The web-based NC Free Legal Answers pro bono program, offered by the North Carolina Bar Foundation, is an essential legal services tool during this time when the ability of clients and attorneys to meet together in person is limited by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this remote-access program, low-income residents from every part of the state can ask legal questions to be answered anonymously by volunteer attorneys 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, 365 days a year.
Since its launch in late 2017, NC Free Legal Answers has engaged 414 attorney volunteers to answer 1,895 legal questions from clients located in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties.
NC Free Legal Answers has seen a surge in attorney volunteer commitment since mid-March when Governor Cooper issued a stay-at-home order for the state in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. An increasing number of questions are being posted by clients who need advice and information as a result of the pandemic, including housing, benefits, employment, consumer protection and family law. Since mid-March, attorney volunteers have answered 122 questions serving 43 counties through the Free Legal Answers portal.