Blog Archive: 2012

At times it may feel like we are fighting a war of attrition against the cycle of poverty, but there are tangible goals to be achieved.

As a native North Carolinian, it was rewarding to visit new areas of the state and give something back to those less-fortunate. However, the greatest impact, for me, was the eye-opening experience of seeing the level of poverty and exclusion in communities only a few hours from Chapel Hill, and learning that similarly-excluded communities exist right in Orange County. I, as I am sure many of us do, take for granted resources that seem so basic—access to water, sewer, paved roads, street lights, public transportation, and even proper grocery stores. Being able to walk through these communities and put a face on the issues facing excluded communities across the state was the most impactful experience.


Read More... (At times it may feel like we are fighting a war of attrition against the cycle of poverty, but there are tangible goals to be achieved.)
No Comments | Posted by Kevin L. Denny on Thu. March 8, 2012 11:45 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Eastern)

I wanted to go on this trip to help remind me why I had decided to go to law school. I definitely made the right choice.

Before going on the Wills Trip, I was excited and nervous about what was in store. I couldn’t wait to get my head out of my books and the theoretical land of the law and dive into something tangible and real. I was also terrified of making some colossal mistake.


Read More... (I wanted to go on this trip to help remind me why I had decided to go to law school. I definitely made the right choice.)
No Comments | Posted by Agnieszka T. Zmuda on Thu. March 8, 2012 11:43 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Eastern)

After going on this trip, visiting Lincoln Heights, spending time with clients, and talking to the attorneys from the UNC Center for Civil Rights...

I could spend a long time talking about how terrifying it is to sit down across from someone who’s depending on me for legal work that will affect her family for generations, to bumble through explaining vocabulary and laws that I don’t fully understand, to wait for her to push the papers back across the table and say, “You’re completely incompetent. Get me your supervising attorney, now.” But I don’t think that would be the best use of my words, because that’s not the most important thing I got from this trip.


Read More... (After going on this trip, visiting Lincoln Heights, spending time with clients, and talking to the attorneys from the UNC Center for Civil Rights...)
No Comments | Posted by Rebecca A. Fiss on Thu. March 8, 2012 11:41 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Eastern)

Although the trip presented several challenges and frustrations, I enjoyed every moment of it.

I’ve now gone on several will-drafting retreats across the state of North Carolina, but I suspect this will be the most memorable. There are multiple reasons for this. For one, I am starting to feel comfortable with the entire drafting process—not only compiling documents and spotting potential issues, but also conducting the client interviews, explaining complex documents and concepts, and generally communicating with clients.


Read More... (Although the trip presented several challenges and frustrations, I enjoyed every moment of it.)
No Comments | Posted by Frederick Johnson (Fred) on Thu. March 8, 2012 11:16 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

It was a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to go on another Wills Trip.

I expected to learn a lot about document preparation on the trip and for our clients to be very nice and thankful that we were helping them, and of course, these clients met my expectations. I admired how gracefully they approached sensitive issues, such as naming someone to make decisions for them when they lose the capacity to do it for themselves and discussing their end-of-life wishes. They also were all wonderful clients with big personalities–some were sweet and kind and others were hilarious, and I felt very fortunate to be able to help them.


Read More... (It was a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to go on another Wills Trip.)
No Comments | Posted by Jordan N. Wolfe on Thu. March 8, 2012 11:13 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

To have the opportunity to do this before I had completed my education? Amazing.

What an amazing privilege for me to be able to help people in Western North Carolina in this way! As a practicing financial planner, I often had the opportunity to explain to my clients why having a will and advance directives was important. I came to law school because simply explaining why these documents were so important was no longer good enough. I wanted to have a bigger impact. I wanted to be able to ensure my clients took the important next steps and actually followed my advice. I wanted to prepare wills and advance directives. To have the opportunity to do this before I had completed my education? Amazing.

Knowing what moves a person to action with respect to making end of life plans makes this experience all the more meaningful. All of our clients were so appreciative. I hope they all know how appreciative I am of everything—not only to have had the opportunity to provide such an important service to them, and to have them place their trust in me to put their intentions in writing, but also to learn from them. To learn about how to draft these documents of course, but also to allow me to learn about them, what matters to them, what motivates them, and to allow me into their family for just a short time, long enough to make an impact. I hope they realize that this experience means at least as much to me as it does (or it will) to them and their families.


Read More... (To have the opportunity to do this before I had completed my education? Amazing.)
No Comments | Posted by Deborah A. McDermott (Debbie) on Wed. March 7, 2012 5:04 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

It was Mahatma Ghandi who said “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”

The first stop on our trip was in Lincoln Heights outside of Roanoke Rapids, N.C. This was a tour to witness the disparate impact of segregation on this community. Though the two towns were geographically separated by one bridge, I was amazed at how disconnected this community was from Roanoke Rapids.


Read More... (It was Mahatma Ghandi who said “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”)
No Comments | Posted by Justice D. Warren on Wed. March 7, 2012 11:39 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Eastern)

I want to say to anyone who is considering attending the pro bono trip, but reluctant to give up some of their spring break: It’s worth it!

I came on this trip expecting to gain practical experience in an area of interest for me, to help others, and to have fun. I definitely did all three. I enjoyed Property before this trip but using these skills to help clients convinced me that I may want to do this as a career.


Read More... (I want to say to anyone who is considering attending the pro bono trip, but reluctant to give up some of their spring break: It’s worth it!)
No Comments | Posted by Amanda C. McCrea (Amy) on Wed. March 7, 2012 11:37 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Eastern)

Relating to my client, not as a future lawyer-to-be, but as another person not only facilitated the drafting process...

I have to admit, the idea that I would be writing up documents that had the power to determine such important aspects of peoples lives kind of terrified me. I had never drafted anything resembling a will or power of attorney, let alone ever have anyone looking to me for legal help. As we arrived to our first client session my internal dialog started going something a little like “Oh my goodness, I have a client. I have a client. Okay, act calm and….be lawyerly?”


Read More... (Relating to my client, not as a future lawyer-to-be, but as another person not only facilitated the drafting process...)
No Comments | Posted by Laura Arredondo-Santisteban on Wed. March 7, 2012 11:34 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Eastern)

Attorneys have the chance to treat with dignity those clients who may not be able to afford the typical legal fees...

I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to join other UNC Law students in eastern NC for the Pro Bono wills trip. It provided the chance to apply the knowledge I have learned in my first two years and to see firsthand why attorneys should open themselves up to serve others who are unable to afford quality legal services. There are real problems to be addressed.


Read More... (Attorneys have the chance to treat with dignity those clients who may not be able to afford the typical legal fees...)
No Comments | Posted by Jonathan T. Sink (Jon) on Wed. March 7, 2012 11:30 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Eastern)
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