Blog Posts: Spring Break 2010 (Eastern)

The Pro Bono program is exposing more and more of the future leaders of our State...

Attempting to solve the land-loss problems that afflict the people of Eastern North Carolina during our week there presented some daunting challenges. The low income residents in that area suffer from a pervasive lack of access to legal services caused by deeply rooted inequities in our society. Our trip, although fueled by the zeal of dedicated, motivated, and intelligent students, could only hope to provide some mitigation of an issue that finds its genesis in the beginnings of our nation. With that said, the question that I always wrestle with when internally assessing these trips presented itself: What is the point? How are we, by taking a mere four days to prepare wills and other advanced directives to a small group of individuals actually making a difference?


Read More... (The Pro Bono program is exposing more and more of the future leaders of our State...)
No Comments | Posted by David R. Boaz on Thu. April 29, 2010 10:49 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Eastern)

I believe that our client left feeling empowered and with a peace of mind.

This entire week was a fantastic experience! We had such an awesome crew! I really learned a lot about client interaction and was able to connect to my experiences when I first started teaching in rural Eastern North Carolina. On Monday, my friend Carla and I were able to work with the wife in a couple who both showed up to write their wills. Initially, our client seemed hesitant to share information (i.e. SS #) and seemed to doubt that the information conveyed would truly remain confidential. We made an effort to connect with her about some smaller topics like the weather, the fact that my mom drove the same type of car, etc. As we proceeded through the interview, our client really started to open up. It was neat to see our relationship develop and to have her ask us questions about why we went to law school and what we hoped to do with our careers. I felt like a bond was formed throughout the course of the morning, and then we successfully executed her will in the afternoon. We worked with another pair of students who were writing the husband’s will and it was helpful to collaborate with them. It was very rewarding to see so much progress at the end of the day, both with developing that relationship and with creating the will. I believe that our client left feeling empowered and with a peace of mind. I hope that I can come back again next year, and would also like to possibly help to develop a site in Halifax and Northampton counties, which is where I used to teach.


Read More... (I believe that our client left feeling empowered and with a peace of mind.)
No Comments | Posted by Lauren E. Felter on Mon. April 5, 2010 10:47 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Eastern)

From my clients, I was able to feel both the seriousness of the service we were providing...

Going into this trip I was both very nervous and very excited. As excited as I was to get out into the real world and put my new skills to use, I was just as nervous that I didn’t know enough. The second day of the trip our site had the most clients, two of which my partner Bethan and I served. We had two people who knew exactly what they wanted and what they wanted was very simple – all of their belongings would go to their children and they did NOT want life saving measures to be taken. The thing that hit me the most about working with these people was how sure they were with all of their decisions. These questions we had to ask them were not easy, I myself had no idea how to answer them. And yet our clients weren’t sad like I thought some of them would be, they instead were happy to have the peace of mind that all of their affairs were now in order. From my clients, I was able to feel both the seriousness of the service we were providing and the relief that this was one less thing they had to think about.


Read More... (From my clients, I was able to feel both the seriousness of the service we were providing...)
No Comments | Posted by Jennifer L. Anderson on Mon. April 5, 2010 10:46 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Eastern)

I was especially humbled by the tangible effect that we, even as law students, can have on the community around us.

Prior to this trip, I expected to perform fulfilling pro bono work, interact with clients different than myself, as well as explore parts of Eastern North Carolina near my hometown of Wilmington, NC. These expectations were certainly realized during our trip.


Read More... (I was especially humbled by the tangible effect that we, even as law students, can have on the community around us.)
No Comments | Posted by Zachary Wayne Long on Mon. April 5, 2010 10:44 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Eastern)

The teamwork with colleagues and the genuine appreciation for each person who left with a will made this trip both refreshing and uplifting for me.

Pro Bono Spring Break in Eastern NC was just what I needed as a 1L. As my first real chance to work with clients and use the knowledge I have attained thus far, I feel excited about my future work as a lawyer and my continued commitment to pro bono. The teamwork with colleagues and the genuine appreciation for each person who left with a will made this trip both refreshing and uplifting for me. The kind families that provided delicious meals and entertainment and interesting, compassionate students from all three classes have me anticipating our Spring Break adventure next year.


Read More... (The teamwork with colleagues and the genuine appreciation for each person who left with a will made this trip both refreshing and uplifting for me.)
No Comments | Posted by Hilary Schronce Blackwood on Mon. April 5, 2010 10:41 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Eastern)

We had the opportunity to gain important professional skills and to gain new perspectives about potential career opportunities.

