Many people don’t have the finances or time to meet with an attorney. While most attorneys provide legal advice on a daily basis, some go the extra mile and answer legal questions for people who cannot afford an attorney or consultation fees through programs such as NC Free Legal Answers.
Robin Stinson has practiced in Winston-Salem and surrounding counties for more than 34 years. In January 2017, Robin joined Bell, Davis, & Pitt, P.A. where she continued her practice in family and alternative dispute resolution including; mediation, arbitrations, and parenting coordination. In that same year, her passion for family law led her to work with NC Free Legal Answers. Robin spends her free time answering questions related to family law, i.e., the procedure for filing and prosecuting a pro se complaint about child custody or visitation for lower middle class and indigents who cannot afford legal services in the general market.
As a member of the NCBA Family Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Robin has served on the Association’s Board of Governors, chair of the Family Law Section, and is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars. Robin’s work with NC Free Legal Answers has allowed her to fulfill her dedication as a legal professional. “As legal professionals, we have a moral and ethical duty to assist in providing legal services to those who cannot afford to pay for legal services. This project is an effective and efficient way for lawyers to give back some of their time to answer legal questions on phone, in lieu of a client having to expend funds for an office consultation.”
Although she has not been with the project long, Robin has volunteered with several Pro Bono Programs. In the past, Robin has been heavily involved in the Forsyth County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer Program and the Domestic Violence Advocacy Clinic of the Legal Aid Society of Northwest North Carolina, Inc. In addition to her volunteer services, Robin has received recognition for her extensive pro bono work, including; the 2000-2001 Volunteer Lawyer Distinguished Services Award and the 2010 Outstanding Service Award.
It is her hope that the people she advises can take the legal information she has provided and go forward with either hiring an affordable attorney after their legal issues have been identified or representing themselves in a more efficient manner. According to Robin, “Family law is one of the areas where people of all economic situations can be impacted.” For attorneys who specialize in this area and want to extend their help to underrepresented individuals, NC Free Legal Answers is a convenient and effective source. “You can virtually answer questions in your pajamas, on a Saturday morning, and maybe that effort can impact a family in crisis in a positive manner.” Robin encourages more family law attorneys to volunteer with this program.