Hickory Spring Break Pro Bono Trip- By Jake Wright '20

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Before departing on our trip to Hickory, we conducted a training program to learn how to draft forms in order to create a will, statutory power of attorney form, medical power of attorney form, and a living will. Through an intensive, yet invigorating process, we learned not only how to perform the required legal work, but also how to build rapport with clients in order to be as compassionate and caring as possible.

We arrived in Morganton, NC on the morning of March 11th to begin our work with Legal Aid of North Carolina. After a brief lecture in order to recap our prior training, we divided into teams of two and began seeing clients under the supervision of attorneys. We worked with clients primarily from the Morganton area, and many were relieved to get their wills drafted. However, our work with such individuals was not a mere legal transaction. Instead, many clients took time to discuss their personal lives, and asked about our interests in the legal field. Through such rapport and legal work, we were able to utilize our education to provide a tangible benefit to members within that community. Afterward, we retired to our hotel in nearby Hickory, NC, and ate a delicious dinner at the local Mellow Mushroom.

The next morning, we drove to Bethel Church in Hickory, and performed a full day of legal service to local clients. As a Hickory native, this was a particularly memorable experience for me, for it provided me the opportunity to perform valuable legal service in the community in which I have spent my entire life. With the assistance of Legal Aid, we drafted wills for many clients. Personally, I was able to build a strong connection with several clients, and enjoyed sharing memories with them of my childhood in the area. After completing our work, we enjoyed an alumni dinner with a UNC law graduate, who provided our group advice with our legal careers.

On our last morning, we drove to Lenoir, NC, a city 20 miles to the north of Hickory. We performed a morning session in which we drafted wills for clients local to the Lenoir area. By drawing upon our experience from the past two days, we were able to efficiently draft the requested documents and perform our legal services to clients within the area. Upon completing our session with clients, we discussed as a group what we learned from our trip. Personally, I was very grateful for Legal Aid and UNC Pro Bono for allowing me to perform valuable legal services to clients within my hometown.

After finishing up our group session, we enjoyed one last delicious meal at a North Carolina culinary staple: Cookout. We returned to Chapel Hill with significant gratitude for the opportunity to help clients within the Hickory area, and are eager to return in the near future.


Posted by Allison Standard Constance on Thu. March 28, 2019 9:07 AM
Categories: General, Spring Break 2019
UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


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