I think my fellow students would agree with me that this trip has been informing, enlightening, and poignant. We had the opportunity to gain important professional skills and to gain new perspectives about potential career opportunities. Far more invaluable, however, was the opportunity presented each day to assist clients in ensuring that some of the most important decisions a person can make will be carried out according to their wishes when they are no longer in a position to otherwise advocate for themselves.


Read More... (We had the opportunity to gain important professional skills and to gain new perspectives about potential career opportunities.)
No Comments | Posted by Jessica Elaine Womack on Mon. April 5, 2010 10:41 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Eastern)

We were stationed at a senior center in Plymouth, NC. This senior center was jumping!

On Tuesday morning, everyone came out smiling and looking good! We piled into our van and headed to Washington County. We were stationed at a senior center in Plymouth, NC. This senior center was jumping! They were dancing and playing games. If I hadn’t been busy with wills, I would have joined them! Jeremy and I drafted a will and power of attorney for our client that day. Even though the clients’ needs were much more complicated, the drafting process was still much easier this time around because we had been through it before. We also got the opportunity to answer brief inquiries for walk-in clients about wills and power of attorney documents. We had lunch at this Mexican restaurant and it was mmm mmm good. Overall, it was a painless day. Our clients were great. We had great food. The staff at the senior center was very helpful and appreciative that we were there. And as usual, our supervising attorneys made sure to answer all of our questions and kept the assembly line going.


Read More... (We were stationed at a senior center in Plymouth, NC. This senior center was jumping!)
No Comments | Posted by Erika Nicole Jones on Mon. April 5, 2010 10:40 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Eastern)

This was an especially great time to build friendships with peers in different colleges who one may not see very often.

While we were all eager to get to eastern North Carolina and put our developing legal skills to practical use, who could forget that it was Spring Break and we were all in the need of a little R&R? One of the perks of our Spring Break trip was being able to spend time with classmates and faculty outside of the classroom. On Monday night, our first night in New Bern, we traded out our case books and “Examples and Explanations” for…cold beer and oysters! My folks invited everyone over to our house for an evening of relaxing and getting to know one another better. Being a 1L, this was an especially great time to build friendships with peers in different colleges who one may not see very often. I think I can speak for us all in saying that it was a wonderful way to get to know one another outside of our legal interests and aspirations, and just enjoy Spring Break in the Spring Break capital of North Carolina…New Bern!


Read More... (This was an especially great time to build friendships with peers in different colleges who one may not see very often.)
No Comments | Posted by James Patrick Hunter on Mon. April 5, 2010 10:37 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Eastern)

Access to justice is an issue we talk about, but I hadn’t yet had a chance to really experience firsthand.

Going into this project, I was excited about the impact our efforts could have on preventing land loss in Eastern, NC. While the effects of this work will be seen one day, I found another aspect of our trip to be more immediately rewarding. Access to justice is an issue we talk about, but I hadn’t yet had a chance to really experience firsthand. The nature of our project, writing wills and advanced directives, gave us a chance to work with clients in a legal setting that was not adversarial or defensive. Because so many people only encounter the justice system in criminal matters or other unwanted situations, this project gave us a chance to work with our clients in a less stressful environment. We got to act as counselors, and make sure that our clients’ wishes were properly expressed. To have an opportunity to chip away at the barrier that exists between low income and minority groups and the justice system was rewarding both as an individual, and as a representative of Carolina Law. Being able to change the perception of just one client would have made the trip worth it, and I feel confident that these baby steps will allow the trip to be more successful in the future and provide our clients, their friends and family with a higher level of confidence in their ability to interact with the legal system.


Read More... (Access to justice is an issue we talk about, but I hadn’t yet had a chance to really experience firsthand.)
No Comments | Posted by Elizabeth Dannelly Morgan on Mon. April 5, 2010 10:35 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Eastern)

I felt both a sense of pride in the work we had produced for our client and certainty that their needs and wishes were satisfied.

Over my 1L Spring Break, I traveled with a team of 20 UNC students to Eastern North Carolina to prepare wills. Each team served senior clients in three different rural sites. The importance of clarity in communication was certainly instilled in me this week as it is completely necessary that a client understand fully the implications and significance of the documents they are signing before execution. Further, with the example of our supervising attorneys, I was able to model effective communication strategies while working with clients. Also, we found that in drafting the will, precision in legal language was extremely important, where the inclusion or exclusion of one phrase could change the meaning. In addition to learning essential legal skills, like client communication and document drafting, we were able to provide a service of particular importance to elderly individuals.


Read More... (I felt both a sense of pride in the work we had produced for our client and certainty that their needs and wishes were satisfied.)
No Comments | Posted by Mary Lynn Irvine on Mon. April 5, 2010 10:34 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Eastern)
1 2 

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.