Alumnus Feature: Landon Eustache '08

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Name and Year of Graduation from UNC Law:

Landon Eustache, UNC Law Class of 2008

Place of employment:

Hunton & Williams, Charlotte

Area of practice:

Capital Markets & Securities, focusing on the trading of loans, securities, derivatives and other interests in domestic and international companies.

What inspired or prompted you to start doing pro bono work?

In a recent article featuring Landon's work, he was quoted as saying:

"Since entering law school, one of my primary goals has been to remain actively involved in the Charlotte community by assisting my neighbors and some of those less fortunate members of the community with the legal issues that they face. Working as a volunteer attorney on pro bono matters has allowed me to accomplish this goal and, at the same time, work alongside some great attorneys on legal issues that are outside of my normal field of practice. I have been fortunate enough to work with a law firm that places a genuine emphasis on its lawyers engaging in pro bono work and has created an environment in which volunteering is an integral part of the workplace culture. Also, having the opportunity to work with some great local pro bono organizations, like Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, has provided me with an effective avenue through which I can connect with members of the Charlotte community in need of legal representation."

What does your current pro bono practice look like?

Landon typically maintains an open pro bono case load of two to three cases with the Council for Children’s Rights and Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont (“LSSP”). With LSSP, he takes on Medicaid appeals. His work for the Council for Children’s Rights has involved advocacy for children as a best-interest attorney in difficult custody cases, typically involving high conflict between the parents and issues like parental alienation, domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health disorders, child abuse (including sexual abuse) and neglect. As a best interest attorney, he works to investigate the circumstances surrounding the children and the custody disputes, attempts to bring about resolution of cases when appropriate, and, when custody trials are necessary, asserts positions about the best interests of the children based upon case investigation and analysis.

Which pro bono experience gave you the most professional pride?

In a recent letter bringing Landon's good work to the Pro Bono Program's attention, Kenneth Schorr, Executive Director of LSSP, recounted this story:

"In one recent case with LSSP, our client had been denied benefits because the Department of Health and Human Services decided the client’s medical impairment did not meet the severity level required to be eligible for aid. The case took months to resolve, particularly due to the fact that mental impairments are often difficult to prove. Landon's first appeal was denied.

Landon's client was a young woman with a twelfth-grade education who was struggling to find and maintain employment because she had difficulty functioning due to a variety of mental health issues, including bi-polar disorder, anxiety and depression. She had recently suffered a nervous breakdown after completing a job training program.

Landon succeeded in getting her Medicaid denial reversed after driving from Charlotte to Raleigh to present an win an oral argument in the case. According to Doug Sea, the Director of LSSP's Family Support and Health Care Program, 'Landon's extraordinary perserverence in this case, specifically his decision to drive to Raleigh to advocate on behalf of this client, very likely changed the outcome for her.'

. . .

Today Landon's client lives independently in her own apartment, she has been able to work part-time and has access to the necessary medication and treatment to help stabilize her medical condition."

Posted by Jared S. Smith on Sun. May 31, 2015 7:50 PM
Categories: Alumni Features
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