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Pro Bono Spotlight: Blaine Sanders

Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, PA’s Blaine Sanders is not only committed to pro bono work in his own practice but in facilitating opportunities for others to serve as well. For over thirty-five years, Sanders has built a litigation practice focusing on commercial, real estate, employment, and sports & entertainment law, and he is a member of the NCBA’s Litigation and Employment sections. His pro bono practice, described by his colleagues as a “tremendous combination of pro bono work,” spans landlord/tenant matters, expungement cases, non-profit work, and more.

Using the same skills and knowledge that he has used to advise for-profit businesses for his entire career, Sanders has served as General Counsel of Alexander Youth Network since October 2016. In this role, he helps Alexander Youth Network take care of children of low-income families with serious emotional and behavioral problems. Sanders handles all the organization’s legal work, including contract, regulatory, employment, litigation and real estate issues for over 400 employees providing Medicaid and community-based services to thousands of children across the state. Sanders is currently helping Alexander Youth Network to navigate the sale of property held in trust and the modification of the trust in hopes that the organization and the children it serves can benefit significantly.

At Robinson Bradshaw, Sanders serves on the firm’s Pro Bono Committee and was named the Director of Pro Bono Services last year. Blaine recruits everyone from the most senior lawyers to the newest associates to engage in pro bono work that impacts many different segments of the community. Blaine has also been a leader in the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts, and he ensures that the firm’s pro bono efforts reflect diversity and inclusion as well.

Sanders is particularly enthusiastic about his involvement in CLIMB, a project initiated by Robinson Bradshaw, Moore & Van Allen, and McGuire Woods. CLIMB (Charlotte Legal Initiative to Mobilize Businesses) grew from an attempt to identify ways to advance racial justice and equity in the Charlotte area. By providing legal services at no cost, CLIMB seeks to engage volunteer lawyers to 1) assist clients in building and sustaining thriving businesses, 2) support commercial activity in historically under-resourced communities in the Charlotte area, and 3) foster economic mobility and opportunity, which are essential components to racial and social justice. Led by Kate Maynard and Stephen Cox, CLIMB is a tremendous example of how lawyers and law firms can join together in pro bono efforts to impact our communities.

Reflecting on his own work and his encouragement to others, Sanders shared that “A little legal help goes a long way.” In his own work with Alexander Youth Network, “the basic service of negotiating reasonable contracts puts a non-profit in a much better position to carry out its mission.”