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Celebrate National Pro Bono Week with the NCBF

The North Carolina Bar Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the North Carolina Bar Association, uniting the talent and generosity of our profession to be a power of greater good for the people of North Carolina by creating pro bono and public service opportunities that engage lawyers and paralegals in service to individuals and communities throughout the state.

In recognition of National Pro Bono Week, Oct. 24–30, legal professionals are invited to engage in pro bono service and celebrate colleagues who share their time and expertise to help expand access to justice by providing free legal services to those in need. Lawyers can make a difference in the lives of North Carolina residents by sharing even just a few hours of their time through NCBF programs such as NC Free Legal Answers, NC LEAP and Wills for Heroes.

You can follow pro bono highlights on NCBA + NCBF social media, add your stories to the social media hashtag #celebrateprobono throughout the month of October, and enjoy Pro Bono Spotlights featured on the NCBA Pro Bono Committee Blog.

NCBF pro bono and civic education programs are entirely funded through private donations from supporters like you, so we ask that you please consider a gift today. We are especially grateful for the support of our 2021-2022 Foundation Program Partners who make NCBF pro bono and civic education programs possible.

Recognizing the 2021 NCBA Pro Bono Award Winners

In celebration of Pro Bono Week, please join us in recognizing the North Carolina Bar Association 2021 Pro Bono Award Winners, all of whom demonstrate commitment to pro bono service and model impactful and creative ways to serve through our profession.

William Thorp Pro Bono Service Award: Sean Lew – Sean Lew, PLLC Attorney at Law (Winston-Salem)

The William Thorp Pro Bono Service Award is presented to an NCBA member attorney who practices in North Carolina and has provided substantial legal services, in excess of the aspirational goals of Rule 6.1, with no expectation of receiving a fee, to a client or client group that could not otherwise afford legal counsel.

Deborah Greenblatt Outstanding Legal Services Attorney Award: Dr. Johnnie C. Larrie – Legal Aid of North Carolina (Raleigh)

The Deborah Greenblatt Outstanding Legal Services Attorney Award is presented to a lawyer who is employed full time by a legal services program in North Carolina and who has made an exemplary contribution to the provision of legal assistance to help meet the needs of the poverty population in North Carolina. The award is named in memory of Deborah Greenblatt, longtime executive director of Carolina Legal Assistance.

Outstanding Collaborative Pro Bono Award: Charles W. Williamson Bar Foundation (Henderson)

The Outstanding Collaborative Pro Bono Service Award is presented to a law firm, local, district, or statewide bar organization whose members have engaged in significant and notable legal services or have contributed outstanding support and assistance to the maintenance of pro bono legal services for low-income individuals.

Law Firm Pro Bono Award: Robinson Bradshaw (Charlotte)

The Law Firm Pro Bono Awards recognize law firms for their commitment to pro bono service through the contribution of pro bono hours, the percentage of billable hours devoted to pro bono work, the number and percentage of firm attorneys providing pro bono legal service, the firm’s creative approach to pro bono engagement, the consistency and sincerity of its pro bono program, and the presence of a law firm culture that is grounded in the observance of Rule 6.1 (Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

YLD Pro Bono Award: John Noor – Roberts & Stevens (Asheville)

The Younger Lawyer Pro Bono Service Award is presented by the NCBA Young Lawyers Division to a YLD member who has made extraordinary contributions by providing exemplary legal services without a fee and increased access to justice on behalf of persons of limited means and/or charitable groups or organizations.

Law School Pro Bono Service Award: Elon University School of Law – People Not Property Project (Greensboro)

The Law Student Group Pro Bono Service Award is presented to an outstanding law student group whose pro bono project advanced access to justice in North Carolina. Consideration is given to law school groups or projects engaging two or more North Carolina law school students who are not receiving law school academic credit for their work and who have provided assistance to low-income people in North Carolina.