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Pro Bono Spotlight: William Christy

William (Bill) Christy is an outstanding volunteer attorney who has done extensive pro bono and community service to improve the lives of Western North Carolinians since moving back to the region in 1995 to practice law. Bill founded the firm Stone & Christy, PA in Black Mountain in that year and immediately began doing pro bono service through Pisgah Legal Services’ Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer Program (MAVL). Through MAVL, Bill has handled at least 488 pro bono cases, contributing more than 1,500 hours of pro bono legal services. Bill has assisted low-income clients with consumer protection and debtor issues, housing problems, tax matters, end-of-life planning and probate, and immigration and family preparedness issues.

In his pro bono service, Bill has been extraordinarily generous and compassionate. His clients regularly report that his assistance and advocacy were outstanding and that he treated them with the utmost kindness and respect. Bill often goes out of his way for his pro bono clients, helping them long past the expectations set out in the pro bono request from Pisgah Legal, and, for some, becoming what the client described as their free “family lawyer,” assisting whenever something urgent came up for a decade or more.

Over the past four years, Bill has stood by immigrant families in Western North Carolina by joining Pisgah Legal Services’ team of volunteer attorneys who have traveled across the region to help undocumented parents to prepare for the “worst case scenario” of being detained or deported. Bill has spent numerous evenings and weekend afternoons driving many hours to do legal clinics with immigrant families experiencing tremendous fear and distress. Bill assisted at almost every clinic that Pisgah Legal hosted for immigrants from 2017 to 2020.

In 2021, Bill has committed to providing at least 5 hours per week of pro bono service to help young immigrants apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status, since USCIS is now accepting these applications for the first time since 2017, and Pisgah Legal has a large waiting list of clients needing assistance.

Bill has contributed to improving the lives of his low-income neighbors and his community through pro bono service and through community service as a board member or as “of counsel” to numerous nonprofits, including Children First/Communities in Schools of Buncombe County, the Mountain Area Child and Family Center, Artspace Charter School, the Swannanoa Valley Martin Luther King Corporation, and others.

He has provided leadership to strengthen the Buncombe County Bar, as its president in 2010-11 and as a member of its executive committee for many years. Following Bill’s term as the local bar president, he was part of a group with the North Carolina Bar that trained local bar presidents throughout North Carolina. Over the past 25 years, Bill has exceeded the North Carolina Bar’s aspirational goal for attorneys to provide 50 hours of pro bono service each year. His commitment and dedication are truly unwavering. Thank you, Bill Christy, for your tremendous contributions to Pro Bono in North Carolina!