Blog Archive: 2011

My favorite part of the project was not the fact that I could draft wills and power of attorney forms, though...

I could not believe that I was meeting my first client after only two months of law school. I was nervous that first morning but soon realized that the point of the wills project was to spend time with our clients and learn about them. We discussed their needs and goals in planning their wills and power of attorney documents. I was humbled by how quickly my clients felt confident in my ability to help them even though I did not initially feel the same way. They trusted me and were truly depending on my assistance and advice, and these reactions and responses empowered me to do the best job possible. I felt a lot more relaxed and focused on my conversations with the clients so I could formulate the documents to reflect exactly what they wanted.


Read More... (My favorite part of the project was not the fact that I could draft wills and power of attorney forms, though...)
No Comments | Posted by Ashley M. McAlarney on Wed. November 2, 2011 12:07 PM
Categories: Fall Break 2011

Sometimes your only job is to be with your client.

When I applied to UNC Law, I was aware of the Wills Trip and hoped that I would have the privilege of participating. It’s funny when long-term hopes turn materialize—and it’s even better when the actual experience out-performs your expectations. My partner and I had the opportunity to draft wills, but we were also were privileged to be with people both like us and quite different, to be with them as they shared their burdens with us.


Read More... (Sometimes your only job is to be with your client.)
No Comments | Posted by Troy D. Shelton on Mon. October 31, 2011 12:06 PM
Categories: Fall Break 2011

If I ever needed a reminder about why I chose to pursue law as a career, the Wills Trip not only came at a perfect time...

Presumably, projects like the Wills Trip aim at affording law students with what could be their first opportunity to meet with clients. But if all I took away from my experience on the Wills Trip was “client interaction”, I would be missing an essential point.


Read More... (If I ever needed a reminder about why I chose to pursue law as a career, the Wills Trip not only came at a perfect time...)
No Comments | Posted by Lindsey S. Frye on Mon. October 31, 2011 12:05 PM
Categories: Fall Break 2011

Over two days I met with four clients and three of them were able to walk out of our clinic with legal documents in tow...

My experience on the pro bono wills project was a whirlwind. It was truly the most fulfilling thing I’ve done since I joined the Carolina Law family. Over two days I met with four clients and three of them were able to walk out of our clinic with legal documents in tow and with a huge weight off their shoulders. The best part is that I was able to lift that burden for them.


Read More... (Over two days I met with four clients and three of them were able to walk out of our clinic with legal documents in tow...)
No Comments | Posted by Alexandra E. Suárez on Sun. October 30, 2011 12:04 PM
Categories: Fall Break 2011

Our client needed us to think outside the box and create unique articles that expressly (and more importantly, legally) outlined her particular wishes.

Armed only with five hours of rudimentary training in wills preparation, I walked into my first client meeting with a heavy dose of trepidation, but also a sense of relief to be doing actual legal work that had nothing to do with casebooks, court opinions, and the always-enjoyable Socratic method I had grown accustomed to as a fresh 1L. While I knew entering law school that my days, nights, and weekends would be filled with reading, case-briefing, and learning to “think like a lawyer,” it was refreshing to put Chapel Hill in my rearview mirror to actually roll up my sleeves and work like a lawyer.


Read More... (Our client needed us to think outside the box and create unique articles that expressly (and more importantly, legally) outlined her particular wishes.)
No Comments | Posted by Joseph T. Polonsky on Sat. October 29, 2011 12:04 PM
Categories: Fall Break 2011

Each will drawn up is one fewer burden on grieving families.

My purpose in coming to law school was to make use of my experience as an educator to serve the people of North Carolina in a different capacity; the Fall Break Wills Project allowed this hope to become reality.

This trip was my first opportunity to see the partnership between UNC’s Pro Bono program and Legal Aid in action, working to bolster the legal health of the communities we serve by marrying law students’ needs for practical legal experience with North Carolina’s growing need for low-cost, client-centered legal services.


Read More... (Each will drawn up is one fewer burden on grieving families.)
No Comments | Posted by Charlotte R. Stewart on Sat. October 29, 2011 12:01 PM
Categories: Fall Break 2011

I realized that watching this real-life attorney-client interaction would be one of the most useful experiences I would get on the wills trip.

As a third-year law student getting ready to be an attorney myself soon, I’ll admit that I was reluctant to ask the Legal Aid attorneys how to do something I thought I should already understand, or to step in and explain a difficult issue to a client, at least at the beginning of the trip. But soon I realized that watching this real-life attorney-client interaction would be one of the most useful experiences I would get on the wills trip. Seeing the attorneys explain the documents to clients after I had gone through them helped me to realize how thorough I needed to be in explaining them myself. Hearing the attorneys use matter-of-fact language to talk about the very sensitive decisions being made in living wills and Health Care Powers of Attorney documents helped me to feel more comfortable talking about these issues matter-of-factly, too. At the beginning of the trip I felt like a complete novice, very far from being able to demonstrate the knowledge and poise of the practicing attorneys I was watching. By the end of the trip I began to see how I could also present myself to clients with the confidence and clarity necessary to earn their trust.


Read More... (I realized that watching this real-life attorney-client interaction would be one of the most useful experiences I would get on the wills trip.)
No Comments | Posted by Erin Deignan Reis on Thu. March 17, 2011 2:46 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2011 (Western)

It’s a cool feeling to know that I have written documents that will have a real effect on someone’s life.

I had four clients throughout the trip, and one of the things that surprised me most was how that they were as diverse as four people could be with respect to educational background, race, and socioeconomic status. They all had interesting stories and special situations which affected their wills. And they all picked up on nuances in their wills and the other advance directives that I’m not sure that I would have picked up on my first time through.


Read More... (It’s a cool feeling to know that I have written documents that will have a real effect on someone’s life.)
No Comments | Posted by Frederick Johnson (Fred) on Tue. March 15, 2011 4:26 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2011 (Eastern)

En route to our site in Kinston, we passed my high school’s arch-rival, the hospital where I was born, and other landmarks that reminded me I was home.

This was my second year participating in the Spring Break Pro Bono Trip to Eastern North Carolina. I was especially excited this year because we went to Kinston, North Carolina – my birthplace.

Day One

We were stationed in Rocky Mount and my first client was a Carolina fan (we’re everywhere!). While my client lived with one of his children and did not own a home, he still wanted to ensure that his personal property was split equally among all his children and requested we draft a will. My skills were somewhat rusty even though I had drafted wills during the trip last year, but thanks to the supervising attorneys from Legal Aid of North Carolina and the UNC Center for Civil Rights, my skills were back intact in no time.


Read More... (En route to our site in Kinston, we passed my high school’s arch-rival, the hospital where I was born, and other landmarks that reminded me I was home.)
No Comments | Posted by Erika Nicole Jones on Tue. March 15, 2011 4:21 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2011 (Eastern)

Knowing that I could provide a resource that otherwise would not have been there...

I was personally impressed with the selflessness of many of our clients. Not only did they overcome any issues they had with mortality in order to make sure their loved ones were not burdened, many of the clients expressed concern for those in need and wanted to be able to care for them after their death.


Read More... (Knowing that I could provide a resource that otherwise would not have been there...)
No Comments | Posted by Zachary A. Kohn (Zack) on Mon. March 14, 2011 2:41 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2011 (Western)
1 2 3 

Administrator Login

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


If you are seeing this, you are either using a non-graphical browser or Netscape 4.x (4.7, 4.8, etc.) and this page appears very plain. If you are using a 4.x version of Netscape, this site is fully functional but lacks styles and optimizations available in other browsers. For full functionality, please upgrade your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox.