We are immensely proud to announce that our executive director, Ken Schorr, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Justice Center as a part of their 2020 Defenders of Justice ceremony this past weekend. The Justice Center recognized him “for his decades of leadership in legal services, as he tirelessly defended the interests of underrepresented North Carolinians.”
Ken has had the privilege of advocating for low-income people in Little Rock, Phoenix, Dallas, and Charlotte for the duration of his career. Dedicated to those he serves, Ken has fought with the principle that legal aid lawyers must have the same undiluted loyalty to their clients and the same high level of competence as private lawyers.
Access to legal services “is only a part” of justice for all. “We also need the political and economic systems to work to end poverty and racism, and to do that we need to work beyond the legal system,” Ken underscored in his acceptance speech.
“Low income people need lawyers, they need advocates, and they need them to be able to use the full range of advocacy tools to promote and protect the rights of all low-income people. We must be able to do this for each individual client and to change systems adversely affecting all low-income people. It is a part of how we will end poverty, and racism, for everyone in our community.”
Ken served as Litigation Director of Community Legal Services in Phoenix, Arizona, from 1979 to 1983 and as Executive Director of Legal Services of North Texas in Dallas, Texas, from 1983 to 1987. A native of Washington, D.C., he received a B.A. degree from Brandeis University in 1973, a J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1975 and an M.S. Degree in organization development from the American University School of Public Affairs and the NTL Institute in 2002. Ken has served as the director of The Advocacy Center since 1988.
Ken is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, a Special Advisor to and former member of the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, and has served on the boards of local, state and national nonprofits, including the N.C. Justice Center, Crisis Assistance Ministry, Uptown Men’s Shelter, United Way of Central Carolinas, North Carolina Legal Services Resource Center, Texas Legal Services Resource Center, National Legal Aid and Defender Association and NLADA Service Corporation.
At Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Ken is known for his engagement with all staff, new and old, work on community and programmatic collaborations, staunch advocacy and support in all areas of our work, and his tie-dye shirt at the annual staff BBQ.
Thank you, Ken, for your leadership, service, and unyielding commitment to justice for all people.