Nicholas Lee is an associate at Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP and a dedicated pro bono volunteer with Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy through the Access to Justice Pro Bono Partners Program.
Beginning in 2014, Nicholas has worked primarily in expunction cases, where his passion in pro bono work has developed.
“My motivation for becoming a lawyer was to have a greater impact on people’s lives,” Lee says. “I’m a firm believer in second chances. I’ve had lots of second chances, and I know how beneficial it can be to have charges expunged.”
Lee not only cherishes that impact he can have in dealing with expunction cases but also appreciates the bond that can be formed with clients.
“For me, the best part of the process is the opportunity to call the client and say everything was granted,” he says. “For some clients it’s one charge and for others it’s 60-70. They’re always ecstatic.”
Through his experience in pro bono work, Lee encourages other attorneys to volunteer with Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy through the Charlotte Pro Bono Triage Partnership.
“Pro bono is important for our profession, and we have a responsibility to help whomever we can,” Lee says. “I would encourage people to jump in. CCLA has great resources. And once you’re willing to do it, we have the ability and resources to get you prepared.”
Thank you to Nicholas Lee for your commitment to pro bono work on behalf of Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy!
Pro Bono Spotlight: Emma Merritt
Emma Merritt is
an associate at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP and a dedicated pro bono volunteer
with Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy through the Access to Justice Pro Bono
Having done pro
bono work since she became an attorney, Merritt brought her commitment to
service to the Charlotte community. She took her first pro bono case in January
“It is crucial
for those of us with the ability to help to do so,” Merritt says. “I am
grateful that my law firm strongly values pro bono work as well.”
routinely handles appeals cases for denials of Medicaid for the Disabled (MAD)
and Social Security Disability benefits (SSD). She recalls one case where she
assisted a young woman with a debilitating mental illness. Merritt successfully
appealed the denial of her Social Security Disability benefits, enabling her to
continue to pay for her medical and living expenses.
Not only does
Merritt value her pro bono work as a continuous learning opportunity, tackling
all kinds of difficult cases, she enjoys getting to know her individual pro
bono clients” and helping them obtain favorable outcomes.
“It is incredibly rewarding to know that I have made a real difference in a person’s life by helping him or her through a difficult situation,” Merritt says.
commitment to pro bono service, especially with civil legal issues involving healthcare
access, has compelled her to encourage others to volunteer with Charlotte
Center for Legal Advocacy through the Charlotte Pro Bono Triage Partnership.
is a partnership of corporate and private practice lawyers volunteering to
support the area’s two legal service organizations, Charlotte Center for Legal
Advocacy and Legal Aid of North Carolina, in their legal work to serve more
people in need of legal assistance.
Merrit is beginning
her second year serving as a Healthcare Champion through Charlotte Triage,
where she recruits, organizes, and trains volunteers to assist Charlotte
residents in need of help understanding affordable healthcare options with the
Advocacy Center’s Health Insurance Navigator Project.
As part of this
work, Merritt has completed training to be a Certified Health Insurance
Navigator, and she will serve as an Open Enrollment Volunteer Nov. 1 through
Dec. 15, with dozens of other volunteers in the community to ensure those who
can be insured under the Affordable Care Act, have access to assistance that
helps them make informed decisions about health coverage.
“Emma is enthusiastic about her role and always willing to
provide her time and resources,” says Julieanne Taylor, attorney and health
insurance navigator coordinator at Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy. “Last
year, Emma was a superstar on the last day of Open Enrollment and stayed with
us until the very end. The Navigator Project is so lucky to have Emma on our
Thank-you Emma Merritt for your commitment to pro bono work on behalf of Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy!