were received over the eight hours (11 a.m.—7 p.m.) in which the event transpired. This figure is especially remarkable when one considers that fewer calls were received last year and in 2018, even though both of those events lasted 12 hours (7 a.m.—7 p.m.)
Technology undoubtedly played a big role in the success of the 2021 event, just as it has contributed in so many ways to the success of all of the Foundation’s public service and pro bono programs over the past 12 months.
Two constants – volunteers and community partners – still shone through as invaluable components of 4ALL.
There were 437 volunteers this year, which is also an increase over last year. In addition to the volunteer attorneys who answered legal questions from citizens across the state, paralegals and law students played a key role in triaging the calls – a positive byproduct of the virtual format.
Callers, upon indicating the nature of their questions, were then routed to attorneys according to the practice area(s) specified by each attorney. Also, attorneys could work from home, office or virtually anywhere, which was also a plus.
If the listing of community partners has a familiar ring to it, that’s because the following television stations, law firm and legal organization have all supported 4ALL in the past – some since its inception:
- WLOS – Asheville
- WBTV – Charlotte
- WFMY – Greensboro
- WNCT-TV – Greenville
- WRAL – Raleigh
- WECT-TV – Wilmington
- Hutchens Law Firm – Fayetteville
- Legal Aid of North Carolina – Statewide
Nicolette Fulton of Raleigh and Alicia Edwards of Greensboro co-chaired this year’s NCBF 4ALL Statewide Service Day Committee.