The North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center (“NCPBRC”) is a valued resource in the North Carolina legal community. The NCPBRC connects legal professionals to opportunities that will allow them to have a lasting impact on the state. Most recently, the NCPBRC has been instrumental in the Hurricane Florence disaster relief efforts.
Rule 6.1 of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct encourages attorneys to provide at least fifty hours of pro bono legal services annually, and to contribute financial support to organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means.
In June of 2016, a voluntary pro bono reporting and recognition program through the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center was developed. The reporting system was implemented in an effort to track volunteerism, recognize pro bono efforts, and identify pro bono trends and unmet legal needs.
According to the NC Pro Bono Resource Center’s site, the top 4 reasons you should report your pro bono legal service are:
It’s a way to showcase attorney volunteerism in North Carolina — we want to share the good work being done by the legal profession in our state
It’s an opportunity to encourage your peers to grow their pro bono involvement by sharing about your own engagement
It’s a mechanism to identify areas to grow pro bono efforts in North Carolina
it’s an opportunity for recognition — North Carolina licensed attorneys (or attorneys who provide services under North Carolina Pro Bono Practice Status) who report at least 50 hours of pro bono legal service in a year will be inducted into that year’s cohort of the North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society and receive a certificate from the Supreme Court of North Carolina recognizing their achievement.
March 31, 2019 is the deadline to submit your pro bono reporting forms to the NCPBRC. The online form can be found here. If your firm or organization is interested in submitting information on behalf of its attorneys, please contact Sylvia Novinsky, Director of the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Sylvia K. Novinsky is the Pro Bono Resource Center’s inaugural director. Chief Justice Mark D. Martin launched the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center, the newest program of the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, in 2016.
The Pro Bono Resource Center is tasked with increasing pro bono participation statewide, initially focusing on connecting recent law graduates with projects that address legal needs in Wake and Mecklenburg counties. It will also provide a way for North Carolina lawyers to report on their pro bono service to clients in need, and will encourage and support this work through recruitment, training and communication. The Center will be one of only a handful of statewide pro bono resource centers in the country.
Sylvia comes to this role after nearly twenty years of service to the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she most recently held the role of Assistant Dean for Public Service Programs. During her tenure at Carolina Law, Sylvia founded and advised the UNC Law Pro Bono Program, a national model for inspiring students and alumni to participate in pro bono service. She has also served as the institution’s Associate Director for Public Interest Law, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, and Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Sylvia also spends time inside the classroom as an adjunct professor, teaching “Spanish for American Lawyers” and “Leadership for Lawyers.”