Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy Pro Bono Program

“The only way we can face the realities of what goes on day-to-day in our community is to do pro bono work.”

Heryka Knoespel, Access to Justice pro bono attorney, McGuireWoods LLP

Pro Bono Opportunities

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy relies on our pro bono volunteers to help us narrow Mecklenburg County’s justice gap. Individuals who cannot afford an attorney or access critical information are unlikely to prevail in complex court systems designed for those with legal representation.  Volunteer attorneys can be critical advocates in an otherwise inaccessible legal system. 

Attorneys who volunteer with us are provided with:  

  • Malpractice Insurance 
  • Trainings 
  • Toolkits and templates 
  • Mentorship and support throughout the life of the case 
  • Use of our offices and conference rooms for client meetings 

How to Get Involved

Contact Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy directly by clicking on the blue button below.

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy also posts some of its volunteer opportunities on Pro Bono Go, a collaboration with other North Carolina legal services organizations to expand pro bono practice across the state. View and express interest in specific opportunities by visiting the Pro Bono Go website.

June Pro Bono Spotlight: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Project

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is a path to permanent residency for minor immigrants. This special status is intended to help protect children who have suffered abuse, neglect, or abandonment at the hands of one or both parents. To qualify for this status, an authorized state court must find that reunification with one or both of the child’s parents is not viable due to the abuse, abandonment, or neglect and that it is not in the child’s best interest to return to their home country or last country of habitual residence. The Advocacy Center has relied on pro bono attorneys to handle these state court proceedings, the first step towards permanent legal status for this vulnerable population.

The Advocacy Center presented its annual pro bono award at the Mecklenburg County Bar Association Annual Meeting highlighting this important work. Miranda Goot, Anna O’Neal, and Elizabeth Murphy serve as pro bono champions through Charlotte Triage on our SIJS project and have been invaluable in assisting this worthy client base. In early June, the Advocacy Center hosted a training with their support to train and recruit attorneys and their summer associates allowing for the placement of nearly all clients awaiting SIJS representation.

Our thanks and congratulations to the stellar advocates who have helped on our SIJS cases!

Elizabeth Murphy, Alston & Bird LLP and Courtney Viebrock, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy

May Pro Bono Spotlight: Christopher J. Brady

Christopher J. Brady, Senior Counsel at Mayer Brown, has taken nearly every kind of pro bono case the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy has to offer over the past several years. From expungements to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status custody cases, Chris has shown up for Charlotte’s low-income community consistently advocating for clients in a broad range of cases. Most recently, he has focused on providing simple estate planning through our Legal Services for the Elderly program drafting wills, durable powers of attorney and healthcare powers of attorney. His unwavering commitment is demonstrated not only in the breadth of pro bono work he has done, but in his willingness to go the extra mile for his clients. Thank you for being such a skilled and compassionate advocate, Chris!

Christopher J. Brady, Mayer Brown

During 2023, the Pro Bono Program:

  • Provided over 2,800 hours of pro bono service with individual representation to clients across all practice areas, not including clinics; these hours represent 133 clients served by approximately 100 pro bono attorneys
  • Hosted three wills clinics to draft simple estate planning documents serving 56 clients (including 13 veterans) and two expunction clinics resulting in records expunged for over 80 clients in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties 
  • Through our clinics and Charlotte Triage, provided training to over 120 pro bono attorneys and legal professionals on expunctions, estate planning, healthcare navigation, and special immigrant juvenile status custody proceedings